OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Marriage will no longer be an absolute defense against allegations of some forms of rape and sexual assault in Washington state.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Wednesday to change state law, calling it a "very important advance." The measure removes the spousal exemption from both rape in the third degree -- in which no physical force is used -- and from taking indecent liberties.
Washington removed the marital exemption for first- and second-degree rape in 1983.
Until the 1970s, most states considered marriage to preclude any form of rape.