I love Idaho. I do. But I find myself more frequently these days re-evaluating my decision to continue living here. The reason for my second-guessing: the yahoos who pass laws or neglect to change archaic laws that diminish my rights as a woman. Last week, several news outlets reported a story about a woman who was duped into having sex with a man she thought was her boyfriend. Though the offender and the accomplice boyfriend appeared in court on rape charges, Judge Cheri Copsey was forced to drop the charges because of what's being called a "quirk" in Idaho law. That little idiosyncrasy: the victim's marital status. Had the victim been married and been tricked into sex with someone other than her hubby, the offender's alleged actions would have certainly violated the law. However, as the law is written, rape by trickery only applies to women who are married--not the unwed. So a word to would-be rapists: Find a buddy with a girlfriend rather than a wife, and you're in the clear.
Declo Republican Sen. Denton Darrington has stated he'd like to change the law in the 2011 legislative session to include unmarried women, but I'll believe it when I see it. After all, he voted yes to the erosion of women's reproductive rights with the Freedom of Conscience bill, which allows health-care professionals to deny a patient services they deem immoral. Hopefully, rape is one area in which he's willing to stand up for the women he represents. And hopefully, enough of his colleagues follow suit, ensuring that a woman's body is more important in the eyes of the law than a legal quirk or her official connection to a man.
As for this week's issue, the main feature is a piece that I wrote about in last week's Note. It was first published at boiseweekly.com and was so well received by online readers that we'd be remiss not to share it with those of you who are print-only readers. As of press time, a vote on the Dream Act was slated the day this issue hits stands, but it's difficult to predict what will happen by the end of this issue's shelf life. Perhaps Aaron's future will have been decided.