Block loopholes in proposed sex laws - Senator
Published: Sunday | June 28, 2009
Falconer (left) and Bennett
MEN WHO cheat on their female partners by engaging in homosexual acts should be punished under the proposed sexual offences law, according to Opposition Senator Sandrea Falconer.
At the same time, another parliamentarian is urging her colleagues to block every loophole to prevent a man who undergoes a sex change from seeking coverage under the definition of sexual intercourse in the proposed law.
In her contribution to the debate on Friday, Senator Falconer charged that she had little regard for bisexuals. "I believe that those men when found out should be eligible for prosecution under Section 4 Subsection 4 (3) (b) of this current bill," she said.
The particular section of the bill states: "Consent shall not be deemed to exist where the apparent agreement to sexual intercourse is obtained by false and fraudulent representation as to the nature of the act or the identity of the offender."
Commenting on repeat sex offenders, the Opposition senator said they should be put away for life without parole. She is also pushing for the proposed sentence of 15 years for a man who commits a sexual offence against a person with a mental disorder to be changed to life imprisonment.
Commending the move to establish a sexual-offenders registry, the senator stressed that persons who committed heinous acts against women, children and sometimes men must, after conviction, be publicly identified and shamed.
Falconer urged the administration to set up a DNA database as a matter of urgency to identify sexual predators, who were often repeat offenders.
Meanwhile, Government Senator Hyacinth Bennett said the vagina and penis should in the bill, be stated as the natural sex organs as defined at birth.
In the proposed law, sexual intercourse means the penetration of the vagina of one person by the penis of another person.
"The sex organs should not include any surgically constructed sex organs under circumstances, such as where a person underwent a sex change," Senator Bennett said.
She argued that a man could claim to change his gender to that of a woman by having a vagina surgically constructed and then seek coverage under the definition of sexual intercourse.
Turning to marital rape, Bennett proposed an amendment to Section 5 (3) (d) of the Sexual Offences bill, which states that a husband can be deemed to have raped his wife if he knows he is suffering from a sexually transmitted infection and transmits it to his wife.
She recommended that the wording of the provision be changed to indicate that if the husband knew he was suffering from a sexually transmitted infection and wilfully or recklessly allowed or caused transmission of the infection to his wife, he should be held liable for marital rape.
"I am a woman and I am not going to be biased. Having a sexually transmitted infection is not a death sentence. Persons with such infections may, if they take the right precautions, engage in sexual activity," she acknowledged.
However, she added that the legislation could not have intended to punish a husband in the case of accidental transmission.