The Colin Campbell Suit
The Colin Campbell Suit.
A discussion is going on about the propriety of publishing in the newspapers the reports of the Colin Campbell divorce suit, and many heads of families have expressed the opinion that the publication should not be made. For one thing, they are afraid that innocent girls will get bad ideas about married life. The report of the trial will certainly give them an idea of some of its dangers. The so-called purists do not appear to reflect upon what is the reason or cause of the publication. Here is a wife who finds her husband diseased. She tells him that she cannot consent to relations which poison her health. Under Anarchy her decision would be the law of the case. He could have no rights over her person. But under statute law this man is licensed to persecute this woman.
The statute provides for a public trial, so that a court and jury may determine whether the woman shall be again free from the disgusting individual whom she has taken for her husband without knowing of his disease. The law invites him to attempt to prove her relations with other men as a reason why she shall not go free of him! Hence the reports. They spring out of the trial. The law arranges for a public washing of dirty linen, and then the admirers of statute law are shocked at the publication of the testimony and cross-examinations, which nothing but the law has made necessary. If the so-called purists want to abolish such publications, let them abolish the laws providing for divorce suits, and substitute a simple recognition of the natural and inalienable right of every individual to govern himself or herself in sexual relations.