Intrusive? Calif. bill would require written or verbal consent before having sex

Nothing screams romance like a pre-arranged written or verbal agreement to have sex and the threat of rape charges without one.

A bill that just passed in the California state Senate by a vote of 27-9  is moving ahead for further evaluation, and it will change the definition of rape drastically on college campuses, according to various sources.

sign hereThe affirmative-consent bill Senate Bill 967 , amended last week by state Sen. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, reads in part:

“An affirmative consent standard in the determination of whether consent was given by a complainant. “Affirmative consent” is an affirmative, unambiguous, and conscious decision by each participant to engage in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. Consent is informed, freely given, and voluntary. It is the responsibility of the person  initiating the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the consent of the other person to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Consent must be  ongoing throughout a sexual encounter and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent.”

The proposed law targets college campuses and their policies “concerning sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking,” according to The schools that don’t enforce the law would lose their state funding for student financial aid.

To some, this reads like a clarification of the “no means no” laws already in place, but others say this is an absolute game-changer.

Hans Bader’s post, published in Legal Insurrection in March, reads:

Since most couples have engaged in sex without “verbal” consent, supporters of the bill are effectively redefining most people, and most happily-married couples, as rapists. By demanding verbal discussion before sex, they are also meddling in people’s sex lives in a prurient fashion.  (Whether consent is explicit is often inversely related to whether sex is really welcome, with grudgingly consensual acts often being preceded by more explicit discussion and haggling than acts that are truly welcomed and enjoyed, as I explain here).

Requiring people to have verbal discussions before sex violates their privacy rights, under the logic of Supreme Court decisions such as Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which struck down Texas’s sodomy law, and federal appeals court decisions like Wilson v. Taylor (1984), which ruled that dating relationships are protected against unwarranted meddling by the Constitutional freedom of intimate association.

But, De Leon stood behind the bill.

“The federal government is currently investigating 55 colleges and universities,” he said. “Obviously, there is a problem. SB 967 will change the equation so the system is not stacked against survivors by establishing an affirmative consent policy to make it clear that only ‘yes’ means ‘yes.'”

girl kisses boyOverreaching bills from the left can start off with good intentions, but are rarely well thought out. From a legal standpoint,  Bader’s opening question should be answered first: “How does classifying most consensual sex as rape help rape victims?”

A less legal observation: Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer are fun suckers enough for poor Californians.

Don’t go and take away their foreplay.

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