The impossibility of proving consent under ‘Yes means yes’ laws

The impossibility of proving consent under ‘Yes means yes’ laws

[Ed. – It’s certainly a good question.  Perhaps the worst thing here is the response of the California Assemblywoman.  It has never been our process with law, to write something vague and then wait to see what the courts do with it.  That way lie corruption and chaos.]

[T]he truth is, I don’t know how someone accused of sexual assault is supposed to prove they obtained consent under the new “yes means yes” policies.

And it looks like no one else knows either.

I reached out to the lead sponsor of the California affirmative consent law, state Sen. Kevin de Leon, because when I tried asking other sponsors of the bill, they directed me to him. His office provided a lengthy description of the bill that did not actually answer my question. My follow-up thus far has gone unanswered (although they are three hours behind).

Then I tried contacting California Gov. Jerry Brown, who signed the “yes means yes” law. A representative from his office said they would find someone to answer my question. I never heard back. …

Maybe no one has responded because I’m just a no-name writer at a small publication. …

But there is one person — possibly the only one on the record — who has answered my question. Asked how an accused person could prove consent was obtained before sex, California Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach, told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune in June that “your guess is as good as mine.”

“I think it’s a legal issue,” she added. “Like any legal issue, that goes to court.”

And that might be the only answer we get.

Continue reading →


Commenting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.

You may use HTML in your comments. Feel free to review the full list of allowed HTML here.