Editorial: Lawmakers should say no to 'yes means yes'

Article here. Excerpt:

'The #MeToo phenomenon, along with a movement to punish and prevent sexual assaults on college campuses, has drawn significant attention to protecting women and combating abuse at all levels. Now some Michigan lawmakers want to fight assault by teaching K-12 youth to abide by an affirmative consent standard.

That may sound like a fine idea, but it sets up unrealistic expectations for romantic encounters. And as we’ve seen on college campuses, such standards often erode due process rights for those accused of assault.

Legislators are looking to require Michigan schools with sexual education programs to include focused lessons on affirmative consent, otherwise known as “yes means yes.”

Sen. Curtis Hertel, D-East Lansing, introduced SB 620 in October, and Rep. Tom Cochran, D-Mason, introduced HB 5734 in March. Both bills are waiting for hearings from the respective education committees. Supporters of the bills claim the “no means no” standards are outdated and do not stress the importance of clarity. To correct this problem, they are seeking for sexual education courses to teach students that “yes means yes.”

Essentially, students would learn that consent requires unambiguous affirmation. And they would be taught that consent must be given continuously — every step of the way.'

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