HARTFORD >> The Senate this week approved a bill that would require all Connecticut colleges and universities to adopt a “yes, means yes” policy when it comes to sexual consent.
The bill, which creates a new and consistent standard for sexual consent, passed 34-1. Sen. Joe Markley, R-Southington, was the lone vote against it.

The bill, according to Sen. Mae Flexer, “is redefining the definition of consent.”

Flexer, D-Killingly, said the bill does not create new criminal laws or sanctions, but provides clarity for student disciplinary boards when proceeding with sexual assault cases.

The new standard would mean “yes, means yes, as opposed to no, means no,” Flexer said.

The legislation also requires that students at all Connecticut’s universities and colleges are taught about the “yes, means yes” standard.

Flexer said it’s a way of shifting the conversation around sexual assault so that it’s no longer “blaming the victim.”

The bill now heads to the House.

In a release, the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women said that if the House passes S.B. 636 and it is signed into law by Gov. Dannel Malloy, “Connecticut will become the second state to enact this important step toward preventing and addressing sexual violence.”

“In passing Affirmative Consent, the Senate, under the leadership of Sen. Mae Flexer, has effectively challenged old notions of sexual violence and victim blaming,” said PCSW Senior Policy Analyst Jillian Gilchrest, also in the release.