The Connecticut state legislature is considering the so-called “Yes Means Yes” bill to set a standard on college campuses on what it means to consent to sex.
The purpose of the bill is to help curb sexual assault and intimate partner violence at schools and universities.
The bill defines affirmative consent and makes it each student’s responsibility to ensure that the other consented to sexual activity.
Lawmakers have also defined affirmative consent as “active, informed, unambiguous and voluntary agreement by a person to engage in sexual activity with another person that is sustained throughout the sexual activity and may be revoked at any time by any person.”
It takes into effect whether the students are intoxicated, unconscious, asleep, unable to communicate, incapacitated and more.
Senator Mae Flexer, a Democrat from Killingly, and State Rep. Gregory Haddad, a Democrat from Mansfield, held a news conference on Friday about the bill, Senate Bill 636, which passed the Higher Education Committee on Wednesday with a vote of 14-to-3 vote and now heads to the state Senate.
The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women said they love the bill, but raised objections to committee discussion on parts of the bill, specifically the notion that women frequently lie about being victims of unwanted sexual activity, they said.
They also objected to any implication that “mild” forms of unwanted sexual activity might be permissible and that prior consent could be a greenlight for future sexual advances, even if unwanted.
“While not wishing to cast any doubt on the sincerity of our elected officials in crafting public policy for the good of all, the PCSW believes that the tone of this publically broadcast committee meeting indicates we need a better framework for discussing sexual violence against women, an issue which has direct, severe, and long-term implications for our educational, social and public safety climates,” the commission said in a news release.