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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

An Open Letter to Legislators

This letter is focused on legislators in the US, but may be adaptable to legislators and legislatures in other countries. In the United States, most "sex police" laws and laws applying to marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships are set at the state level, by state legislatures. For example, the laws in New Jersey are different from the laws in New York, Texas, Florida, and California. There are some laws set by Congress that apply to indigenous peoples living on "reservations," to US territories, and to military personnel. Whether you're a Senator, Representative, Assemblymember, or some other legislator, this letter is for you.


Dear Legislator:

There may be laws on the books in your jurisdiction that need to be cleaned up or removed. The basic freedom of association that allows consenting adults to love each other how they mutually agree has been restricted by various unjust and unconstitutional laws throughout history. Although some of these restrictions have been removed by the Supreme Court of the United States, even those may still remain in your state codes or statutes due to legislative inertia or as mean-spirit statements or even in the hopes of a reversal by a subsequent Court ruling. It is clear that momentum is on the side of civil rights and has been for a long time. We must move forward in securing the rights of all adults.


It would be wonderful if your state constitution could be amended with the following:
The right to marry or to personal consortium shall not be abridged or denied by this state on account of sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, ancestry, consanguinity, affinity, or number of participants.

We understand that a constitutional amendment may not be possible given current political situations. If that is the case in your jurisdiction, please introduce and support legislation that will be adopted that will repeal or override any past statutes that are remnants of discrimination and denial of rights. There should be no laws left on the books in your jurisdiction that criminalize or discriminate against any of the following:
  • autoeroticism or masturbation
  • interracial affection, sex, relationships, cohabitation, or marriages
  • same-sex and same-gender affection, sex, relationships, cohabitation, or marriages
  • nonmonogamous affection, sex, relationships, cohabitation, or marriages
  • open relationships and open marriages
  • consanguineous affection, sex, relationships, cohabitation, or marriages
  • asexual or aromantic relationships, cohabitation, and marriages
  • casual sex between two or more consenting adults 
  • BDSM between consenting adults
  • selling, buying, giving, owning, or using adult/sex toys, devices, aids
  • observing, with their consent, consenting adults engaging in affection, sex, or BDSM 
  • creating, possessing, or viewing photographic and video recordings of consenting adults nude or in sexual or autoerotic situations
  • unmarried cohabitation, whether temporary or permanent, between two or more consenting adults
  • marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships between two or more consenting adults
  • physical affection, "sodomy," or sexual acts between two or more consenting adults
  • sex therapy

***TRIGGER WARNING FOR SA***

It might also be a good to include in such legislation:

  • prohibitions on "conversion" therapy
  • prohibitions on "revenge porn" and nonconensual recording
  • criminalization/increasing  penalties for stalking, sexual harassment, and sexual assault
  • clarifications that date rape and marital rape are rape
There common element in all of these is consent as opposed to nonconsent.

Doing this is the right thing to do. Nobody should be criminalized or discriminated against for sharing love, sex, residence, or marriage, or any of those things without the others.

Even though there is no good reason to keep such laws, there will still be opposition to cleaning up the books. A simple and effective way for a legislator to respond to opposition is to say something along the lines of:
"Law enforcement resources should not be wasted in pointless attempts to keep consenting adults from loving each other how they mutually agree."

It's that simple.


Please, dear legislator, do the right thing and stand up for basic human rights and treating all adults as equal under the law.
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