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California Legislature Passes 'Yes Means Yes' Bill

In a sharp turnaround from the familiar "No Means No" language, the California legislature passed a bill on August 28 that says sexual consent must be given in the affirmative to be considered consensual.

The so-called "Yes Means Yes" bill, which was passed unanimously, is aimed to shift the way college campuses deal with sexual assault, according to the Associated Press. The bill will now head to Gov. Jerry Brown's office, where he will have until the end of September to sign it into law.

Instead of adhering to the "no means no" mentality, Sen. Kevin de Leon, a Democrat representing Los Angeles, says that the definition has changed to "an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity."

The bill goes even further to say that it's not consent if the person is "drunk, drugged, unconscious or asleep."

While advocates for victims of sexual assault are lauding the move, saying that it corrects the previous notion that victims must actively resist to have a valid claim, other groups say that "the legislation is overreaching and sends universities into murky, unfamiliar legal waters."

Gordon Finley, an adviser for the National Coalition of Men, asked Brown in an editorial to not sign the bill because it presumes guilt on the part of the accused.

The bill would apply to all California colleges and universities that accept state funds for financial aid.

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