#BernieOrBust risks turning US into Oklahoma

#BernieOrBust voters in states that matter risk turning the US into Oklahoma. See, Oklahoma just passed a law in their House that bans all abortions.

Oklahoma also just ruled that oral sex with a drunk woman is not rape.

Oklahoma is a red state. Oklahoma is what happens when the GOP runs the place. People who support idea of Bernie or Bust in “states that matter”* risk putting this nation in the same predicament. We end up with Conservative judges who make ridiculous rulings about consent and non consent OR who draft laws that do not adequately protect women. You also wind up with women losing body autonomy.

Oklahoma is the future #BernieOrBust risks. Just think about it.

Liberal Dan Radio 4/27/2016: The Bernie Sanders Campaign Post Mortem

On the April 27, 2016 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

The Democratic Party nomination process is over. While not technically eliminated, Hillary’s wins were so large yesterday that her pledged delegate lead is, for all intents and purposes, insurmountable. Last night his campaign shifted the discussion from that of winning the nomination to that of trying to get as many delegates to push the party platform leftward. And today, the Sanders campaign started laying off staff.

I will be discussing where the campaign went wrong, the benefits of their continuing to amass delegates, and some of the ridiculousness coming from the Bernie or Busters.

I will also discuss the GOP campaign. Cruz has named a running mate despite being mathematically eliminated from the first ballot. Trump steamrolled over the rest of the field making a 2nd ballot much less likely. And Trump also got a very fitting endorsement.

Those issues and more at 8pm central on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

If you want to support the podcast please go to the Liberal Dan Radio GoFundMe page.

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Why I disagree with the Jezebel article on The Newsroom

The HBO program The Newsroom deals with many issues, one of them being the way that “old media” is reacting to “new media”. In her article pertaining to the most recent episode of The Newsroom, Julianne Escobedo Shepherd ends it with a description of a character death.

At the end of Sunday’s episode, Charlie Skinner, The Newsroom‘s moral dad played by Sam Waterston, has a heart attack and croaks, hitting his head on a desk near a computer on the way down—a symbolic sledgehammer that was meant to parallel the way the “internet” is “killing” “real journalism,” or something.

Skinner is a character who is a member of the old media. He fights tooth and nail with younger reporters and especially with the new owner over the direction the media is going. Some of the other old media types have also been seen to fight the new media at varying levels and with varying levels of frustration with the use of the internet and sites like twitter. Often some very good points are brought up in their hesitance to fully embrace the tools that the internet provides. Often times these characters are hesitant to embrace any of those tools. Shepherd seems to take this as the show itself sending the message “old media good, new media bad”. But if Sorkin is Dr. Frankenstein and the show his monster, I believe that a lot is overlooked with that simplistic view of television.

There are people in this world who are old media. Those people do drag their feet when it comes to embracing the new tools that the internet gives us. In order for The Newsroom to be a credible show, if it has old media types working for ACN (the news company featured in the show) then it has to portray them as old media types. When I watch the show (as I discussed on Liberal Dan Radio tonight) I don’t view the show as lauding old media as being king and scoffing at new media. I see a message that says “these old media guys really need to get with the program or they will fall behind”. Real life has flawed people and as such any show is going to have to have flawed characters in order to be realistic.

Which brings me to the initial subject of the article written in Jezebel, an article not on old vs new media but on rape, rape culture, and how The Newsroom handled a case of rape in this of all weeks where Rolling Stone fumbled the ball and showed horrible journalistic practices in its covering of rapes on UVA. A criticism that Shephard has is that the show was “poorly timed” as if Sorkin and HBO chose to release this episode in the middle of the Rolling Stone controversy. I think it may be a matter of dumb luck, be that luck good or bad.

This particular episode had a sub plot of the producer, Don, and his assignment by his new boss to go investigate a campus website that was created to expose rapists on campus. He was to find the creator of the website and one of her rapists and put them on camera together in studio. Don obviously is uncomfortable with this idea well before “the scene” that has caused much ire on the internet. But eventually Don is able to do some “old school” “detective work” and find the creator of the website. (Another criticism by Shephard is that Mary calling Don’s detective work “old school” was Sorkin trying to make Mary look bad. I took it as Mary being sarcastic to Don. But to each their own I suppose.)

Shephard is critical of every single bit of this scene. Another issue she brings up is with how Don refers to the rape that is alleged by the female character as a “kind of rape”. This of course is not what a rape victim would want to hear. And of course a reporter asking a victim of rape about her rape should not belittle the rape. However, Don is nervous and flawed and does not behave in a manner in which the perfect reporter would behave in that circumstance.

Another part of the show discussion has Mary (the victim) stating to Don “The law is plainly failing rape victims. That must be obvious to you”. His response is:

“It is, but in fairness, the law wasn’t built to serve victims … I’ve heard two competing stories, one from a very credible woman who has no reason to lie, the other from a guy I judge to be a little sketchy who has every reason to lie, and I’m obligated to believe the sketchy guy… I believe I’m morally obligated. I’m the guy who goes around saying OJ’s not guilty because a jury said so.”

Is that the best way to respond? It is correct to say that the law wasn’t built to serve victims. Ben Franklin once stated that it would be better for 100 guilty people to go free than have one innocent person locked up. We have an adversarial system of justice that should make it difficult to put people away in prison. Now, do you explain this to a rape victim who is visibly upset? That doesn’t seem to be the ideal thing to say under the circumstances. Perhaps he could have worded the later part better? Maybe instead of saying “and I’m obligated to believe the sketchy guy” he could have said “while I do not believe you are lying I also feel morally obligated to treat people as innocent until proven guilty in a court of law”. This might be a better way to put it, and it might not be. But, again, Don is nervous and flawed and does not behave in a manner in which the perfect reporter would behave in that circumstance.

And I think you see my point here. People are not perfect. If placed in that situation I guarantee you that I would be fumbling around and that I would not say the right things. I would stumble. I would make mistakes. I would misword things in ways that I would realize later were horribly stupid. But that is how life works. People like Don exist today. And a show cannot be taken seriously if it ignores that such people existed today when presenting such a situation. Had Don not been the fumbling idiot who is condescending to this victim, it would seem less real. Don has been a fumbling idiot when it comes to other interactions with women as well. If he all of a sudden starts acting perfect around women, that would be going out of character. And the biggest mistake that The Newsroom could make would be to have all of its characters be perfect people in a perfect way.

Sometimes the best example to give in a tv show is to show what not to do in a given situation. I cringed when he said “kind of rape”. I cringed when he said he was “obliged to believe the sketchy guy”. And that is the point. We are supposed to cringe at such things. We are supposed to see them go down and say “wow, that didn’t go well”. We can then use our hindsight in this fictitious universe where nobody was actually hurt and show the flaws that exist in society. We can look at the flawed characters and say “look guys, that is what you look like when you act this way towards victims of rape… STOP IT!”. That The Newsroom has such flawed characters in it does not make the show disdainful of women. It makes the show more realistic. It makes the show more credible. It also opens the door for good conversations on how we all should be treating persons who come forward as victims of rape.

 

Liberal Dan Radio 12/10/2014: Bad Things

On the December 10, 2014 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

The torture documents were released by the Senate this week. Some call it a political ploy, others call it needed oversight. I will discuss certain aspects of the law and why we should consider ourselves to be a better nation than others.

An episode of Newsroom aired on Sunday and it caused a stir in feminist circles. People did not appreciate how Sorkin handled the topic of on campus rape. However, I believe the criticisms are misguided and I will discuss why.

I believe I also found a bug on healthcare.gov. I will go into that in more detail. Of course, bugs are meant to be fixed and are not an excuse to bring the whole thing down so calm down conservatives.

Finally, I have started a GoFundMe page in order to sell advertising for the show as well as encourage people to chip in and help support the show if they like it. So please, contribute.

Those stories, headlines, tweet of the week and more on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right:  Wednesday 8pm Central on Blog Talk Radio.

How the CA “Yes Means Yes” law gets it wrong

I want to start off by being clear. “Yes Means Yes” is the standard that all people should use when having sex with other people. “No Means No” is antiquated and puts the responsibility on the victim to say no instead of putting the responsibility on all parties involved who want to have sex to make sure that all other parties involved also want to have sex. No means no implies that the absence of a no means consent is given. That is horrific. That allows for people like Cee Lo to say that unconscious people cannot be raped. Yes means yes implies that in the absence of a clear yes, it is rape.

So why do I have problems with the law? Well there are several issues.

1) Sex does not always simply involve two people. 

This is the wording from the law:

An affirmative consent standard in the determination of whether consent was given by both parties to sexual activity

Both parties implies only two. So the law is not specific enough to handle cases handled on college campuses. This is a relatively minor issue but it is one that was missed in the drafting of the law. It also shows that the people writing the law were ignoring reality because the idea that college sex is limited to only two people at a given time is frankly a silly one.

2) Rape happens on more places than just colleges.

Rape can happen anywhere, and by anyone. It can take place in high school. It can take place in the workplace. It can take place at your house. It can take place in a friends house. It can take place in a car. It can take place on a date. It can take place in a back alley (those are rarer than some might have you believe). So why draft a law setting a “Yes Means Yes” standard but only having that standard apply to colleges? That just doesn’t make any sense to me at all. A “Yes Means Yes” standard should be universal and apply to everyone, not just on colleges.

3) Government is abdicating its responsibility of punishing rapists.

This law is not setting forth any standards to be used by law enforcement or the courts to adapt an affirmative consent standard universally across the state of California. Instead it is pushing its responsibility to investigate and punish rapists onto college disciplinary boards. I doubt that all California colleges who are covered by this law are up to the task of determining the guilt or innocence of an individual. Are these panels made up of, or at least headed up by, judges who are adept at determining if someone committed an act of sexual violence? I do not have faith in that idea at all.

Parts of the law do contain requirements like protecting the anonymity of the accuser and other such measures that the university should be required to take in order to make the environment as safe as possible for victims after they come forward. I take no issue with this at all. However, since it is the job of government to punish rapists, it should not be passing that job off to college administrations. Do you want some community college board determining if you committed an act of violence against another? I sure would not.

4) The burden of proof is too low. 

In setting the standards in this law, California has set:

A policy that the standard used in determining whether the elements of the complaint against the accused have been demonstrated is the preponderance of the evidence.

Since government is abdicating its responsibility it is also taking away a measure of due process from the accused. California is basically saying “hey, we do not do a good enough of a job punishing people who rape, so lets get our numbers up by making colleges do our work for us and while we are at it lets make it easier for them to punish people accused of crimes than it is for us”. Proving beyond reasonable doubt is a GOOD standard to have in criminal cases. It puts the burden on the state to prove that a crime has taken place  It makes it less likely for a mistake to have been made. Just like the mistake that was made with Caleb Warner.

5) This is just about money.

The law requires universities to do all this to get state funding. The punishment for noncompliance is no state money. Each section starts with:

In order to receive state funds…

An issue as serious as rape shouldn’t be tied to if a school gets money or not.

Rape on college is a big deal and a big problem. We do need to look at all the ways that we can educate people that rape will not be tolerated, on how to best step in to help others who might become a victim, and how to best deal with rape charges when they do come forward. To me, the governmental abdication of responsibility and a lowered burden of proof is not the way to accomplish these goals.

Victimizing victims with child support

An Arizona man, Nick Olivas, was sexually violated by a 20 year old woman when he was only 15 years old, by the nature of the fact that no child under 16 can legally consent to sex of any kind under Arizona law. No charges were pressed at the time. Olivas said he was uncomfortable with the situation at the time. However, he was unaware that he could go to the police and that the sexual act was a crime.

The rape produced a child. Now that the statute of limitations has run out and she can no longer be charged with the crime of rape (despite the fact that we all know that it was a rape that occurred) she sought child support from her victim. She was successful. Not only was she awarded child support in the future, he was assessed charges  for past child support that he “should have” paid plus a 10% penalty for those past due child support payments that he knew nothing about. Apparently it is the responsibility of rape victims to know when their rapists give birth and to support the children that they did not legally consent to creating.

I have no problem with the idea that the simple act of a male consenting to sexual relations with a woman causes him to be financially responsible for any child that results. But this is not what we are talking about here. This is rape. This person could not consent to the sex that was had and it is a travesty of justice to seek monetary payments against him. Defense of the law will typically come in the form of “it is not the fault of the child” that the child was born. Not only does this miss the point, since we can find other ways to support kids born from these situation, these arguments sound horribly similar to the arguments made against abortion rights in the case of rape.

Men’s rights advocates, who are usually wrong on many issues, will come out against these support laws as being wrong. They are right to oppose them but they do so for the wrong reasons. They will likely blame feminism for their existence. In fact one twitter user, who may or may not be an MRA (but sounds like one) states that this was the result of feminism.

I disagree. In reality laws like this are caused by the patriarchy and if feminism is successful in dismantling the patriarchy these laws will go away. Here are my reasons why the patriarchy is to blame for such laws.

The Patriarchy supports the idea that women are caretakers and men are the bread winners. Many of the flaws in our system that MRA will blame feminism for are because of archaic social views that a child should be raised by a woman and should be financially supported by men. Eliminating the gender pay gap, breaking up archaic gender roles, and embracing that both parents have equal roles in raising a child will go a long way in fixing the perception that women should be the ones who get custody and support payments. Once this happens, the laws can be changed to reflect our new social norms.

The Patriarchy supports the idea that men are pursuers and women are to be pursued. You have heard the arguments before. That teen boys who get to “score” with “older babes” are “lucky”. Regardless of what age of consent laws say, male victims who are incapable of consenting to sex under the law are scoffed at when people suggest that they have been victimized. These male victims must have wanted it, according to the tropes, and that must make it ok (or at least “better” than when an older male sleeps with a female who is legally incapable of consenting to sex). By keeping the idea that men pursue and women are pursued we not only retain the idea that women are possessions, but we also deny men the ability to say that they are victims. It contributes to why Olivas never initially contacted the police.

Eliminate the patriarchy and you help solve the problems that exist in this case. Eliminate feminism, and these problems continue as nobody is left to fight the actual root causes of those problems. 

Liberal Dan Radio 9/3/2014: Victim blaming and backwards thinking

On the September 3, 2014 episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

Several celebrities have had nudes of them released that were obtained by people hacking their accounts. Some people are suggesting that keeping your pictures in “the cloud” is not a safe way to store such pictures and that such people are just “asking for it”. Others suggest that taking such pictures altogether are them asking for it. Others see hypocrisy in the treatment of female celebrities and male celebrities. I will cut through the hype and give my feelings on why some scenarios are different than the others and also explain why some of this blame being placed on the persons who took those pictures is just another example of victim blaming. Victim blaming just victimizes the victim.

More victim blaming comes at the hands of Cee Lo Green. After being accused of raping a person who was drugged, he had the gaul to suggest that sex with an unconcious person is not rape. Seriously. Forget you…

Another example where a victim is again victimized is the case of Nick Olivas, a male in Arizona who at 15 had non consensual (read rape) sexual relations with a 20 year old woman. As a 15 year old he could not consent to sex with the 20 year old but yet he is financially responsible for it? That makes zero sense.

Finally, I will discuss the ruling in Louisiana today that upheld the Louisiana ban on same sex marriage. Again, Louisiana bucks national trends to the detrement of its citizenry. Louisiana will eventually be forced to recognize marriage equality, but it will be dragged there kicking and screaming.

Those topics, headlines, tweet of the week and more at 8pm central on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right.

Liberal Dan Radio August 8th, 2013: Steroids in Baseball, Ferry Tolls, and more…

On the August 8th episode of Liberal Dan Radio:

Alex Rodriguez was just suspended through the end of the 2014 season and many others have also been suspended for their alleged use of prohibited substances. Is this right? Does Major League Baseball have some hypocrisy on the impact that these substances have on the game when other things that they do allow have extreme impacts on the game?

New Orleans is playing around with a horrible idea to fund the ferries. How could this have been stopped? What other examples would be better for ferry users? And what little nugget did I find on the stop the tolls website do I find most ironic?

New Orleans has some major failures when it comes to education. I will go into some of them as well.

The Liberal Dan Radio Kickstarter is still underway. Consider sponsoring the show or supporting it with contributions as low as $1.

Those topics, headlines, words of redneck wisdom, and more all tonight on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk From The Left, That’s Right!

Liberal Dan Radio 6/20/2013: SCOTUS Recap

This Thursday on Liberal Dan radio I will be discussing the myriad of Supreme Court decisions made after the myriad decision. Many rulings were revealed on Monday. Of those I will at least discuss the ruling on voting rights in Arizona and on 5th amendment rights.

At the time of this posting there has been no ruling on prop 8 or DOMA. However, by the time the show airs on Thursday, many are speculating that those rulings will come down as well. So obviously I will be discussing those cases as well.

I will also be spending some time discussing the GOP obsession with abortion bans. Just when you thought they couldn’t get any more crazy…

I will also talk about David Vitter and both his amendment to the farm bill and his Freudian slip about it.

Finally, I will be updating everyone on the Liberal Dan Radio  Kickstarter project that I created. Several new funding levels were started to give people a wider variety of options. So please, take advantage of it while it is still open for backers.

All that plus Words of Redneck Wisdom, Tweet of the Week, Headlines and more on Liberal Dan Radio: Talk from the left, that’s right.

The Kaitlyn Hunt Mess

In the second half of Liberal Dan Radio tonight I discussed the issue of Kaitlyn Hunt and the charges against her in Florida. If you are unfamiliar with the story, I suggest reading the Huffington Post synopsis of it. Basically, while Ms. Hunt was a senior and 17/18 she involved herself in a physical relationship with a freshman who was 14/15.

Before I discuss the particulars of the case, it is vital that we look into the laws pertaining to the age of consent in Florida. In Florida, the age of consent is 18. However, it is legal for a teenager of 16 or 17 years to have sex with someone as old as 23.

Now, I have several issues about this case and with some of the activists who are fighting the charges against Ms. Hunt. The ACLU is condemning the charges against her but is making some flawed statements pertaining to the specifics of the case. It said

The facts as we understand them suggest that the state is prosecuting Kaitlyn for engaging in behavior that is both fairly innocuous and extremely common,

I am hardly a puritan when it comes to sex. However, I am not sure if sex between a senior and a freshman can be labelled as “innocuous”. Sure, it may be common but just because something is common does not make it right.

Such behavior occurs every day in tens of thousands of high schools across the country, yet those other students are not facing felony convictions (and, in Florida, the lifetime consequences of a felony conviction) and potential lifelong branding as sex offenders,

This is a life sentence for behavior by teenagers that is all too common, whether they are male or female, gay or straight. High-school relationships may be fleeting, but felony convictions are not.

The ACLU is being disingenuous here. Age of consent laws differ from state to state across this country. It is possible that such behavior in other states is perfectly legal. I personally would advocate for making a uniform age of consent law that can be consistently applied across the nation. The fact that there is such disparity in the consent laws across this country shows just how hard it is to come up with an exact definition of who is able to consent and who is not.

The ACLU is also forgetting about the so called “Romeo and Juliet” law that exists in Florida. While it does not forgive the crime that is committed, it does allow for a young person who is convicted of a crime such as this to remove his or her name from the sexual offenders list, thus making the conviction of such a crime not a lifetime punishment.

Some people, including the parents of Ms. Hunt, have suggested that this is a gay rights issue. They believe that the parents of the younger girl are only coming after Ms. Hunt because they are “bigots” who do not want to accept that their girl might be a lesbian (or at least be sexually attracted to girls or at least open to experimenting with girls). They may very well be upset at their daughter being sexual active with another girl. However, I am not convinced that the parents would have avoided pressing charges had their daughter had sexual relations with a young boy.

Furthermore, I also have an issue with the idea that people who are supportive of equal rights are going to be suggesting that gay teens should be able to violate age of consent laws. That doesn’t seem to be a good way to win advocates to your side. Equality will not be found by advocating that gay teens should be exempt from state consent laws.

The state has also stated that they would pursue charges had it been an 18 year old boy with a 15 year old girl.

One of the most stunning parts of this story is this article written by the father of Ms. Hunt. It brings up several very important questions about this story that really make me scratch my head.

While Kate was three years older than her girlfriend, they were peers. But when Kate’s girlfriend’s parents learned of their relationship, they went directly to the police to press charges without sharing their objections with Kate or her family.

Why would they have any responsibility to share their objections with Ms. Hunt or her family? That is just absurd. If I am a bigoted parent (what some are claiming the younger girls parents are) who disapproves of all homosexual activity and I know that the parents of my daughters girlfriend are OK with the relationship, why would I believe that those parents would be open to a discussion? If you believe a crime is happening, would you warn the parents of the criminal before contacting the police? The belief that they had any responsibility to come to the parents first before making a criminal complaint is absurd.

The police taped a conversation between Kate and her girlfriend, which led to Kate’s arrest. Kate was interrogated extensively without a lawyer present. I am a former police officer, so she trusted the police and didn’t feel she had anything to hide. Kate was eventually charged with two counts of felony lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12-16.

He stated that his daughter was interrogated by the police, without an attorney, in part because she trusted police officers. Now, come on. Seriously? I cannot believe that this father did not instruct his daughter that if she is ever detained and interviewed by police that she should both ask if she is free to go, if she is under arrest and if so that she would like to speak to an attorney. All parents should be instructing their children on what they should do if they are arrested by the police and that they should never waive their right to have an attorney present for all questioning. So the fact that Mr. Hunt did not make this clear to his daughter shows a huge failure in parenting on his part.

This relationship occurred when they were both minors, and my daughter’s girlfriend’s parents waited until she turned 18 to arrest her.

So? There is no difference under the law. It was illegal for Ms. Hunt to have sexual relations with a 14/15 year old at 17. It was illegal for Ms. Hunt to have sexual relations with a 14/15 year old at 18. The idea that they waited until she turned 18 makes no sense because there is no legal difference between the two acts.

My daughter’s girlfriend has said from day one, she cares about my daughter, she never wanted her parents to do this, she was 100% consenting and it was by her own choice that she was with my daughter.

Florida law does not consider consent to be valid for such cases. That she said yes makes no difference. It doesn’t matter how bad the younger girl wanted it. Ms. Hunt had a legal responsibility to say no.

On All In with Chris Hayes, the mother of Ms. Hunt admitted that she (and obviously her husband) knew about the relationship that was going on. WHY ON EARTH wouldn’t the parents of Ms. Hunt, including her father who was a police officer, advise her that any sexual touching that took place between the two would be illegal and make sure that she was absolutely aware of this fact before pursuing the relationship further. Her mother claimed to not realize that this was the law but wouldn’t her father know? Is this why the father did not join them on the show? And even if they claim that Ms. Hunt was ignorant of the law (as her mother claims to have been), ignorance of the law is not an excuse, especially in cases of statutory rape.

The fact that her father did not properly advise her on how to deal with police officers after an arrest and on how the law would treat her relationship with a 15 year old if caught does make me feel very sorry for Ms. Hunt.

On All In, her attorney also stated that Ms. Hunt is being charged with a crime that was intended to protect children from adults. I will agree that an 18 year old having sexual relations with a 15 year old is not the same as a 45 year old having sexual relations with a 15 year old. However, that doesn’t mean that an 18 year old is innocent in seeking out a relationship with a girl who is under the age of consent.

So what should happen to Ms. Hunt? Should she be freed? Should the state drop the charges because, as some have claimed, this is a “victimless” crime? Should Ms. Hunt accept a plea deal?

Well, unless the plea deal includes the ability to not have to register as a sex offender (i.e. unless it takes advantage of the state Romeo and Juliet law) I would highly recommend against taking a deal. To me, that would just be stupid. Hopefully her lawyer doesn’t need to be told this.

It could be possible to just allow a jury to take this case. Jury nullification can be used in cases where the jury believes that the alleged victim is not really a victim at all. They very well could decide that even though the state of Florida lists certain age restrictions on who can consent to sexual activity that in this case there was no harm done and as such no need to punish Ms. Hunt. This is a gamble but could very well be the choice that leads to the best possible outcome for Ms. Hunt.

Regardless of what happens in this case, it is vital that we have a conversation about age of consent laws in this country. We need to adopt a uniform set of age of consent laws  that take way any ambiguity on who can consent to sex and with whom it can be consented to. We do need to sit back and consider that the 17 year old having sexual relations with a 15 year old is not the same thing as a 45 year old having sex with a 15 year old. However, at the end of the day if we do accomplish that goal of having a uniform age of consent law , that age that is calculated as being the earliest one can be to consent to sexual activity will still be arbitrary. There will people people who are older than that selected age who will be ill prepared for all that comes with sexual activity and there will be people who are younger than that age who will be ready despite their being younger than the age of consent. And at the end of the day, it will be the responsibility of the older party to say “no” to any illegal sexual relationships and if the person refuses to say no, then that person risks imprisonment and punishment under the law. Just as it was Ms. Hunt’s responsibility to say no to her underage girlfriend.

And if you are going to sit back and say that a 14 year old can consent to an 18 year old without a problem, regardless of gender identification for either party, I would ask you this. What age is would have made it not ok? Why do you pick those numbers? And what should happen if laws based on your arbitrary numbers are violated? Because at the end of the day, that is what this comes down to. Someone had to decide what those arbitrary numbers are and the rest of the people have to follow those rules.

Update: Some other great posts about this issue here,  here, and here.