The new state law requiring that college students give "affirmative consent" before having sex — and indicating that "silence" or "lack of resistance" is not enough — is somewhat confusing. ("Gov. Brown signs bill to reduce college sexual assaults," Sept. 28)
Reading your article, it appears to require that someone making love at some point ask something like, "Can I now have sexual intercourse with you?" If that person doesn't specifically say it and they do have sex, then he or she is apparently violating the law, even if the act is totally voluntary for both parties.
In addition, the same would seem to apply if the other partner initiated the activity and didn't at some point stop and say, "Do you agree to now having sexual intercourse with me?"
To do what the law appears to require is not very romantic.
I've recently retired from the practice of law, and I don't have to advise any clients regarding this matter. But if I were still practicing, I would advise college students not to have sex without getting a written agreement.
David Bortman, Los Angeles