Once again, Republicans have topped themselves. In the race for introducing legislation that restricts personal freedom the most in America, the Massachusetts GOP has reached a new low.
A GOP bill would force people to seek court approval to date and have sex.
For years, Republicans across the country have sought to police what citizens do in the privacy of their own bedrooms. They’ve tried to outlaw anal and oral sex, even for married couples. And they certainly want to ban gay sex. But now, they want to force people to seek permission from a judge before they can engage in sexual relations.
In 2013, Massachusetts State Senator Richard Ross introduced S787 in the House. The bill forbids divorcing couples who have children from engaging in sexual activities with other people unless they get court approval first. In fact, they can’t even go on dates with other people without an OK from a judge.
“In divorce, separation, or 209A proceedings involving children and a marital home, the party remaining in the home shall not conduct a dating or sexual relationship within the home until a divorce is final and all financial and custody issues are resolved, unless the express permission is granted by the courts.”
Ross claims he doesn’t actually support the bill, but filed it anyway on behalf of a constituent. Even so, one would think that such a bill would be killed instantly. After all, it’s not like the GOP is exactly in charge in the blue state. But on Thursday, the bill somehow received a three month extension for consideration and could move forward anytime between now and June 30th.
S787 is slippery slope that could be a model for legislation in red states in their war on women.
The bill is bad enough as it is. It legislates the private lives of consenting adults, both men and women, and forces them to ask a court if they can have sex with someone or date them. It’s a clear violation of personal liberty and privacy. But it’s also a slippery slope that could give Republicans a new idea to push in their war on women.
Republicans already want to make it harder for women to obtain a divorce. And the GOP isn’t a fan of women having sex outside of marriage. The right-wing has been totally obsessed with restricting the sex lives of women. And now they have a brand new tactic they can use to make women’s lives even more hellish.
In states where Republicans control all branches of government, they could easily craft a bill that bars any woman from dating or having sex with other partners during a pending divorce. And even if such bills are also applied to men to make them seem more fair, the bottom line is that sex lives would be decided on the whims of a judge. And if that judge is a sexist conservative male, he could simply give men permission to pursue other relationships and deny women from doing the same. After all, women’s sex lives are often more criticized then those of men, and are therefore most likely to be affected by such a law.
In short, this Massachusetts bill is a dangerous one that could lead to worse versions in other states. It’s a way for sexist conservatives to punish women for seeking a divorce and a way for them to legislate what women do in their bedrooms.
It’s a cruel bill that would be costly to enforce.
This type of bill is a threat to personal liberty, and a fiscal nightmare for taxpayers. It’s unclear how the provisions of the bill would be enforced and what the punishment would be. Are lawmakers going to assign a cop to follow every person who is getting a divorce to make sure the rules are followed? Are they going to approve surveillance operations? Either way, it’s going to be a costly waste of taxpayer dollars. And do we really want to go down the road of fining or jailing consenting adults for having sex? It sounds like something the Puritans did before we became a nation with protected personal freedom and civil rights. Such a bill is also harsh considering many divorces take months to finalize. In Massachusetts alone, it could take up to four months. So, people who seek divorce could be banned from having sex for four months. That may be fine for a person who wants to practice celibacy, but for most human beings, it’s cruel and unusual punishment.
How low can the GOP go?
Politicians nor judges have the right to tell consenting adults whether they can have sex or not. It’s an overreach of power that violates constitutional and human rights, and wastes money and resources. This bill should never have been filed in the first place, and now red states could employ it to target women and enforce their anti-sex agenda. How low can the GOP go? Apparently, they haven’t even begun to scrape the bottom of the barrel.