The draft Organic Law of Comprehensive Guarantee of Sexual Freedom, commonly known as the law of ‘only yes is yes’, will continue its parliamentary procedure after overcoming this Thursday the amendments to the entire PP and Vox, which consider the text “unnecessary” and of “marked ideological bias.” The norm received the support of PSOE and United We Can, while the amendments only had the support of the driving groups.
The future law, whose preliminary draft was approved by the Council of Ministers in March 2020 but which still has a long way to go in the Courts until its approval, contemplates the reform of the Penal Code to eliminate the distinction between abuse and rape. It also establishes a new definition of consent express sexual, this being one of the central points around which the law has been intended to pivot; and also one of the most disagreements in the Chamber.
“Sexual freedom constitutes a central axis of citizenship rightThat is why Spain needs this law, “said the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, during her speech to defend the text. Sexist violence, she declared,” is the most obvious example of the inequality that women and men suffer, they are the condition of possibility of machismo “.
A) Yes, Montero stressed that the law reaches the legislative branch “to break the silence” and that, with its processing, the message is transmitted to women that “after many years of fear, loneliness and not being believed, finally their testimonies and their experiences matter. They will finally be heard. ” In short, the new norm supposes, as he pointed out, a transformation in three spheres: in the cultural sphere, towards consent and sexual autonomy; in the “institutional look”, which symbolizes the “I do believe you”; and in the “end of impunity” for sexual violence, with special incidence in the sex industry. sexual exploitation.
“This law is a response to a cry that women launched in the streets,” declared the deputy secretary general of the PSOE, Adriana Lastra, considering it “shameful” that Vox “ridicules express consent” in a country “where a rape is reported every five hours”. Being a citizen, she pointed out, means being able to develop freedom “freely”. “It means that your word counts, that your wish matters, that you don’t have to be dead to be believed”he added. This law, affirmed the socialist one, will in a few years be a rule “of common sense” such as divorce, equal marriage or joint electoral lists.
PP and Vox show their rejection with two amendments
The Popular Parliamentary Group and Vox presented two amendments to the entirety: one with an alternative text, and the other with a return. The PP it has shown its special opposition to the central points of the norm. It considers in its amendment that the bill accumulates a “marked ideological bias, very deficient from the technical-legal point of view, in addition to questionable constitutionality “.
During the debate held this Thursday, the popular deputy Marta González Vázquez has reproached the Government partners that the proposals they provide in the articles “they are crazy”. They recognize from their parliamentary group that sexual violence is “one of the most serious problems” that affect women, but they are totally opposed to the definition of extreme consent and the disappearance of the distinction in the Penal Code between sexual abuse and assault.
Both issues, stated González, “they hide an enormous complexity”, by presenting “problems to determine if there has been a crime against sexual freedom. Regarding the second question, the PP deputy assured that” the elimination of the crime of abuse, treating in a uniform manner any attack on sexual freedom, as if all were of the same gravity, in practice supposes a reduction of the penalties of the most violent crimes “.
Vox, for its part, argued that the government coalitionHe has a “phobia towards men”. With this rule, they assert in their amendment, “the fear of men of a possible complaint and the unfailing need to preconstitute evidence to avoid possible injustices is introduced.”
In an intervention that caused a wave of dropouts in the Chamber, Deputy Carla Toscano has described the rule as “useless”. “We don’t want a ‘Me Too’, we don’t want a witch hunt against men,” he said. Noting that it was unnecessary to make a distinction between men and women when condemning sexual violence, he assured that the law “It will increase the risk for men to suffer false reports.”
Changes and next steps
The text was debated in the Lower House after months embroiled in controversy for the criticism of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) and the differences it aroused between the Ministries of Equality and Justice. It also passed through the Fiscal Council and the State Council, which urged to introduce a series of changes in its definition. In fact, the department of Montero it acceded to this last request, and modified both the definition of consent and the section on the penalties for crimes.
According to the current wording, it will only be understood that there is consent “when it has been freely expressed through acts that, in view of the circumstances of the case, clearly express the will of the person. “It is thus understood that any sexual act without consent will be aggression, without the need for the victims to have to prove that they have suffered violence or resisted it, and sexual abuse will be eliminated from the Penal Code.
Now, the amendments presented by PP and Vox rejected, the norm must go through a presentation and commission and then return to the Plenary of Congress and submit it to a final vote, before being referred to the Senate.