Tag Archives: Legal

FOR PARENTS: Finally, We Can Have More Than Two Parents.

article-1378486-0BB1BAFD00000578-741_468x523When a child is adopted by a step-parent it can feel like a double edged sword. Under most laws, in order for such an adoption to happen, one biological parent has to give up rights. To a child in the midst of this kind of legal posturing by adults, it can feel like abandonment by one parent and that they are being sold to the highest bidder. But what if the courts decided families can forgo any feelings of loss by simply adding legal responsibility to an additional adult?

That’s the case with the brand new California law signed into legislation by Governor Jerry Brown on Friday. Authored by Senator Mark leno, the bill finally takes into account the fact that family structures have been changing for decades. It also covers same sex couples who may have a biological egg or sperm donor who also has an interest in the child’s welfare.

Not surprisingly, in the era of a shrinking but vocal, hyper-conservatism, some Republicans see the law as an attack on the traditional family. According to the LA Times, “The measure was opposed in the Legislature by the conservative Capitol Resource Institute, which called it detrimental to children. The group said children thrive in homes with their biological mother and father, or with adoptive parents being male and female role models.”

If only they knew that a “traditional” family, one where a heterosexual woman and a heterosexual man live in the same house with both having a biological connection to all the offspring in the house, is a relatively new invention in human’s evolution. For thousands of years, our hunter/gatherer ancestors roamed in multi-generational tribes where most people were related and all these “alloparents” helped raise the offspring. While there was plenty of monogamy, as there is today, there was also some polygamy and some serial monogamy, that resulted in step-children. An offspring’s survival was directly related to the number of adults who took an interest in raising them.

In my opinion, this law is returning to something more natural to our biology and human culture. Kudos to California.

FOR SINGLES: Revenge Porn Outlawed, Sort Of.

121881-c5b0232c-000f-11e3-aff6-4f37e7e71844There’s good news and bad news about the new California law that bans a jilted lover from posting his ex’s nude photos online. On the positive side, the new law has shut down a bunch of websites where men have been exchanging photos and videos of their ex-girlfriends for a fee. One big one, RevengePorn.com has sold its URL to a porn dating site, so don’t bother to log on unless you are looking for a tacky looking dating site that promises that “everyone gets laid.”

But the sad news is this: The law only covers photos taken by the one who posts them online. Eighty-per cent of nude sexting photos are taken by the victim and sent digitally via text messaging, while the couple is in the throws of romantic bliss. Those photos, the law deems, are gifts and the recipient is now the rightful owner to do whatever he or she pleases with them. It’s a clear “blame the victim” law that reinforces the double standard. According to this law, bad girls bring this on themselves.

I want people to understand how dangerous this brand of cyber bullying is. Some female victims, have had their nude photos splashed across their Facebook wall and even on their employer’s website. Some women have had to legally change their name to keep the photos from showing up in Google searches. Revenge porn has, tragically, even been a factor in suicides. All because a woman placed her heart and trust in a man who requested a digital memento.

Please call upon your lawmaker to ban all forms of revenge porn. This is a token law that barely scratches the surface of the deep crime involved.