NAMBLA should support an age of consent of 12 years

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The following was submitted by a NAMBLA member who wishes to have his name withheld.

As a member of NAMBLA, I wish to submit the following proposals for discussion, possible elaboration, clarification, and acceptance at this year's Membership Conference.

A) In an overpopulated world in which many health problems are transmitted sexually, sexual intercourse should have an age of consent not less than 12 years, even with all health and safety precautions being taken.

B) A young person of either sex, between the ages of 8 and 12 years, should be allowed to consent to the erotic acts of fondling, fellatio, and genital orgasm, both active and passive. These acts can be wise and reasonable when the adult is a person whom the child knows, loves, and trusts, and if that relationship is sanctioned by a majority panel of judges. The consent decree prepared by the judges would then be signed by the two partners with at least the knowledge and acquiescence of the parents or legal guardians of the minor person. The judges involved should be qualified by their knowledge, and most importantly, by a special and unusual empathy for the redeeming qualities of these vulnerable relationships. If for any reason the child or the adult partner is not happy with the relationship, either may notify any of the panel of judges to cancel the consent decree. Part of the judges' responsibility is to help in educating the child about human sexuality, and along with the adult partner, in understanding and accepting his or her sexual feelings. This involves a child's ability to differentiate those motives which are altruistic and those that are not as well as understanding and accepting why intercourse must be restrained at this early age.

C) After the age of 12 years, a consent decree (as defined in B) should no longer be necessary. Twelve should be a[n] universal age of consent to include intercourse and anal penetration. However, any person between the ages of 12 and 16 years should be required to obtain a health form, which is given when it has been determined that the adolescent has been instructed in the course on sexuality (as referred to in B), does not have any sexually transmitted diseases, and is in full awareness of the precautions that are needed for any sexually active person. This health form cannot be denied to any person, if he or she has met these reasonable and basic requirements.

D) A person's sexuality is a basic inalienable right which must never be violated. The state does not have the right to deny a consent decree (as defined in B) unless it can be shown, with substantial evidence, that there is a lack of future merit in what is going on between two sacred human beings. However, the parents or legal guardians of the child retain the right to supervise and be aware of a child's activities, but with the obligation not to violate the child's sexual integrity and his or her right to make choices, and to learn from those choices, consistent with his or her own individual sexual preferences, taking into account the need for all human beings to be protected from real, but not imagined, harm. However, any adult desiring a relationship with a child, after having passed a fair and universal character stability test, should be required to obtain the same health form as the young person.

Prostitution distorts meaningful relationships and is not generally consistent with the view that loving or consenting relationships cannot be bought or sold and. This does not mean that the adult partner is not to be financially responsible for the younger person's needs while he or she is with him. Prostitution for either intergenerational or adult contacts should be legal only at certain licensed hotels or boarding homes where both partners can be protected both with regard to their dignity as human beings and privacy.

Pornography must be evaluated and copyrights given to responsible and caring individuals when there can be said to be aesthetic and spiritual content involved with the subjects presented. The ages of consent for pornography as redefined then as erotic art should be the same as the three legal ages of consent advocated previously. The same principles should be applied equally to prose, photographic art, films, artistic drawings, etc. Except in rare and unusual circumstances, the subjects should be approximately of the same age due to aesthetic considerations. Only private and not public distribution should be available. A majority panel of judges in this area should vote on the aesthetics and spiritual tests to be passed before copyrights are given.

source: Article 'NAMBLA Should Support an Age of Consent of 12 Years - Proposal for the 1991 Membership Conference'; NAMBLA Bulletin, Vol. 12, No. 8; October 1991