California becomes first state to ban 'stealthing'

California on Thursday became the first state to ban “stealthing,” or removing a condom during intercourse without consent.

California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomAppeals court blocks California vaccine mandate for prison workers Apple, Nordstrom stores hit in latest smash-and-grab robberies Ted Cruz ribs Newsom over vacation in Mexico: 'Cancun is much nicer than Cabo' MORE (D) signed Assembly Bill 452 into law on Thursday.


The legislation updates the states’ Civil Code on sexual battery to include removing a condom without verbal consent.  

Specifically, a person commits battery if they cause “contact between a sexual organ, from which a condom has been removed, and the intimate part of another who did not verbally consent to the condom being removed." 

The state’s Civil Code already makes those who commit sexual battery liable for damages and allows the court to award relief in the form of an injunction, costs or “any other relief the court deems proper.”

California Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D), who sponsored the legislation, said in a statement that the legislation is the first of its kind in the country. She further said she hopes more states will follow.


“This law is the first of its kind in the nation, but I urge other states to follow in California’s direction and make it clear that stealthing is not just immoral but illegal,” Garcia said. “More importantly, I encourage us all to not shy away from important conversations about consent in order to ensure we reduce the number of victims."

Garcia’s statement pointed to a 2017 article published in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law.

The article, written by Alexandra Brodsky, documented both men and women having sex with male partners who had removed condoms without their knowledge.

The show “I May Destroy You” on BBC included a plot line about the main character, Arabella, having sex with a man who removes his condom without her knowing, NPR noted