January 2nd, 2003

rivka as ww

Legalized Clex

It occurs to me that, sometime before July 2003, the Supreme Court is going to strike down the remaining sodomy laws in the U.S. (There's a pending case, and most legal scholars think the outcome's not in doubt. Details debated on request, if I feel like it.)

Thus, as of that time, there will be neither an age legal obstacle (16 being the Kansas age of consent) nor a sexuality legal obstacle to Clark/Lex, though of course the social sanctions will remain heavy. This will, I imagine, cut down on the use of the hide-for-legal-reasons plot device unless a story is set pre-2003. I wonder how much of a difference it will make for fiction? I've only seen one story that really uses the law well -- one in which Lex already has a record, or at least a history, of violating the age of consent laws.

The thing is, I'll occasionally buy Clark thinking his parents would go to the cops if they discovered a relationship with Lex, but I find it more likely that they wouldn't, because there's no such thing as good publicity when it comes to Clark, and Clark's smart enough to know that (not much smarter than that, but smart enough), while Lex vastly overestimates his ability to control information. So the law never made much sense to me as a barrier.

Still, it could be funny to see a story in which the Kents find out, freak and call Ethan to arrest Lex, only to have him respond, in a variation on J. Edgar Hoover's line, "I regret to say that we are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way caused a public nuisance or a car accident."