Miscellany:ASFAR Declaration of Principles

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The Americans for a Society Free from Age Restrictions (ASFAR) Declaration of Principles (version 8.2) is a document that was prepared as a summary of the organization's ideals. Its preamble reads as follows:[1]

We, the Americans for a Society Free from Age Restrictions believe that in a free society, government should allow its citizens the greatest degree of freedom as possible without placing the public safety in jeopardy. We believe that the spirit of the Constitution of the United States calls for such a policy. However, we believe that age-restrictive laws legislated by federal, state, and local governments in the United States violate such principles. Therefore, all laws that are based on age should be repealed, and all government policies that discriminate by age should be reversed. Some of those laws and policies are specified below.

Principles[edit]

Voting[edit]

  • 1.1. A Constitutional amendment forbidding the right to vote to be denied on the basis of age should be proposed and sent to the states for ratification.
  • 1.2. States should allow people of all ages to vote in federal and state elections.
  • 1.3. County and local governments and school districts should eliminate their voting age and minimum age to hold public office.

Free Speech[edit]

  • 2.1. Young people should be able to access any form of speech (music, movies, etc…) legal for adults.
  • 2.2. The current MPAA system of rating movies and other ratings systems should be replaced with a system which advises viewers of a movie’s content but neither restricts access to a film by age or recommends “appropriate ages” for viewers.

The Age of Majority and Legal Emancipation[edit]

  • 3.1. The age separating legal adults from “minors” should be eliminated. Until this happens, the number of legal distinctions between adults and “minors” should decrease.
  • 3.2. The ability to apply for legal emancipation, and all the rights adult status entails, should be granted to all citizens of the United States.
  • 3.3. The right to enter into contracts should not be restricted on the basis of age.
  • 3.4. The right of a foreigner to apply for American citizenship should not be denied on the basis of age, and should not require parental consent.
  • 3.5. The right to leave the country or travel between states should not be denied on the basis of age, and should not require parental consent.

Corporal Punishment[edit]

Education[edit]

  • 5.1. The course selections and other educational decisions of public school students should not be controlled by either the school or their parents.
  • 5.2. In no instance should public school students be forced to wear uniforms.
  • 5.3. All laws requiring compulsory education should be repealed.
  • 5.4. The Constitutional rights of all students should be protected at school.
  • 5.5. There should be no law requiring parental consent in enrollment into educational institutions, and schools should not require parental consent.
  • 5.6. A decision by parents to enroll a child in school should not create a legal obligation for the child to attend.
  • 5.7. Schools and education policy makers should actively work to create greater academic freedom for students at all levels.

The Courts[edit]

  • 6.1. Young people should be able to receive a trial by a jury of their peers. (Therefore, young people who register to vote after the enactment of changes called for in this article of this Declaration should be required to serve jury duty under the same conditions as voters previously registered.)
  • 6.2. Young people should have the right to legal representation, with or without parental consent, with an attorney who acts as an advocate for them and not a guardian ad litem.

Age Discrimination in Public Places and Businesses[edit]

  • 7.1. Businesses should not refuse to hire or serve people simply because of their age.
  • 7.2. As long as laws prohibiting discrimination by businesses on a basis other than age exist, local governments should protect from discrimination by businesses on the basis of age.
  • 7.3. As long as the federal government protects groups from discrimination in employment on a basis other than age, it should extend complete protection from age discrimination in employment to all ages. Until it does so, states and local governments should protect young people from discrimination in hiring as long as those governments protect groups from discrimination on a basis other than age.

Economics[edit]

  • 8.1. Institutions that offer credit cards should offer cards to financially capable young people.
  • 8.2. Banks should allow financially capable young people to open accounts and take out loans.
  • 8.3. Legal gambling ages should be abolished.
  • 8.4. The right to own property should not be denied on the basis of age.
  • 8.5. The right to work should not be denied on the basis of age.

Health and Sexuality[edit]

  • 9.1. Rights to medical consent should not be restricted on the basis of age.
  • 9.2. Access to birth control pills and other birth control devices should not be restricted on the basis of age.
  • 9.3. Laws that require the notification or consent of parents for abortions should be repealed.
  • 9.4. Laws fixing a minimum age of sexual consent should be substantially reformed to protect the mutually consensual behaviour of young people. While recognising that circumstances make such reform currently impossible, ASFAR hopes to eventually replace age-based sexual consent laws with an individual-capacity standard.

Travel[edit]

  • 10.1. Driving being essential to mobility in our society, minimum driving ages should be eliminated.
  • 10.2. Restrictions preventing young people from renting hotel rooms should be lifted.
  • 10.3. Car rental agencies should rent to young people.

Curfew Laws[edit]

  • 11.1. Curfew laws based on age should be repealed.
  • 11.2. States should take action to limit curfew laws in townships whose laws are based on directives from state governments.

The Drinking Age[edit]

  • 12.1. The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, which forces states to have a minimum drinking age of 21 (or lose matching federal highway funds) should be repealed.
  • 12.2. States should begin the elimination of their drinking ages.
  • 12.3. All zero tolerance laws based on age should be repealed.

Respect in the Media[edit]

  • 13.1. The popular and news media should speak of young people in the same fashion in which they speak of older people. References by name should be parallel with references made to older citizens. The age of the subject should not be mentioned unless it features prominently in the context of the story.
  • 13.2. The news media should exercise caution when making generalizations about young people as an age group, including extrapolation from scientific studies. Reporting of psychological studies on young people should be limited to the facts in the study, and should specify any scientific hedges and points of possible error or uncertainty.

Right to Bear Arms[edit]

Gulag Schools[edit]

  • 15.1. Gulag schools (euphemistically called “behaviour modification schools”) should be abolished within the United States. Attempting to force a young person to leave the country for the purpose of sending them to a gulag school should be a criminal act.

Selective Service[edit]

References[edit]