The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

A Constitutional Right to Donkey Sex?

Posted on | December 20, 2012 | 21 Comments

Lisa Graas remembers how Rick Santorum was ridiculed for saying that the same logic that justifies gay marriage as a “right” could also justify legalized bestiality. Many at the time mocked Santorum as a bigoted yahoo. Yet the Republican presidential hopeful was merely expressing what Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had warned of when, in dissenting from the court’s 2003 Lawrence v. Texas decision, he criticized the thin and hasty logic by which his colleagues overturned their own 1986 Bowers v. Hardwick precedent:

State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices.

Scalia’s dissent — which everyone should read — derided the court’s majority decision for creating a hitherto unknown “emerging awareness” doctrine for laws governing sexual behavior. Who can predict with any confidence where “emerging awareness” might lead?

We may be farther down the slippery slope toward legalized bestiality than most people suspect. In September, Carlos Romero was arrested in Marion County, Florida, and charged with having sex with a female miniature donkey named Doodle. His lawyers are arguing that the Florida law against sex with animals violates Romero’s rights:

In the motion filed in Marion County court on Dec. 6, the assistant public defenders handling Romero’s case — Joshua Wyatt, Scott Schmidt and Joshua Lukman — wrote that the statute infringes upon Romero’s due process rights and violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution.

Of course, the 14th Amendment — the universal solvent of judicial activism!  Tracy Clark Flory at Salon is apparently OK with that:

They’re specifically targeting the language of Florida’s anti-bestiality law, which does not require proof that an animal has been harmed or “of the sexual activity being non-consensual,” or even of penetrative sexual contact.
The attorneys write, “Therefore, the only possible rational basis for the statute is a moral objection to sexual acts considered deviant or downright ‘disgusting.’” And that, they argue, is unconstitutional: “The personal morals of the majority, whether based on religion or traditions, cannot be used as a reason to deprive a person of their personal liberties.”
If, however, “the statute were to require sexual conduct with animals to be nonconsensual or to cause injury in order to be a crime, then perhaps the State would have a rational basis and legitimate state interest in enforcement,” they write.
It may be an opportunistic defense, sure, but it also brings up some interesting, if squirm-worthy, questions: Why should bestiality be illegal? Is it because it’s socially unacceptable or because it causes harm to animals? If it’s the latter, is it OK for people to have sexual contact with animals in cases where the animal isn’t harmed?

You can say whatever you want. Just don’t say you weren’t warned.


  • datechguy

    And if you say boo, you’re a bigot

  • cj7wilson

    He must like it up the a[REDACTED]

  • cj7wilson

    Oh, this isn’t Ace Of Spades blog?

  • Noctis Lucis Caelum

    An animal does not “consent” for they do not have free will. It should fall under laws relating to the torture of animals in my completely amateur opinion. I do think there is a clear logical line of difference between consenting adults and bestiality.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    I am against forced sex for animals. For obvious reasons.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    To do what he did with a donkey named Doodle…there was obvious diddling going on. He must be a Democrat.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Is molesting a cannoli allowed? An Italian-Sicilian version of Portnoy’s Complaint.

  • t-dahlgren

    Does any pet consent to anything? Confinement? Discipline? Being dressed in stupid little sweaters?

    Animals don’t have such rights, so consent is not an issue.

  • t-dahlgren

    Romero diddled Doodle would make an awesome band name, especially if it was a local act.

  • Coulter76

    How ridiculous is it though that Santorum was outraged that the Supreme Court struck down a law where police officers broke into a home and charged a gay couple with Sodomy.

    Is that really what kind of laws SoCons want? I mean, I understand being morally opposed to homosexuality, but do you really want cops arresting people for it?

  • Charles G Hill

    At least Romero’s donkey was a female.

  • Cube

    What, no link to Donkey Cons at Amazon?

  • KLP

    from what i understand, these laws were generally unenforced (an exception obviously in this case, though i don’t know the specifics)

    it’s not so much, for me at least, about the specific law mentioned, but more the “consent is the only thing” mentality when it comes to sex, which leaves people like this guy struggling to explain their aversion to something like incest when really they’re just doing the same way they rail against conservatives for, explaining intuitive objections.

    incest=/=homosexuality obviously, but this “free so long as it doesn’t explicitly harm someone” mentality is lazy and false as a general principle.

    as for SoConzzzzz….i gotta come up with similar shorthand for people who think lower marginal taxes/Austerity Now! is the font of all conservative wisdom and calls the House leadership RINOs for the most minor and insubstantial reasons

  • KLP

    incest/bestiality, either or…tired.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Yes it would!

  • K-Bob

    No, you can tell by how low-tech this site appears, next to the gleaming, stainless-steel, state-of-the-art wunderplatz that comprises the HQ.

  • John Scotus

    I wonder if Union soldiers dying in the Civil War knew that this was what they were fighting for with the 14th Amendment. And if so, were they OK with the idea?

  • Wombat_socho

    I thought that was an unfortunate lapse of Stacy’s usual marketing skill, myself.

  • Wombat_socho

    No doubt the left would condemn you for relying on Dead White European Males.

  • Quartermaster

    Toqueville had it right when he said “America is great as long as she is goo. When she ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” Perhaps not those exact words, as I’m doing this from memory, but the effect is indeed what he said. And, America is rapidly ceasing to be good. When the rot sets in, it tends to move pretty fast.

  • SDN

    “from what i understand, these laws were generally unenforced (an
    exception obviously in this case, though i don’t know the specifics)”

    And that right there is the biggest problem with our legal system. We have so many laws that they serve only to give nosy neighbors and petty bureaucrats the tools to harass us.