Social media and the new journalism are responsible for the latest “oh my God!” moment on the internet involving Michigan. Instead of polluted water, they’re dealing in poisonous language, or an epic failure to comprehend – whichever you choose.
In this case, I’m going to single out Matt Agorist over at the Free Thought Project, because he decided it would be a good idea to editorialize a bit, unlike the original source, The New Civil Rights Movement. The issue at hand is the fact that a new law specifically prohibiting bestiality in the Great Lakes State, is essentially just an edit of an existing law against sodomy. Funny thing is that Agorist himself pointed out that laws forbidding sodomy were rendered unconstitutional by the SCOTUS in 2003 – thirteen years ago. What does that mean? Well, it means that some states, like Michigan, still have laws against sodomy on the books, but no one is enforcing them because it wouldn’t stand up in court. They are just words on a page.
So, this new bestiality law didn’t include removing the word “sodomy” from the existing code, and Senator Rick Jones explained why to The New Civil Rights Project. In essence, Jones recognized the fact that removing the term would have been a distraction on the Senate floor, and might have prevented the clarification of the law to prohibit bestiality. While this might seem like a poor excuse to the public at large, the fact is that really popular and desired laws have failed to be passed over details far less contentious. Jones was merely pointing out that he’s aware that the concept of removing the word sodomy would be difficult for at least of some of his colleagues to swallow (take that as you will!)
Agorist decided to push things a little too far, and arguably implied that Jones said something he absolutely did not.
In Jones’ eyes, people having consensual oral and anal sex should face being locked in a cage for a decade and a half so that the state can protect animals. The statist logic is baffling, to say the least.
What the passage of this Senate Bill shows is that government is still so interested in monitoring and regulating the activities of consenting adults that they would lay waste to freedom to enforce their version of morality.
Uh, no. Jones did not say he thought that adults having consensual sex of any form (other than with other species) should merit incarceration. On the contrary, Jones pointed out the most logical way he would approach removing the term sodomy from the code. He even recognized the fact that the law was unenforceable, rendering it about as useful as the paper one would find in the restrooms of the Michigan Senate chambers. (Ok, so I’m editorializing a little by comparing it with toilet paper, but Jones may as well have said the same!)
As for Agorist’s claims about statists wanting to control the actions of the masses, of course that is their raison d’être. However, it is hoped that we can all agree that sex with other species by definition cannot be consensual (the animal does not have the capacity to consent), and should therefore be illegal. No calls of “My Kink Not Your Kink” here folks! Jones is right in his approach to the matter – he’s balancing the issue of “fighting the fights worth fighting” with the concept of “fighting the fights you can win.” Prohibiting bestiality is a worthy cause, and removing a previously neutered mention of sodomy from the code is not worth fighting about in that context. Sorry, Agorist. Better luck next time. Maybe you need to ask Jones nicely to keep you on his media list, so you can cover the story when “removing all the unconstitutional things” comes up on the Michigan Senate floor.