11 January 2009

Same-sex Marriage Not Okay; Animal Sex Okay?

I just learned today that although it is not legal in the state of Washington for same-sex couples to marry, until 2006, it was legal to have sex with your goat or your horse or your pig or even your cat and dog. In what universe does this make sense? Certainly not in mine. I've always been puzzled as to why anti-gay heterosexuals often oppose gay marriage based on the argument that it will somehow lead to bestiality. While this stance may tellingly indicate where their proclivities lie, it is an argument that has no basis in logic. On one side is a legally-recognized union that would allow adult, same-sex human couples access to federal and state tax and legal benefits that are equal to those of married heterosexual couples. It would also entitle the partner of an injured or ill lover access to the bedside of their beloved during times when hospitals restrict visitors to "family only." On the other side is the abuse of a being, who is not able to voice consent or dissent in a way that could be understood in a court of law, to a sexual act perpetrated on it by a human who has control over it, one way or another.

It doesn't even matter if the apples-to-oranges comparison isn't logical because the argument is backwards at best. Shouldn't they be worried that legalized bestiality will lead to...gasp... same-sex marriage? Shouldn't they be putting all that ecclesiastical weight behind banning a practice that is already widespread and legal in far too many places around the world? A practice that doesn't involve two consenting adults? According to the article I read, which dates back to 2005, it is legal in seventeen states (this has changed, but I'm not sure what the exact tally is now) to have sex with animals. And the tally for states that have legalized same-sex marriage? Only one state (Go,
Massachusetts!) grants same-sex marriages that include ALL the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a heterosexual marriage. Several more offer varying degrees of rights through legalized same-sex civil unions or domestic partnerships, but only one has a law that offers true equality in the marriage arena. Yet in a dozen or more states in the United States of America, it is perfectly legal to go boink your pets or livestock, unless you do it to a degree that clearly indicates cruelty or abuse, or, as is the case in Texas, you do it in public. In Texas, you're welcome to have animal sex behind closed doors. What happens behind closed doors is your business, after all. Unless of course you're having same-sex relations. Even though the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to make it illegal to commit same-sex acts, Texas has retained the law against it on their books, even though it's now indefensible. Hmm.

Just how do they determine that animal sex is not inflicting any damage on the animal, since an animal can't talk in a way that could be understood in a court of law? Do you have to have a physical wound in order for it to be constituted abuse? What message does that send to perpetrators of date rape or incest? Haven't we clearly established that emotional and psychological damage is present in a victim of incest, even if bodily harm is absent?

Supporters of animal sex say that it is no more cruel to have sex with an animal than it is to grind them into meat and eat them. As a vegetarian, I have to admit that I do see the logic behind that argument. That is a significant difference between the way our children are treated and the way animals are treated in our society. So, as a nation, we protect our children with legislation, but animals are on their own--in at least a dozen states and many countries around the world.

Curious as to which states allow such outrageous abuse of animals? I did a Google search to find out, and let me tell you, it is no easy task to find all that information in one place. After posting this blog, I discovered that legislation was launched immediately to outlaw animal sex in
Washington after a man died from having sex with a horse in 2005, but I still can't find information regarding the status of these laws in all 50 states. It appears that about a dozen still allow it.

All of that to say...why not same-sex marriage? Why do we not understand the concept of relationships between consenting adults? Obviously as a nation we do not. What do you say that we all start lobbying AGAINST animal sex in all states and FOR same-sex marriage? It doesn't make any sense to restrict the civil rights of millions of gay and lesbian citizens, while allowing people to have sex with their animals. It boils down to this: In my state, the state of
Washington, until it was outlawed in 2006, people having sex with animals had the right to do so, while I still don't have the right to an equal marriage under law with a same-sex partner. I repeat. In what universe does this make sense? Why aren't more of us outraged by this?

I've included a link below for anyone who would like to join the Human Rights Campaign, and me, in signing a petition in favor of same-sex marriage. It only makes sense.


I would love to offer a link where you could go to voice your outrage over animal sex in your state, but I don't know of such a place. If anyone has further information on animal laws in your state, please leave a comment for me here. I'll be glad to do a follow-up posting providing links to support legislation for criminalizing animal sex.


  1. I've been researching this online for hours, trying to find a comprehensive way to read the tally of how many states outlaw animal sex, a.k.a., bestiality. The closest I have come is that 30 states have laws on the books that prohibit it. More may cover it under animal cruelty laws, but they would be listed separately, which makes it more confusing and difficult to pin down.

  2. So sex with animals is fine and dandy until a man dies in Texas....oh Lord have mercy...reason 475,985 why I get along with animals better than most people..OY!!!!
    Just don't get it.
    Hey, I am a vegetarian too! Cool, we have quite a bit in common! :)
    So sad that some people still think beastiality, which is sex with a partner that cannot consent, is WAY better than the loving partnership of two same-sex adults...heartbreaking.

  3. Thanks, Susan, for your comment. I have never understood the mental confusion around the issues of consensual sex versus NON-consensual sex, whatever flavor (rape, incest, bestiality). Either there is a clear "Yes, we BOTH want this" or "no, one of us doesn't." What is so freaking hard to understand about that?