qnotes welcomes its newest editorial intern to the team. Tyler DeVere lives in Charlotte and volunteers on the steering committee of the Mecklenburg Gay and Lesbian Political Action Committee (MeckPAC). We’re glad to have him and proud to introduce you to him. His first blog post is below. — Matt Comer

Rather shockingly (or not so shockingly depending on where you’re from), Florida is still struggling to outlaw bestiality. Democratic state Sen. Nan Rich is trying for her second time to outlaw bestiality, something her state seems to have a real problem with. There have been several stories out of Florida recently involving sex with animals, a practice Rich says has been linked to child sexual abuse (although, a researcher says the link between the two is without evidence). I don’t know who’s leading the charge to keep bestiality legal, but it’s pathetic that it’s not already against the law.

Additionally, this highlights another failure of Florida’s to serve proper justice. The Sunshine State remains one of the very few states that bans all homosexuals from adopting, which can result in separated families and children without loving homes. Further, instead of rectifying these embarrassing stains on their state’s reputation, the state legislature is focused on passing a bill that would force all women wanting abortions to look at their fetus before being allowed to have the procedure.

It is amazing that a country so advanced in technology and standards of living can also be this incredibly backwards. I don’t know how any intelligent Floridian could be anything less than ashamed of their state.

[Ed. Note — This post was updated May 5, 2010, 7:30 a.m. for clarification, with links added to related and recent news stories.]

Tyler DeVere

Tyler DeVere is a former editorial intern for QNotes.

5 replies on “In Florida, bestiality yes, gay rights no”

  1. Is there a source for this: “a practice that has been linked to child sexual abuse.” I tooled around for a couple minutes on Google looking for something to support that. Do you have a link? It seems to me that if you’re saying that having sex with an animal makes someone more likely to want to abuse children that maybe it’d be appropriate to cite a study that showed that link. Otherwise, it just seems like another one of those “Homosexuality leads to child molestation” claims used to get people riled up against a specific sexual practice.

    Anyway, I’m not too bothered by Florida not banning bestiality. I’m guessing that the state has more important things to worry about than that, and it’s not like a law against bestiality is all that enforceable. Sure, they’ll arrest someone every year or two, but I’m sure there’s a whole lot more horse-human relations going on out there than what gets people arrested. More importantly, I’m worried when any sex act, even one as out-of-this-world as bestiality, gets demonized as a way to get votes. It is distracting from larger issues, and makes people think that banning undesirable behavior will actually solve anyone’s problems, a mentality that is already too prevalent as it is.

    Consider, for example, how abortion and gay rights get linked to issues as far removed from them as Social Security (more babies would mean more people paying in!), undocumented immigration (more babies would mean businesses could just hire Americans!), HIV/AIDS (give gays and inch and they’ll infect everyone with HIV!), crime (gays are evil!), the financial crisis (Barney Frank didn’t regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because he was having sex with one of their officers!), military effectiveness (gays in the Dutch military led to the slaughter of 8000 Yugoslavians!), the deficit (abortion encourages sexual immorality and that makes women have children out of wedlock who’ll require welfare!), and, well, just about everything else. Sexual morality issues are a great distraction from the fact that our governments are often run by incompetent or corrupt people. Bestiality seems, to me, to be related to child molestation than, say, the fact that certain religions (ahem) are unwilling to turn over suspects to the police.

    I also hope that gay (or “intelligent”) Floridians aren’t ashamed of their state, or at least that they won’t say it. It’s hard enough to convince people to change people’s opinions on LGBT issues without throwing in the “I think I’m better than the rest of you” dynamic. The best heartland gay activists that I’ve seen usually start with “I belong here just as much as anyone else….”

    1. Hi, Alex. Thanks for posting your thoughts. The connection between child abuse and animal abuse I was suggesting is partly based on Sen. Rich’s statements, but mostly by my own personal opinion, which should have been clearly labeled as such. That opinion is more concerned with those whose actions border on animal cruelty, rather than those whom Dr. Miletski describes in Matt Comer’s link.

      Mainly though, this blog was about the backwardness of a state where sex with animals is legal but gays still can’t adopt children.

  2. Alex, thanks for the comment. DeVere’s source is the Democratic senator proposing the ban (just one example).

    Much of the debate took place 1-2 years ago, but the bill has come back up for consideration. An older article states: “Sunrise Sen. Nan Rich’s proposal to make it a crime to have sex with animals (yes, it’s legal in Florida) finally got a hearing and a swift unanimous vote in the Senate Criminal Justice committee. Rich, a child’s rights advocate, said that those who abuse animals (sexually and otherwise) are likely to do the same to kids.”

    DeVere’s post should have read, “There have been several stories out of Florida recently involving sex with animals, a practice Rich says has been linked to child sexual abuse.”

    Further, a researcher says Rich is wrong about the link.

    The post has been edited and the links to related and recent stories added.

    Thanks again,

    Matt Comer

  3. Thanks for the update, guys!

    I’ll wait for the grosser unfairness of the state of Florida when they allow mare-man couples to adopt but not stallion-man couples. Give them a few years….

  4. I don’t know all the details of the “backwards” abortion law requiring women to see the fetus before terminating it, but I do know that I was in an abortion clinic, unfortunately aware of what I was about to do, when I was lied to by counselors there. They would dilate me to one centimeter, suction out the cells, and I would be left with some residual bleeding for a while. I was 11 weeks along at that point and I asked them how they were going to merely suction out something at least 3 times as large as the distance they’d dilate me, and the woman got irritated and admitted there’d be some “breaking down of tissues involved”. I didn’t even ask about the “clump of cells” comment, since I knew for a fact that it had arms and legs at that point. I don’t think women should be needlessly traumatised by ultrasound images, but I feel horrible thinking about women who are misled and then find out years later the reality of the procedure and are traumatised by the knowledge of what they did. It seems to me that it would be best to make a decision like that with all of the available information, to give informed consent to the procedure. Not graphic picket-line signs, just a black and white ultrasound seems okay. If you’re willing to terminate it and you know that’s the best decision, how can facing the reality of it change your mind? And if you’re on the fence enough that it changes your mind, isn’t it a good thing that you found out beforehand?

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