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12 December 2011

Repudiation: Peter Heck Linking Bestiality, Pedophilia, and Homosexuality

Peter Heck is a regular columnist on World Net Daily and One News Now (of the American Family Assocation).  Today he posted an article intended to undermine LGBTQ equality by associating bestiality, pedophilia, and homosexuality.
Veteran White House correspondent Lester Kingsolving had the temerity to ask the question: "Does the Commander-in-Chief approve or disapprove of bestiality in our armed forces?"  I could be mistaken, but I am guessing this is the first time the subject of human sex with animals ever came up at the daily White House press briefing.  Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney made it clear he was sincerely unimpressed with the question, condescendingly brushing it off by scolding, "I don't have any comment on that ... let's get to something more serious."
Less than a week ago, I wrote about the reform of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) to bring it in line with the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT).  In short, removing article 125 of the UCMJ does not remove the prohibition on bestiality for military personnel which is still covered under article 134.  This is a moot point and Mr. Carney was correct in moving on to serious issues.  But, Mr. Heck needs to use this to draw out a correlation that is not real.
It's fair to assume that the intended purpose of those seeking the repeal of Article 125 was far more about legalizing human sodomy than it was about giving the green light to bestiality.  Repealing the ban on intimate sexual contact between practicing homosexuals is merely the next logical step after having opened the military door to them.  The president made repealing the ban on open homosexuality his major order of business regarding the American armed forces.  His rationale was that it was discriminatory to prohibit those with different sexual preferences, inclinations and attractions from serving their country with pride.  But if that's the case, then what is the logical distinction that can be drawn by those same "civil rights champions" to deny such an opportunity to those who are sexually attracted to animals?  Why make them "lie about who they are"?
The question is offensive.  It is equating homosexuality with rape.  A human being can give her or his consent to sexual activity, an animal cannot.
Typically when this question is posed to liberals, they offer the same "you've got to be kidding" reaction that Kingsolving received.  But noticeably absent from their snickering, jeering and scoffing dismissals is any form of a coherent response to the question.  If the answer is so obvious, let's hear it.  What makes a liberal who sits in moral judgment of another person's sexual attraction to animals any less bigoted and discriminatory than a conservative who sits in moral judgment of a person's attraction to members of the same sex?  What is the standard that is used?
The standard that is and should be used is that of consensual sexual activity between adults.  This is not complicated.  Animals cannot give their consent.
A similar philosophical challenge can be made in the realm of pedophilia.   Around the same time the bestiality story broke, disgraced former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky granted an on-camera interview to the New York Times where he acknowledged to the reporter that he was "attracted to [young] boys and girls."  As socially unacceptable as it may be, that doesn't change the fact that it's his preferred sexual experience.  And Sandusky is far from alone.
Children are not adults and thus cannot give their consent.  This is not complicated.
For years, pedophiles have testified to the fact that they are sexually aroused by young children in a way that they just don't find elsewhere.  Given the left's prohibition on "judging," where does that leave us with men like Sandusky?
Having sex with someone who does not give consent first, and children cannot give their consent, is called rape.  Rapists belong on jail.  This is not complicated.
Let me clarify this point: I am not suggesting that homosexuality and pedophilia are equivalent. They are not. Nor do I believe that they should be treated identically under the criminal law. Homosexual participants are typically consenting adults, while pedophilia usually involves an unwilling and victimized child. Therefore, child molesting involves a degree of sexual abuse that homosexuality does not encompass.
Let me clarify this point, Mr. Heck is drawing a parallel between homosexuality and pedophilia and bestiality.  The point of Mr. Heck's column is to draw that parallel that he briefly claims is not what he is suggesting.  These are the words of a bigot who then claims that the group he discriminates against is a group that he loves and wants to help and that he is absolutely not a bigot.
That stipulated, the left must explain how they can consider it ethical to sit in judgment of the sexual predilections of a self-described MAP (minor-attracted person) while they piously forbid others to sit in judgment of those of an LGBT.  Liberals have preached for decades that one does not "choose" their sexual appetite or preference. They have told us that it is bigoted and hateful to delegitimize or discriminate against another's natural sexual penchants, whether or not we personally share their urges.
All of the medical evidence is that one's sexuality is not a choice.  One may not have a choice about being attracted to children, but one chooses whether or not to be a rapist.  For the safety of children and animals, we should sit in judgement of rapists.  This is not complicated.
So Jay Carney's arrogance notwithstanding, Kingsolving's question was not an outrageous one after all.  For the sake of clarity and sanity, it is time that the left be required to declare the standard by which they seek to define our society's sexual norms.  What of a military man who wants to copulate with an animal, or of a pedophile who is attracted to young children?  Are those feelings natural?  Must they be respected?  Were they born that way?  If not, does that not contradict everything the left has been preaching?  Or if so, how can liberal progressives possibly condemn them without violating the very standard of bigotry they have been beating conservatives up with for a generation?
No wonder Carney took a pass.
Mr. Carney had the good sense to not equate love and commitment between two adults with rape.  When my partner and I enjoy sex together it is with the consent of each and we are each considerably above the age of majority.  I don't seek Mr. Heck's respect, I seek his tolerance and an end to harassment that prevents us from sharing full equality.

The born that way question is misleading.  While there is no definitive "gay gene", the medical community has strong opinions on the origin and nature of sexuality.  Here is an extended quote from that article:

What Causes Sexual Orientation?
The causes of sexual orientation and homosexuality are unknown.  Studies have suggested both genetic and non-genetic factors.  Sexual attraction (whether gay or straight), in fact, might have several origins including genetic factors for some people, environmental factors for others, or some combinations of these factors for yet others.  Most mental health professionals believe that sexual orientation is determined for most people early in life, or even before birth, and therefore is not chosen.  No particular pattern or style of parenting has been shown to cause homosexuality.

Can Homosexuality Be Changed?
The desire to change sexual orientation often is drive more by social stigma or religious concerns than by medical or mental health concerns.  Some homosexual people are able to change their sexual behavior (albeit with great difficulty).  A change in behavior, however, is only one aspect of homosexuality and does not imply that sexual orientation has changed, particularly if desire remains.

Most psychiatrists have come to the conclusion that sexual orientation is not likely to change through any form of mental health treatment.  Efforts to try to force an individual to change his or her orientation are very likely to be unsuccessful and in the end can seriously damage the self-esteem of people who fail.  Most psychiatrists therefore encourage their homosexual patients to come to terms with homosexuality and to accept themselves as they are.

We in the LGBTQ community do not require the respect or Mr. Heck or the others who seek to keep us as second-class citizens.  We do require equal treatment under the law, which the repeal of DADT and the subsequent revision of the UCMJ are good first steps.  There is much still missing, including equal right to marriage, inheritance, and other aspects of legal standing.  Granting full equality for the LGBTQ community does not harm anyone.  Equality is not a zero sum game where if we gain something then others must lose.  When we gain full equality, all of society wins.

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