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« Absurdistan | Main | Blogging a war »

Jul 15, 2006

Comments

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PotatoStew

Exactly - I've been meaning to say that somewhere, but haven't had a chance yet. If no one had ever tried to directly equate homosexuality and pedophilia, then that excuse might hold up. If there weren't a million other potential comparisons he could have made (such as the "fish on a bicycle" he later edited in), then that defense might have made sense.

Matt Hill Comer

Uh... duh. I've been saying that for almost a week. Thanks Ed for just coming out (excuse any pun someone could make of this) and just stating it like it is.

Bubba

(sigh)

It's difficult to reason with the True Believers when there's an agenda to be carried out.

Why do we even bother?

Spirit

Bubba, why do those who object to homosexuality think only about sex? Marcus' remarks reflect the widespread obsession with one and only one aspect of a homosexual relationship but omits the most important which is the loving bond that forms between two people. It is this part of the heterosexual relationship that we focus upon so why do we refuse to do the same for homosexuals?

Fec Stench

Where's my agenda?

Fec Stench

BTW, I provided a link last week to the same UC Davis article Ed's using.

But, Ed's the one "standing up with clarity" on the issue.

Could that be because I'm a Republican?

Bubba

"Could that be because I'm a Republican?"

I thought you were a Libertarian.

Bubba

"Bubba, why do those who object to homosexuality think only about sex?"

Ask some one else.

Personal sexual behavior of consenting adults in private is none of my business. I I have no other opinion on that subject

Fec Stench

Bubba, I have stated on my blog that I agree with every plank of the NC Republican Party platform, save for the section concerning Homosexuals.

Connie Mack Jr

"Could that be because I'm a Republican?"* Fec

I thought you were a Libertarian* Bubba

I thought you were a democrat* what Mr Chairman might be thinking

I thought you were a member of the unreformed party* What Ed might be thinking

I thought you just another disbarred Republican lawyer.* What Sam might be thinking

I though you just were another disbarred Pat Robertson lawyer* What Patrick might be thinking

I thought you were a Log Cabin Republican who got ban at the last State Republican Convention* What Roch might be thinking

I thought you were a former Carolina Panthers cheerleader excising the infamous stall cheer* Confuse CM

Bubba, I have stated on my blog that I agree with every plank of the NC Republican Party platform, save for the section concerning Homosexuals.* Fec

Bubba! Fec means the part where it says that all dogs are gender neutral in the animal rights movement

Fec Stench

Connie, would that we understood you.

Joe Guarino

As I stated toward the end of the thread to which you linked:

"That SUV is as big as a house."

This simile does not imply that the SUV possesses the intrinsic characteristics of a house. They are only being compared with respect to size.

Taking a phrase, and making a mountain of a molehill, was contemptible speech code enforcement.

What was your opinion, Ed, on the anti-Italian bigotry in Ms. Ahearn's column, published on the front of the B section of the paper and disseminated to tens of thousands? As I asked previously, what should be the outcome with respect to her career?

(By the way: I am already on record on this point. I think she should be forgiven. But what is your take?)

Ed Cone

Joe, the problem with the "innocent comparison" argument is that comparing homosexuality and pedophilia is a well-worn tactic and familiar to anyone who pays any attention to political conversations about this stuff.

Perhaps it is an amazing coincidence that Marcus chose to compare homosexuality to a foul and illegal behavior that is frequently linked to homosexuality in arguments against gay rights.

If such is the case, he might offer an apology for the poor choice of comparisons, given the hostile and inaccurate uses of the same linkage in other conversations.

To pretend that no such linkage exists, or that it was just a handy comparison with no context, is disingenuous at best.

Your speech code argument is a non-starter. The chairman of a local political party made a public comment that offended some people, and people have reacted with speech of their own.

Ahearn was not offering opinions about Italians, she was recounting the way her father teased her mom. Jokes made from within a group (e.g., Larry David and the Jews, Chris Rock and blacks, etc)are different from assertions and comparisons made by politicians. (Your delicate sensibilities and thin skin would last about five minutes at one my wife's Italian-American family gatherings.)

Your attempt to paint Ahearn as an Italian-basher is as weak as your coincidental comparison rap and your speech-code line. Let's see, that brings you to three strikes...and you're out.

Matt Hill Comer

Ed said:
"Joe, the problem with the "innocent comparison" argument is that comparing homosexuality and pedophilia is a well-worn tactic and familiar to anyone who pays any attention to political conversations about this stuff."

Yeah... it's pretty well-known to gay people, too.

Oh and let's not forget about the comparisons to people like Jeffrey Dahmer... my own grandfather tried to pull that one on me (although I don't think he would say something like that now, 6 years later).

Joe Guarino

Ed, as has been stated ad nauseum, the parallel was drawn on the basis of only one characteristic-- how natural one might regard these practices to be-- so to state that homosexuality and pedophilia are being compared is tremendous overstatement. And certainly it is conceivable that many do not regard anal intercourse as natural-- and they need not be singled out for speech code enforcement for expressing such an opinion.

Certainly, it is possible to state pedophilia and homosexuality in the same sentence without implying they are linked, or that they are being compared in toto. For instance, it has been suggested that the constitutional logic employed in Lawrence vs. Texas protecting homosexual sodomy could also be applied to the protection of pedophilia. That is a defensible statement. It does not seek to compare the two entities.

Finally, please be assured that I grew up in a culture in which ethnic jokes flowed freely, and there is no thin skin. However, one important aspect of Ahearn's column was that she seemed to be identifying more closely with her Irish father than her Italian mother; so this is a bit different than the identifiable member of an ethnic or racial group poking fun at one's own. And the jokes were circulated in print to tens of thousands. The real explanation, of course, is that Italians are not among the protected victim groups that the left has adopted, and no speech codes are employed to protect them. That is fine by me, because I don't believe in speech codes used to exact vengeance against public figures. But it is, in fact, the truth of the matter.

Samuel Spagnola

Ed, I don't know what Connie Mack is getting at, but in case anyone misunderstands his comments- I am not disbarred, never have been disbarred, and I have never even had a bar complaint filed against me. I am also not a "Republican lawyer". I am a Reagan Republican and a lawyer, but not a "Republican lawyer" whatever that means.

Samuel Spagnola

"For instance, it has been suggested that the constitutional logic employed in Lawrence vs. Texas protecting homosexual sodomy could also be applied to the protection of pedophilia. That is a defensible statement. It does not seek to compare the two entities." Right on Joe. That's exactly my point about establishing "rights" in a vacuum or on a case by case basis. You must consider all the implications and make sure the rulings are consistent. I happen to agree that Lawrence was correctly decided because I don't believe it is the government's business what people do behind closed doors even if I may disagree with some of the legal basis in Lawrence.

Ed Cone

Sam, nobody knows what Connie is talking about, don't worry.

Joe, it just doesn't work to say the comparison of homosexuality and pedophilia is not freighted with meaning. Again, even if it was an innocent comparison with no intent attached -- and that is very hard to believe, given the well-documented history of the comparison -- the context exists.

Think back to when Howard Cosell referred to a black football player as a monkey. Perhaps Cosell meant only that the guy was scampering across the field with great agility. But given the long and well-known history of racist comparisons between blacks and apes/monkeys, the comments struck people as offensive.

The context is there. The comparison was made. I don't find your arguments at all convincing.

Fred Gregory

Please. I want this understood . I am agaist lynching but this anti-straight bigotry that has been occuring in MA should be condemed by Comer et al.

Reverse Intolerance

Oh wait, gays can't be prosecuted under hate crime laws , afterall they are supposed to be protected by them, right?

Matt Hill Comer

Gosh... "breeders" I hate that word (although I admit my straight roomies and I would joke around with each other and probably used it at least once).

Bigotry on all levels is offensive and intolerable. Thanks for the article Fred.

I blog also for EqualityMySpace. In response to one of my posts a guy said something to the effect of "I hate straight, breeder society," to which I replied something to the effect of "How do you expect people to treat you kindly and with respect if you won't offer the same to them?"

Hate crimes legislation in Mass. and in any other place with hate crimes protects people on the basis of "sexual orientation" including heterosexuality. If a gay person participates in a hate crime against a straight person, based off of prejudice against that person being straight, the same laws should apply. That is the essence of equality.

I'm right there with you Fred.

Joe Guarino

Ed, I only vaguely recall the Cosell incident, and don't know what the outcome is. But what is the proper response? Drag him through the mud until, beaten and bloodied, he is utterly humiliated and forced to apologize? Banish him from broadcasting? Take his first-born son? We have seen this played out so many times. It is both silly and tiresome.

Of course, Ms. Ahearn should not lose her position, and of course she should not be dragged through the mud, bloodied and humiliated until she is forced to apologize. None of that is warranted. We have freedom of speech, and the employment of speech codes is decidedly selective. A couple of days ago, you poked fun at the soccer player Zidane because his head-butt was in response to an alleged racist comment. The Kindley situation is not entirely dissimilar from those two examples.

Sam, I have enjoyed your comments that you have posted on various local blogs, and agree with much of what you have to say.

I do not like the idea of the Supreme Court deciding cases on the basis of whether individual justices like the outcome a given decision would produce; or on the basis of a less-than-rigorous interpretation of the text, structure and logic of the constitution. That is my own appraisal of what happened in Lawrence vs. Texas. And it would not surprise me if, within 30 or 40 years, cultural standards change somehow, and the logic within this decision was used as precedent to legalize practices like polygamy or pedophilia. We have seen the Supreme Court do strange, wildly inappropriate things before.

Matt Hill Comer

Pedophilia will not be legalized. There is a difference (MAJOR DIFFERENCE) between sex involving consenting adults and sex with children.

Connie Mack Jr

Connie, would that we understood you.* Fec

Like Ed says Fec, when you are among Turkeys, It is easy to be a Eagle.


Ed, I don't know what Connie Mack is getting at, but in case anyone misunderstands his comments- I am not disbarred, never have been disbarred, and I have never even had a bar complaint filed against me. I am also not a "Republican lawyer". I am a Reagan Republican and a lawyer, but not a "Republican lawyer" whatever that means.* Sam

Sam! I never said you were disbarred Republican lawyer. I said you might be thinking that Fec could be a disbarred lawyer which is a complete lie, since Fec is not lawyer. A Republican maybe! Also, I see you have falled into the old Republican trap of labeling your political beliefs. I was once accuse of being a Goldwater Republican,in the early 60's simply because his son and I were roomates in Prep school, until they found out I gave some money to Gov Rockfeller during the Attica riots and became a Law and Order Rockfeller Republican.
I than move on to become a Nixon Republican simply because my old 2nd roomate was John Dean in Prep School. After Watergate ..I than retreated to become a Reagan Republican. But after Irangate, I again retreated to become a Bush 1 Republican with his thousand points of lights and no new taxes.

It was after the new Yacht taxes that Bush 1 pass, that I decided to become a Perot Reformed Republican which was great until the Black Panthers screw up his daughter wedding that I move on to be come Libertarian Republican which had only one member in the Liberty Caucas.

I realize that I was becoming a extinct Republican and decided to become a Democrat like Slick Willie until the other Bob Barr Republicans try to impeach him over some vast misunderstanding and his personal issues within the White House.

As you can see Sam! This labeling political business within the Republicans can lead to no beliefs at all. I am now a Jefferson Democrat Republican which I believes covers all the bases in politics and most likely will confuse Republicans like Mr Chairman and a few Democrats in the future.


Howard Cosell referred to a black football player as a monkey.* Ed

Yes Howard said that! But it was Jimmy the Greek who took bets that Howard didn't say that. You will notice that it was a Wonderful Jew and a Foreign Yankee Greek that got into trouble over those statements and not the local Klan leader who never heard of the NFL in professional sports.

Ed Cone

Joe, a public figure made a public statement that many people understandably found offensive.

Rather than deal with that fact, or even acknowledge the clearly documented context of the linkage, you chose to trade in unlikely conjecture (it was just a random comparison), reductio ad absurdam (speech codes, silencing him, etc) and strained comparisons (Ahearn) rather than just acknowledging the obvious: linking pedophilia and homosexuality is a well-known smear against gays, Marcus argued against homosexuality by linking it to pedophilia, and whether it was intentional, non-hostile but suggested by exposure to the meme, or purely random, it is understandably offensive to some people.

Matt Hill Comer

Ed earlier mentioned the example of calling an African-American athlete a monkey.

Similarly, in one of our press releases, NCAC pointed out that Marcus Kindley's comparison between homosexuality and pedophilia is no different than when people used to make comparisons between African-American men and rapists.

This is what we said in the press release:

"In much the same way that people compared African-American men to rapists by saying black men wanted to “rape your white women” fifty to one-hundred or more years ago, Mr. Kindley is now comparing gay people to pedophiles. The effect is to instill fear and prejudice into the minds of his followers and the public. Within the same writing where his anti-gay remarks are found, Mr. Kindley states how it is no longer safe for children to walk the streets. By later setting homosexuality and pedophilia side-by-side, Mr. Kindley’s effect is to say to parents, “Homosexuals want to rape your children.” This tactic is an old one. Intolerance and fear of the minority becomes that less difficult when it becomes easy for leaders such as Mr. Kindley to compare peaceful, law-abiding and community-involved gay people to perverse, mentally ill criminals."

Putting intent aside, you have to realize, as has been said plenty over the past week (almost), that the effect, the outcome, the end-result of the statements are the same: An attempt to instill fear of and prejudice against LGBT people by using another group of people seen as so vile, so perverted and so immoral so that some who read the statement begin to associate those negative characteristics not only with pedophiles but also with homosexuals (and mainly gay men).

(yes... i know the last sentence is probably no where near being grammatically correct/structured properly, if it is correct, I'm surprised, lol)

Fred Gregory

The New York Times snarkily reviews Mary Cheney's book. ( Now It's My Turn )

To Vote Republican Makes You Homophombic But To Incessantly And Bitterly Criticise Israel Isn't Anti-Semitism

Joe Guarino

Matt and Ed, I am afraid that you are so deeply ensconced in the selective victim group protection process that we are not going to agree. And Ed, I certainly don't agree your characterization of the arguments I set forth. The Ahearn parallel, for instance, was quite apt, in my opinion.

But Matt, I disagree regarding the possible future of outcomes like polygamy and pedophilia. Already, some mischievous legal minds are discussing the contours of using the Lawrence vs. Texas/gay marriage court decisions to advance legal polygamy/polyamory in the courts.

With respect to pedophilia, I can say this: 40 years ago, it would have been unimaginable that gay marriage would be made legal. Cultural changes can, and do occur.

Joel Gillespie had raised the interesting possibility on his blog: What if the scientific community found an alleged genetic component to pedophilia? Incidentally, a couple of weeks ago in SC, the age of sexual consent was lowered to 14 (it apparently slipped beneath the radar screen in the legislature), and the editorial pages in that state criticized it bitterly, indicating that it would have the effect of legalizing more pedophilia.

Joe Guarino

And Ed, the fact that it may have been offensive to some does not predetermine what the response should be. There are lots of things that are offensive to some.

Ed Cone

Joe, I'm not "deeply ensconced in the selective victim group protection process," that's just another weak attempt on your part to change the subject and/or shoot the messenger.

Again and again, you fail to address the well-documented fact that linking homosexuality and pedophilia is a much-used slur and talking point against gay rights.

Such a linkage by a public figure is bound to draw negative reactions.

Your focus on changing the subject, obfuscating the statement, and demeaning the people who react to the statement doesn't change the fact that Kindley for whatever reason recapitulated a well-worn formula for smearing gays.

Matt Hill Comer

Out society will never change so much as to allow pedophiles open access to abuse and exploit children. I think we honor and protect our children too much for that, don't you?

Alright I'm pi$$ed... I admit it... so here's my rant:

As a victim of child abuse myself (many people know this about me and I'm not afraid to admit it), I would fight to the death in order to keep pedophilia from being legalized.

Child sexual, physical and mental abuse is THE MOST IMMORAL CRIME IN HUMAN EXISTANCE. It causes so much pain and hurt... pain and hurt that may be with the child for life, sometimes completely destroying a person's life until death. Maybe I'm going off a cliff here (especially to people way to the left, which I'm not), but it is my personal opinion that people who are proven child molesters, pedophiles and sexual predators should be locked up and kept away from society indefinitely. Hey... chemical castration... that's just fine by me too.

The legalization of actions between two consenting adults will never be able to justify or legalize the abuse of children. I can't understand anyone who would argue that the actions of two adults could somehow lead to the legalization of pedophilia. It's beyond my comprehension how anybody could think that. I also think that saying things like that does nothing but empower the pedophiles.

Instead of going around in circles to keep pedophilia illegal by putting down gay people... why don't you take a more direct route and work directly on keeping pedophilia illegal?

Samuel Spagnola

Because if it were ever determined that pedophilia was genetic, many of the same legal and social arguments in favor of certain gay "rights" would also apply. Notice I said "many" and not "all", and notice I said "certain" and not "all" less someone attempt to say I am equating homosexuality and pedophilia dollar for dollar. I'm not getting into the conset aspect again because that's been gone over before.

But I think Ed is wrong to suggest that it is impossible to put the two words in the same sentence without trying to equate the two. Maybe Marcus was trying to equate the two, but that doesn't mean it should be automatically offensive that anyone should put the two in the same sentence. It's like somethings are so offensive that they dare not be spoken much less analyzed critically. If that were the case, than homosexual rights would never have gotten anywhere because anyone who dared speak of them alongside heterosexual rights would be roundly condemned. For many people and for many years, people believed homosexuality to be a deviant sexual choice every bit as bad as pedophilia and other forms of sexuality/sexual preference. Some still do- but that is their choice. You wouldn't like it if people said "how dare you equate homosexuality with heterosexuality". Such thinking would have ended all the debate on homosexuality, and without the debate and the use of logic and law to draw parallels, there would be no gay rights at all. It is self serving to say "I draw the line beyond my own sexuality" when others believe you have already drawn a line well outside of their own. It is closed minded to suggest that your standards of decency are appropriate, but no one elses are. Some heterosexuals may believe thay you have gone too far and a pedophile (or perhaps a better description may be a person "afflicted with pedohilia" which is a condition as opposed to an act- who knows) may say you haven't gone far enough to include him.

Heterosexual sex led to the right of privacy (Griswold v. Connecticutt). The right of privacy led to greater freedom for homosexuals (Lawrence v. Texas). Greater freedom for homosexuals led to... or does it stop there? Rights for my preference good, right for other forms of sexuality bad? Isn't that what you accuse many hetero's of thinking?

I will not dispute that consent is a key element here, but that has been discussed before, and I am only suggesting this from a common logical or legal rationale, and of course this is purely hypothetical until we know what causes pedophilia and assuming there was an absolute way to determine the ability to consent. But to automatically assume it is a slur not worthy of analysis beyond the surface objections shows a lack of intellectual curiosity and the same narrow minded thinking that you accuse others of having.

If you can't argue intellectually or critically about it, just dismiss it as unspeakable hate speech. That has worked so well, now hasn't it?

Ed Cone

Again, and again, the comparison of pedophilia and homosexuality is not made in a vacuum.

Given the long history of linking the two in order to attack homosexuals, putting the two in the same sentence just can't be written off as a random choice.

Even if it was done without conscious malice, the context exists. And to argue that a Republican politician as steeped in the culture wars as Marcus has not been exposed to these comparisons strains credulity.

That's the point of the story about Cosell and his "monkey" remark. It didn't matter what Cosell had in mind, the context was damning. Or consider a sentence that said Joe Guarino's tactics were mafia-like (they aren't)-- as he points out, Italians are sick of being smeared by stereotypes, and given the strong gangster stereotype against which Italians struggle, there would be no way to spin it as a completely harmless choice of words, no matter what the intent.

It is surprising to me that so much brainpower is being put to use to make hypothetical, philosophical, or tangential arguments that the statement was not offensive. Clearly, it struck many people that way, and for reasons that are easy to understand and simple to document.

One needn't approve of gay rights, gay behavior, or the Flintstones having a gay old time to stop and say, hmm, at best, a poor choice of words, I can see why my friends and neighbors might be offended...rather than dragging the conversation out over days in a way that convinces absolutely nobody.

Jeffrey Sykes

Ed:

My main beef with MHC's song and dance was that Kindley's post was not about gay rights or pedophilia. It was about society at large. The element of the post about gay rights was but a small passing statement.

Obviously, homosexuals are not all pedophiles, but then again, I have personally known two men who were molested by homosexual adult males as children. I have also written as a reporter for a daily newspaper stories about child molesters seeking to come to terms with the why of their actions. I can tell you that child molestation at the hands of an adult male homosexual was a driving factor.

Then again, I covered a case where a man who was a retired fire captain in a metro fire department was convicted of incest with his daughter over the course of a 20 year period. And I covered way too many cases of molestation against 14 and 15 year old girls. On the other hand I covered a case where a 70 year old man was convicted of molesting two 12 year old boys in his neighborhood. I also covered a trial where a 20 something man was convicted of molesting his six year old male cousin in the barn at a family reunion.

Why do I bring it up?

Context.

The context of Kindley’s statement was that he considered one thing as unnatural as another, inside of the context of his musings on society at large. A maze inside a riddle wrapped in an enigma.

I will agree with you that the statement could have been made better, but Joe is right in that MHC and you do seem to be so wrapped up in victimization that you want to clean Marcus like a freshly caught fish over something so passing.

I also reject all comparisons of homosexuals and blacks in the struggle for civil rights. There is nothing denied to homosexuals as individuals as was denied to blacks as individuals. America is about individual rights, not group rights.

I go back to what I said to MHC earlier. Accept it in your bedroom and accept it in your mind. That is your right, wrong as it is. But I will never accept it in society because it is unacceptable behavior on every conceivable level.

When you and MHC admit that MHC made a mountain out of a molehill, then maybe some others will agree that Kindley is guilty of poor word choice.

Or we can all settle in for this new front in the culture war.

I will never accept homosexual behavior as something codified by law as being appropriate in society.

Ed Cone

I think it's just funny that my participation in this discussion brands me as some who is "wrapped up in victimization."

And I find the argument that it was just a brief passage in a long article irrelevant -- the article was about how messed up society is, and one of the examples was that (gasp) homosexuals are treated as regular folks.

A public figure said somethat that understandably offended people. I ignored it until it moved from his blog into the mainstream media.

And I've been confronted ever since by people who want to argue that people shouldn't have been offended, rather than taking the time and consideration to consider why they were. The logic seems to be, It must be a culture of victimization, or a misreading of the comparison, or something, anything, other than the use of shopworn slur by a public figure.

Jeff: "I will never accept homosexual behavior as something codified by law as being appropriate in society." That's a milder statement than the one you made at Guarino's, "It is not natural. It is repulsive, perverted and psychologically disordered." You are entitled to your views, although others may find them repulsive, perverted, and phsycologically disordered.

Joe Killian

Also, I think it's a bit irresponsible to cite anecdotal evidence of someone you know or someone who knows someone you know being molested by men who were supposed to be homosexuals without also clarifying that, statistically, the vast majority of child molestation (both male/female and male/male) is carried out by adult "men who are heterosexual. Every valid scientific study we have shows us this. Any cop with any experience in this area (like those I interviewed for a recent piece on child predators) will tell you this. Any clinical psychologist will tell you this. Anyone working with the victims of pedophilia today will tell you this.

If you were a reporter who's ever had to cover anything even tangentially related to pedophilia you know that statistic. Concentrating on and relating instances wherein you believe homosexuality was a "driving factor" without stating the statistical reality (right before condemning all homosexuality, even among consenting adults whose sex lives have nothing to do with you, as unacceptable" on "every concievable level") is bad, flawed rhetoric, sure, but it's also just sort of slimy.

Matt Hill Comer

Rape is illegal... Child molestation is illegal. To suggest that a free society actually being free and allowing consenting adults to do what they want is going to open the gates to pedophiles being able to force their abuse and exploitation upon children is ludicrous.

And Joe Killian is right. Those "homosexual men" Jeffrey Sykes are talking about are not homosexual men... they are perverted, mentally and psychologically disorded pedophillic criminals.

Here is another study that backs up Joe's claims regarding the vast majority of child abuse being carried out by heterosexuals (or more specifically, pedophiles in an adult heterosexual relationship, b/c really... they aren't heterosexual, they are pedophiles):

In a review of 352 medical records of children evaluated for sexual abuse during a 12-month period at a Denver children’s hospital, Dr. Carole Jenny (1994) found that less than one percent of the abused children in her study were abused by a gay man or a lesbian. Of 269 adult perpetrators of child abuse identified among the 352 cases of abuse, only two (or 0.07 percent) were gay or lesbian. Jenny noted that the vast majority of the children in the sample, or 82 percent, “were suspected of being abused by a man or a woman who was, or had been, in a heterosexual relationship with a relative of the child.” Jenny concluded that in this sample, “a child’s risk of being molested by his or her relative’s heterosexual partner is over 100 times greater than by someone who might be identifiable as being homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual.”

Jenny, C. and Roesler, T. A. (1994). Are children at risk for sexual abuse by homosexuals? Pediatrics, 94(1), 41-44.

Homosexuals are not more likely to molest children. Homosexuals don't have a larger tendency to do it. Homosexuals are not pedophiles. Legalization of homosexual sex and acceptance of gay people in society will not lead to an increase in acceptance of pedophillic behavior. And... guess what... all the same is true for heterosexuals.

These sick perverts aren't gay or straight... they are pedophiles.

Dave Dobson

Does anybody seriously think that Kindley doesn't equate pedophilia and homosexuality in his mind, and that he wasn't trying to do that explicitly in the article? I mean, come on. Everybody's all like, "We can't know what Marcus was thinking..." Please.

His comparison was stupid and incorrect, regardless. Homosexual behavior does occur in a variety of animal species, including monkeys, who derive pleasure from it. On the other hand, blogging is unnatural, wearing underwear is unnatural, driving cars, wearing glasses, etc... Sounds like Marcus should start living naked in a cave hunting gazelles, if he's worried about being natural. Oh, and start up some homosexual relationships.

Ed Cone

I feel a little stupid for dragging this out as if it was a serious discussion.

Aside from Sam's intellectual game-playing, the defenses of Kindley's remarks come from folks who, as noted above, say things like, "I will never accept homosexual behavior as something codified by law as being appropriate in society," and "It is not natural. It is repulsive, perverted and psychologically disordered."

And write stuff like this and this.

Bonus points: each accuses people who criticize Kindley's remarks of writing with an agenda.

Joe Guarino

Jeff and Marcus both have a right to express their opinion without having legions attempting to silence them and send them retreating with their respective tails between their legs.

Ed, the mere coexistence of the two concepts, and the presence of the history you describe, does not even remotely prove that Marcus' intent was to equate the two.

Joe and Matt, there are many more heterosexuals than there are homosexuals. It would be far more useful to compare rates than raw data. It is unsurprising that there is more heterosexual pedophilia in view of the fact that there are so many more heterosexuals. But homosexual pedophilia does exist, of course.

It would be very difficult to quantify objectively how "natural" homosexuality is, versus how "natural" pedophilia is, particularly in view of the various definitions and interpretations of the word natural.

But Justice Scalia was severely criticized, however, when he predicted-- correctly-- that Lawrence vs. Texas would lead to similar judicial principles being applied toward other sexual behaviors and/or social institutions like marriage. It was then considered culturally impermissible for Scalia to discuss these concepts side-by-side in the same thought, as it alleged to be in the case of Mr. Kindley's statement. I merely echoed Scalia's interpretation above, which has proven to be correct.

Matt Hill Comer

Joe... my posting of the study was to show that homosexuals are not more likely to molest children or be pedophiles. Firstly... the perverts in that study were neither really gay or straight... they were pedophiles (even if they claimed to be something else).

Secondly, if homosexuals were really more likely to be pedophiles, then why is the number of pedophiles claiming to be gay in that study less than 1% ?

Roch101

"Jeff and Marcus both have a right to express their opinion without having legions attempting to silence them and send them retreating with their respective tails between their legs." -- Joe

Joe, you keep repeating that -- that "legions" are trying to silence Marcus (and now Jeff). Where? You may not like that people are adamant in their condemnation of Marcus's statement, but let's not pretend that people are attempting to silence him. That's disingenuous. People are disagreeing with Marcus, exercising the very right you insist be protected.

Ed Cone

Disagreement and debate are not the same things as silencing and speech codes, Joe.

Joe Killian

Everyone has the right to express their opinion.

That doesn't mean they should abandon their responsibility to the facts.

Joe Guarino

When so many begin to jump on the bandwagon; demands for public apologies are issued; and newspaper, radio and television get involved-- especially considering the subject matter-- there is a bit more going on than expression of opinion. There was much more going on than disagreement and debate.

Joe Killian

I'm not sure there's a "bandwagon."

There seem to be a lot of different people - and different types of people - who found the remarks offensive. I don't think they should all be painted as followers of some agenda because of their personal sensibilities.

It also seems newspapers, television and radio stations covered it because it was, at the very least, an unfortunate choice of words that offended a lot of people, homosexual and heterosexual, and came from the local leader of a political party. If I'd said it in my living room someone (probably my girlfriend) would have smacked me and that would have been the end of it. When the head of a local political party says it on a blog (especially in this town) you have to expect it to have legs.

The group asking for an apology is a GLBT advocacy group...which one would just sort of expect to get involved given that the group they represent had just been called as unnatural as pedophiles.

I find the fact that anyone thinks this series of events and reactions unusual to be...unusual. The only way this wasn't going to turn into a thing was if everyone in town just decided to ignore Kindley as a blowhard who no one should take seriously anyway.

Surely those who are defending him are glad that wasn't what happened.

Samuel Spagnola

I agree with Ed that people have a right to be offended by Marcus' comments. I never said they didn't. I did say that the remarks should not be considered offensive per se. Whether they are offensive, as with most things in life, depends on the individual.

I agree with Matt's arguments about heterosexual/homosexual pedophilia. He is correct that most pedophile "acts" (as distinguished from the mere mental state- which I don't have the data on) are committed by heterosexuals. But Joe also has a valid point about the use of raw numbers. But at the core, Matt is right that there is a distinction between acts and orientation. I would agree with him certainly that an act of pedophilia is and should be criminal. But 50 states have 50 different law about when the act is criminal- so maybe we are only discussing orientation as opposed to acts. I don't think the argument is really only about homosexual acts vs. pedophilia acts, because I think at this time, they aren't comparable. The hypotheticals only address a possible situation where "acts" could implicate a comparison not only to homosexuality but heterosexuality as well. That is the problem with sweeping acts and declarations that some are advocating- they do have potential unintended implications in the future.

Personally, I do not equate homosexuality with pedophilia because I believe there is a huge difference based on what we know now. But there are so many unanswered questions and contradictions such as how to define a pedophile in the first place. Is anyone who engaged in sex as a teenager with other teenagers a pedophile because they were attracted to the person at the time? At what age does that attraction magically disappear? Is a 14 year old in S.C. capable of consenting to sex with a person under 18, but not over? What does that tell you about consent? Is a 14 year old capable of consenting to sex with a person under 18 only in S.C.? ..and does that make a person in another state with a higher age of consent a pedophile for even having the thought? Is pedophilia a legal fiction created by age of consent laws, or is there truly an age that can be determined below which a person cannot consent? I believe it is one of those issues where society does not have the clear answer, so we pass law s that err on the side of caution. It is those very same laws that err on the side of caution such as drug laws and bans on homosexual marriage that demonstrate the will of the majority in a democratic society. It is the grey areas that require the will of the majority to prevail.

Some of the rationales offered for sweeping change in gay rights and even some of the hetero privacy cases MIGHT be applicable to pedophiles in the future under certain circumstances with the right assumptions. That is all I have tried to say. The implications of major change must be carefully considered. This is not the same as saying pedophiles are no different than homosexuals.

Jim Caserta

It feels like you guys are debating some draft of legislation and how people really think is getting somewhat lost. I, for one, am curious as to how some people would answer the following questions:
1. Do you feel Lawrence v. Texas was incorrectly decided?
2. Should gay sex be illegal?
3. Should gays in stable households be allowed to adopt children?
4. Should gays be allowed to teach in public schools?
To keep Ed's comments clean, feel free to answer here.

Samuel Spagnola

To answer your question, Jim:

1) No. I agree more with O'Connor's equal protection argument based on "similarly situated" and her contrast with Bowers v. Hardwick, than the majority.

2) No, unless all similar conduct by heterosexuals is illegal. See O'Connor again.

3) Jury is still out. I believe a stable home is better than an unstable home for sure, but assuming stability exists and there is a straight couple and a gay couple, I would probably err in favor of the straight couple at least until we know if there are any adverse effects unique to gay adoptions. I am a strong believer based on my experience in court that a strong male figure is essential particularly when dealing with young men. I also believe that a strong female figure is equally important. Granted, that is not always the case with heterosexuals either, but it is an ideal that is worthy of striving for.

4) I think education should not have anything to do with sexual orientation. Math is math regardless of the orientation of the teacher. If it ever does become an issue, then I think a parent should take action regardless of whether a teacher is attempting to impose their "straightness" on someone or "gayness." Any teacher that makes it an issue should be fired.

Finally, many have taken issue with my use of hypotheticals to illustrate how arguments in favor of gay rights might relate to pedophilia in some future case. I have stated from the beginning that such comparisons and arguments would only be valid if 1) it was ever established that pedophilia was genetic, and thus must be considered “immutable” as some homosexuals have argued that homosexuality is; and 2) the pedophile engaged in consensual sex. So to that end, I present to you my hypothetical Supreme Court decision. It is quite lengthy, and I’m sure there are flaws in it, but I wrote it on the spot.

My only point is to demonstrate that those that argue homosexual rights arguments cannot be compared to pedophilia MAY be wrong, or COULD be wrong given the assumptions mentioned above, and that it is narrow minded to attack anyone who dares mention the word “pedophile” in the same sentence as “homosexuality” (Poor Norm MacDonald- where would his act be today?)

I also stress that I do not equate the two, but I do see how it is possible. So here it is:

In The Supreme Court of the United States

State of North Carolina v. Chester Molester

____ U.S. ______ (2007).

Petitioner was convicted of statutory rape for violating North Carolina General Statute 14-27(7)(A). Defendant appealed on the basis that the statute in question violates his constitutional rights by discriminating against him based on his sexual orientation. The Defendant is an 18 year old male, and is an admitted pedophile. The alleged victim in this case is a 14 year old girl. Petitioner met the girl in Rock Hill, South Carolina and shortly thereafter, began having sexual relations with her. On one occasion, the Petitioner and the alleged victim went to Carowinds amusement park, located just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina. The North Carolina/South Carolina border runs through the amusement park and is identified by a yellow line. Thus, a person can physically be in both states at the same time. After the park closed, Petitioner and the alleged victim rented a motel room on the North Carolina side of the border where they engaged in consensual intercourse. The motel operator became suspicious due to the young appearance of the female, and contacted police. When the police arrived, they were able to see the Petitioner and the female engaged in sexual intercourse. The Petitioner was arrested and later convicted of statutory rape under North Carolina law. The North Carolina Supreme Court affirmed the conviction. Petitioner appeals.

It is the opinion of the Court that Petitioner’s conviction is reversed.

JUSTICE GINSBURG delivered the opinion of the Court:

On his first point of error, Petitioner argues that he has constitutionally protected right to engage in consensual sex with any person he so chooses, and that by criminalizing his behavior with a consenting person, North Carolina is discriminating against him based on his sexual orientation. We agree.

This Court has previously determined that a person may not be discriminated against based on sexual orientation unless the State can offer a rational basis for the discrimination. Our previous cases have invalidated laws against homosexual conduct (Lawrence v. Texas) and homosexual marriage (?) on the basis that homosexuality is an immutable characteristic and that there is no rational basis for a state to discriminate against homosexuals in matters of sexual conduct or marriage. For many years, homosexuality was considered a sexual disorder as opposed to an immutable characteristic. However, recently it has been determined that homosexuality is genetic and no different than any other sexual orientation. Therefore, laws that banned homosexual conduct and consensual acts between homosexuals have been declared unconstitutional. See Lawrence v. Texas, and Other Future Hypothetical Case Declaring Ban on Gay Marriage Unconstitutional.

Recently, it has been well documented by science and widely accepted that pedophilia is also a genetic trait and is therefore an immutable characteristic. Sexual orientation towards younger people is immutable and no more within the control of the pedophile than attraction to persons of the same sex is within the control of homosexuals, or attraction to persons of the opposite sex is to heterosexuals, or a preference for blondes over brunettes. Based on this evidence and the previous rulings of this Court, we determine that pedophiles are a protected class and entitled to equal protection of the laws.

Having established that pedophiles are a protected class because pedophilia is an immutable sexual orientation, we next turn to the argument that statutory rape laws the violate equal protection rights of pedophiles.

Because we are dealing with sexual orientation as a classification, the proper standard of review is rational basis. Petitioner argues that the North Carolina Statutory rape law denies him equal protection of the laws solely because of his sexual orientation, and that age of consent laws are arbitrary and overbroad because they infringe on his right to practice his sexual orientation with a consenting person. In support, Petitioner argues that consent is a subjective standard, and that in his case, the female was capable of consent and in fact gave her consent. Petitioner further argues that the arbitrary nature of consent laws is clear because his conduct was lawful in South Carolina, but not in North Carolina. Therefore, such laws make the ability to consent arbitrary without taking into account the actual subjective ability of the alleged victim to consent. Thus, the law is overbroad because it denies him the opportunity to engage in sexual acts consistent with his sexual orientation even when actual consent is established. We agree.

Every state has established its own age of consent. The age of consent is not the same in all states. In this case, the South Carolina age of consent is lower than North Carolina. The South Carolina law assumes that a 14 year old is capable of consent in certain situations such as this when the minor engages in sex with a person 18 years or under, but is incapable of consenting to sexual relations with a person over the age of 18. The State offers no rational basis for such a standard except to offer data that suggests SOME 14 year olds are more likely to be manipulated into sex by persons over the age of 18. We do not find this rationale compelling. Even if it is true that the State of South Carolina is correct in it’s determination that a 14 year old is more likely to be manipulated into sex by a person over the age of 18, it has not been established that such manipulation occurs in every case. This Court has previously held that discrimination based on generalizations about the gender of a person are invalid unless the State can show an “exceedingly persuasive justification” for such generalizations. (U.S. v. Virginia, 1997). In Virginia, we held that Virginia Military Institute could not discriminate against the admission of women if SOME women were capable of meeting the physical requirements of the institution, and that a generalization about the relative abilities of men and women violates equal protection when a discriminatory law is based on such a generalization. Although the standard of review in gender cases is higher than in cases involving sexual orientation, we believe that the same logic is applicable here.

This is further complicated by the fact that the age of consent in North Carolina is different than South Carolina. Under North Carolina law, it is assumed that the female in this case would be capable of consenting to sex with the Petitioner or any other person 18 years of age or older at the age of 16. It is clear by the difference in the laws alone that actual consent cannot be effectively established by statutory rape laws because such laws are based on generalizations about the ability of a person to consent, and even then, there is disagreement among the states. As such, statutory rape laws are unconstitutionally overbroad because they make assumptions about the ability to consent in every case that may not exist in every case. The mere fact that there is disagreement between the States on such an age makes a reliable standard elusive. As such, these statutes cannot be used to deny the Petitioner and others similarly situated their constitutional rights to engage in sexual behavior when there is actual, informed consent. The State does not argue that the established age of consent in this matter is the only means to prevent molestation of children. Indeed, we find that the existing state statutes regarding forcible rape are sufficient to protect the interest of the State against nonconsensual sex with minors without violating the Petitioner’s constitutional rights.

In addition to the “manipulation” rationale offered by the State to support statutory rape laws, the State argues that it has a “moral” interest in preventing sexual relations between adults and minors. However, the State has not offered a concrete reason why such sexual relations are immoral if consent is freely and voluntarily given. Further, given the fact that the age of consent changes depending on the age of the alleged perpetrator, we are unpersuaded that the States contention is a rational one. If morality were the sole question, then the State would have to show why it is immoral for minors to engage in sexual relations with adults, but not with each other. The State of North Carolina does criminalize some sexual relations between minors, but not all. Under North Carolina law, it is not unlawful for a person aged 13-16 to have consensual relations with another person within the same age range. Further, the statute regarding indecent liberties between children is only applicable in juvenile court and the issue of consent is not a consideration. Indeed, the State punishes minors who commit non-consensual, forcible sex acts against any person just as they punish adults who commit such acts. In certain case, juveniles who commit such forcible acts may be tried as adults. Because some sexual relations between minors and with minors does not violate North Carolina law, we are unpersuaded that morality is a rational basis for the establishment of statutory rape laws. “Moral disapproval of a group cannot be a legitimate governmental interest under the Equal Protection Clause because legal classifications must not be “drawn for the purpose of disadvantaging the group burdened by the law.” (Lawrence v. Texas, J. O’Connor, concurring).

We also noted in Lawrence v. Texas that “equality of treatment and the due process right to demand respect for conduct protected by the substantive guarantee of liberty are linked in important respects, and a decision on the latter point advances both interests. If protected conduct is made criminal and the law which does so remains unexamined for its substantive validity, its stigma might remain even if it were not enforceable as drawn for equal protection reasons.” We believe this reasoning applies here. The North Carolina law under which the Petitioner was convicted automatically criminalizes his protected conduct with regardless of whether consent was obtained or not. Thus, he is subject to the “stigma” of violating a law that we have found to be substantively invalid for the reasons previously stated. We further concluded that “the State cannot demean their (homosexuals) existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government.” Because we have established that pedophilia is an immutable characteristic, we believe the statutory rape laws violate the Petitioner’s Due Process rights by making his private sexual conduct criminal.

Further, we have consistently held, however, that some objectives, such as “a bare … desire to harm a politically unpopular group,” are not legitimate state interests. (Department of Agriculture v. Moreno). Thus, even if a majority of the public does not believe pedophilia is morally defensible conduct, that may not serve as a legitimate basis for laws such conduct to be banned.

In the instant case, the female testified that her sexual conduct with the Petitioner was consensual. Additional testimony by the female’s parents, teachers and other adult acquaintances supported Petitioner’s notion that the female was mature for her age, and that her consent was freely given and not the result of coercion by the Petitioner. Based on these facts, the Petitioner was entitled to raise the issue of consent as a defense to the charge against him and the jury was entitled to determine whether such consent existed. Because the North Carolina statute does not allow actual consent to be considered as a defense, the Petitioner’s due process rights were violated.

Nothing in this opinion prevents North Carolina or any other state from punishing non-consensual sex with minors or any other age group. North Carolina’s forcible rape statutes are sufficient to punish a pedophile who engages in non-consensual sex. However, North Carolina’s statutory rape law is inconsistent with our previous holdings regarding consensual sexual conduct and the right to engage in sexual conduct regardless of sexual orientation or proclivity. Therefore, the statute is invalidated, and in all future cases where non-consensual sex is alleged, the burden of proof shall be on the State to show beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged victim did not actually consent or was incapable of consent. Reversed.

TO AVOID ANY CONFUSION- I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS OPINION SHOULD BE THE LAW. I am only suggesting that it is possible.

Samuel Spagnola

I noticed a few errors in my post. Notably, the paragraph on morality as a rational basis should probably read:

"Even if the State were to prove that such conduct is immoral, we have previously held that when such a consideration is provided as the basis to discriminate against a group based on sexual orientation, there is no legitimate state interest to protect. “Moral disapproval of a group cannot be a legitimate governmental interest under the Equal Protection Clause because legal classifications must not be “drawn for the purpose of disadvantaging the group burdened by the law.” (Lawrence v. Texas, J. O’Connor, concurring). In the present case, the Petitioner and other's similarly situated would be denied equal protection solely based on moral disapproval of their otherwise constitutionally protected acts."

The second correction I would make would be on the paragraph regarding the ability to raise the issue of consent at trial. I would end that paragraph as follows:

"...the Petitioner's due process rights were violated when he was prevented from raising his constitutional right to engage in consensual sexual conduct as a defense."

Finally, I would note that a genetic condition is not by definition also an "immutable characteristic", nor is such a classification a requirement to become a suspect class. However, some of the arguments in favor of expansion of gay rights have attempted to place homosexuals within this category because they are "born with it". I do not believe this would be a necessary requirement as people are born with a number of characteristics, some are immutable, such as hair color & height) but have not been worthy of special protection under existing law. A person who is born with a genetic dislike of ice cream does not have an "immutable" distaste for ice cream because his distaste is not readily apparent and he has not suffered historical discrimination as a result. Relying on genetics outside of immutable characteristics as the basis for claiming an equal protection violation is dubious at best. Therefore, absent an immutable characteristic, the standard would be rational basis. I only throw the "immutable" argument in to show how such a law might be invalidated even under a rational basis test as opposed to strict or intermediate scrutiny. If the law cannot pass rational basis, it won't pass the others. Of course, some would argue that if the Court did rule that homosexuality is an "immutable characteristic" their would be heightened scrutiny and thus many anti-gay laws would be invalidated. If such a ruling were made on the basis of orientation, it seems that it would apply to pedophiles as well GIVEN THE ASSUMPTIONS I have made, thus the logic of this "case" would remain the same.

Matt Hill Comer

Umm... Religion and creed are protected but they aren't "immutable genetic characteristics."

What about those? People argue that gays can't be protected b/c we supposedly choose our behavior, but don't people also choose their religions and creeds?

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