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January 09, 2014

Virginia Delegate: Hey, Let's Start Making Oral Sex a Crime Again

He's not seeking to make oral sex broadly illegal, just specifically illegal in certain cases. For example, prostituted genital sex is a misdemeanor, but he wishes to make prostituted oral sex a felony.

He wants to make oral sex with a minor a felony in all cases -- including in the case of minors having sex with minors. 15-17 year olds are allowed to have sex with each other (no crime), but if they have oral sex with each other, that would be a crime.

There is a certain contingent in the Republican Party that insists on defending this nonsense. Not everyone who defends it actually supports it; I think the idea is rather that just as the left observes the rule No Enemies to the Left, so should we refrain from knocking allies on the right.

I don't support this rule. I used to see in the value in it but I no longer do. Things like this are embarrassing and counterproductive. I am tired of being associated with the Party That Really Wants To Patrol Your Private Sexual Choices Because We Know Better Because It's In the Bible.

d, yes, I realize that some people, presumably including Delegate Garrett, view nongenital sex as immoral — but even those people, I assume, are uninclined to outlaw things (unkindness, dishonesty, not honoring your father and mother, coveting your neighbor’s wife or property, and the like) just because they are immoral. Indeed, even people who view premarital sex generally as immoral tend not to be inclined to pass new laws banning all fornication. What is there about nongenital sex that makes it more properly subject to outlawing, especially given the perverse incentives that such a prohibition would create?

To not criticize this crap -- which, by the way, cost us all of the statewide posts in Virginia just a few months ago -- is to send the signal that we're broadly supportive of it, and hence to encourage more of it.

We should not. Social infractions should be punished by social means -- stigmatization, speeches, opinion columns, sermons in church. This insistence that The Law shall be the place where we announce, promote, and ultimately enforce our personal belief systems (in all cases, not just a few absolutely required ones) will be our undoing.

What makes these arguments especially tedious is that those pushing this sort of backdoor-recriminalizaiton-of-sodomy crap usually deny they're doing that, no matter how obvious it is that's precisely what they're seeking to do:

[T]his proposal is a response to a MacDonald v. Moose (4th Cir. 2013), which applied Lawrence v. Texas to strike down the ban on the grounds that the ban covered private noncommercial adult sexual conduct. Delegate Garrett is trying to revive that old law in those areas — prostitution, sex involving minors, and sex in public places — where Lawrence might not apply. But even though this revival might be constitutional, that doesn’t make it smart.

So they're looking for corner-case situations where a court may permit a reinstatement of the ban, in particular cases.


The proposed bill, by the way, is headlined:

§ 18.2-361. Crimes against nature; penalty.

We often goof on the left for being unserious -- for ignoring issues requiring serious work in order to indulge in cheap tribal sexual politics gesturing.

How is this any different?

Milton Friedman observed that it is wrong to say "We need to elect the right people into office." Politicians are insecure, emotionally-broken, pandering attention-monsters (rather like bloggers, you know) who will do whatever they believe will make them popular.

The right way to get the right law is not to elect better politicians; such things are as rare as black swans.

The right way to get the right law is to make it such that the right thing to do is the thing that makes the politician popular.

And to make it unpopular to do the wrong thing, the stupid thing, the anti-freedom thing.

Continuing to just let this agenda fester in silence is to tacitly bless it. Obviously this guy, Garrett, feels that being an idiot on oral sex will make him popular with some; it's about time we on the right stopped falsifying our own preferences in deference to a fringe minority and openly declared our real preferences, which is that this nonsense must stop.

It's time for the right's own in-caucus preference cascade. I think we've all been silently going along with this stuff because of our mistaken belief that a large number of conservatives agree with this and to speak out against it would be to fissure the party.

That's how preferences get falsified -- people wrongly believe their opinions are unpopular, or minority, and thus suppress them.

And cascades happen when people start admitting "Hey this is total bullshit and I'm against it' and other people start saying, "Holy crap, so am I; I just assumed everyone else was on board."

I do not believe anything close to a majority of even the harder-conservative primary-voter population favors new legislative adventurism into specifying, by Force of Law, that Gynie Sex is better than other types of sex.

The product sells itself, doesn't it? Do we really need so much conservative legislative boosterism for PIV?

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posted by Ace at 02:35 PM

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