OP-EDS

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April 29, 2003

Santorum II: Don't restrict sex

Senator Rick Santorum's recent remarks involving homosexuals have brought the already festering debate over consensual sex in the homosexual bedroom to the fore yet again. "If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything," he declared to an AP reporter, referring to Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court case which evaluates the constitutionality of laws prohibiting sodomy among same-sex couples.

The fact is, legally, he may be right. The recognition of the legitimacy of homosexuality under the Constitution's 14th Amendment equal protection clause may eventually lay the groundwork for gay marriages, which could in turn lead to legalized bigamy, polygamy, or (as Chief Justice Rehnquist fears) homosexual kindergarten teachers.

Please, delay running to your nearest bomb shelter until you've finished reading this paper.

It's well nigh time the government recognized that it has no place regulating what takes place in the bedroom. If two consenting, of-age siblings wish to consummate their brother/sisterly love, then far be it from me, or anyone else, to tell them they can't. The government that can regulate such consensual bedroom activities isn't far on legal grounds from banning the use of contraception during sex. The legal principle--the right to privacy in the bedroom, regardless of whether acts lead to procreation--is the same.

Lest one think that these arcane laws about incest and sodomy are acceptable because they're rarely enforced, one only need to look at Malaysia, where the homosexual former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim was just sentenced to nine years in prison for sodomy, to recognize that such laws, until repealed, are forever a political tool to be used against minorities.

What is so despicable about Santorum's remarks is not his rather astute observations of constitutional law, but the beliefs that accompany them, including the erroneous grouping of homosexual sex between two consenting adults with "man on dog" or "man on child."

But what Senator "Sanitize" wants is to regulate what we want: "The idea is that the state doesn't have rights to limit individuals' wants and passions. I disagree with that." The senator thinks that "there are consequences" to such freedom. Well, he's right. The consequence of freedom is a requisite tolerance for other people's wants and passions. Free societies mean that the good senator's ideas about sex don't have to coincide with mine.

You'll excuse me, but I thought that inherent in "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is the idea that I have free reign to pursue my passions and wants, especially when they coincide with the passions and wants of the willing adult who happens to lie next to me in bed. But then again, maybe the Supreme Court will hold founding fathers didn't consider the orgasm when they gave us the "pursuit of happiness."

Whatever the case, don't expect Santorum to share Lott's fate: not only are homosexual acts widely accepted as immoral among the conservatives in the beltway, but despite the despicable beliefs Santorum promulgates, many of us hope that his prediction proves correct--yours truly included.