This Michigan Legislator Is Attempting to Ban Sodomy While the Flint Water Crisis Rages On

The people of Flint, Michigan are continuing to suffer from the effects of lead poisoning, desperately trying to find bottled or clean water and hoping that somehow political officials that caused the crisis will eventually be brought to justice. Meanwhile, the Michigan Senate passed a bill outlawing anal sex and labeling it as a felony.


Michigan has an existing state law that punishes anal sex with up to a 15-year sentence in prison. However, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in the landmark 2003 case Lawrence v. Texas that laws against sodomy are unconstitutional, invalidating them in 13 states. The legislature insists that the law doesn’t target gay people but claims that it applies to both same-sex and heterosexual couples. It reads in part, “the abominable and detestable crime against nature with mankind or with any animal.” Because the law uses the word “mankind” many suspect that it reaffirms the sodomy laws that are already on the books.

The peculiar nature of the Michigan legislation is that this anti-anal sex with humans provision appears as part of an amendment to a bill that addresses bestiality. While the legislature hopes to prevent cases of animal abuse, it is unclear if there is a rampant epidemic of bestiality in Michigan. A Google news search doesn’t heed any results.

The bill was was well-meaning; it began as an attempt to create a registry of animal abusers. Many states like Tennessee and New York are turning to this as a solution to prevent animals abuse, but it also serves the dual purpose of identifying violence against children, families and future killers of humans.

Anthropologist Margaret Mead worked extensively to understand the link between animal abuse and human on human abuse. Mead was one of the first researchers to conclude that cruelty to animals from children could be a precursor to future violence.

In 1964, she wrote:

“One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture an animal and get away with it… [as] such children, diagnosed early, could be helped instead of being allowed to embark on a long career of episodic violence and murder.”

The bill has passed the Senate, but the state House still has an opportunity to strip the unconstitutional provision. Republican Senator Rick Jones is urging his colleagues to refrain from doing so because it could put a crucial bill to protect animals in jeopardy.

“The minute I cross that line and I start talking about the other stuff, I won’t even get another hearing. It’ll be done,” Rep. Jones explained to The New Civil Rights Movement. “Nobody wants to touch it. I would rather not even bring up the topic, because I know what would happen. You’d get both sides screaming and you end up with a big fight that’s not needed because it’s unconstitutional… If we could put a bill in that said anything that’s unconstitutional be removed from the legal books of Michigan, that’s probably something I could vote for, but am I going to mess up this dog bill that everybody wants? No.”

Logan’s Law is named after a Siberian Husky that died tragically after having acid intentionally poured over him.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.