Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Mass Law on Bestiality Remains Substantively Unchanged by Bill No. 938

One of our contributors posted a typically shoddy right-wing smear as a comment in a previous post on Scooter Libby and bear-sex. The story he links to has been making the rounds on the right-wing talk shows , and thus it should come as no surprise to our readers that it is completely untrue.

Although our correspondent’s comment wasn’t germane to the topic of Scooter Libby’s hypocrisy re: bestiality and other sexual deviance, I felt I had to post a response simply because his comment didn’t live up to the commitment most of us share to make this a “reality-based” blogg. When lies are put forward as truth, we all have a duty to let the sunshine in.

The comment at least suggested that allowing same-sex marriage in Massachusetts was leading to efforts to decriminalize or reduce punishments for the kind of bestiality lovingly treated in Libby’s opus. Here’s a brief quote from the “pro-life” website our correspondent linked to (link above).

“First Comes Gay Marriage then Comes Bestiality in Massachusetts
By Hilary White
BOSTON, November 17, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Four legislators in Massachusetts are quickly following up on their success at legalizing homosexual unions by pushing for softening laws against other forms of sexual deviance. They have introduced a bill that proposes to reduce the penalties associated with the state’s criminal prohibition on sex acts with animals.”
Now, not only is this viciously untrue, it hides from readers the real motivations behind Republican opposition to Massachusetts Senate Bill No. 938. The law against sex with animals would remain on the books with an alteration that doesn’t alter the maximum or minimum penalty for the crime, or the standards of proof required to obtain a conviction. The only difference under the altered law is that criminals convicted of sex with animals who are sentenced to more than 2 years will be held in a state institution rather than a county house of correction. Moving criminals farther from their families and into state’s hands in no way condones the sort of behavior that Libby finds interesting enough to write about.

A quick look at the archaic laws to be abolished by this proposed bill reveals the true source of our dishonest correspondent’s objections. Below find the text of the bill itself which proposes the abolishment of several sections of “Crimes Against Chastity, Morality, Decency And Good Order” and the changes explained above to Sec. 34. Following the bill itself, I provided the full text of the sections to be abolished and the original and altered text of section 34. Look closely at the existing bill against “Advertising relative to miscarriage or prevention of pregnancy” that will be abolished and see if you can guess why the wing-nuts would like to keep this one on the books. Don’t even get me started on “§ 36. Blasphemy.”



2005 Massachusetts Senate Bill No. 938, Massachusetts 184th General Court -- 2005 Regular Session (FULL TEXT - STATE NET)

MASSACHUSETTS BILL TEXT

SENATE No. 938
By Ms. Creem, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 938) of Cynthia
S. Creem, Robert A. O'Leary, Michael E. Festa, David P. Linsky and other
members of the General Court for legislation relative to archaic crimes. The
Judiciary.
THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
In the Year Two Thousand and Five.

VERSION: Introduced
January 5, 2005
Creem

AN ACT RELATIVE TO ARCHAIC CRIMES.
TEXT:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court
assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 14 of chapter 272 of the General Laws is hereby repealed.
SECTION 2. Section 18 of chapter 272 of the General Laws is hereby repealed.
SECTION 3. Section 20 of chapter 272 of the General Laws is hereby repealed.
SECTION 4. Section 21 of chapter 272 of the General Laws is hereby repealed.
SECTION 5. Section 21A of chapter 272 of the General Laws is hereby repealed.
SECTION 6. Said chapter 272 is hereby further amended by striking out section 34, as appearing in the 2002 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 34. Whoever commits a sexual act on an animal shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 20 years or in a house of correction for not more than 2 years, or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
SECTION 7. Section 36 of chapter 272 of the General Laws is hereby repealed.
SECTION 8. Section 63 of chapter 272 of the General Laws is hereby repealed.
SECTION 9. Section 64 of chapter 272 of the General Laws is hereby repealed.
SECTION 10. Section 65 of chapter 272 of the General Laws is hereby repealed.
SECTION 11. Section 66 of chapter 272 of the General Laws is hereby repealed.
SECTION 12. Section 67 of chapter 272 of the General Laws is hereby repealed.
SECTION 13. Section 68 of chapter 272 of the General Laws is hereby repealed.
SECTION 14. Section 69 of chapter 272 of the General Laws is hereby repealed.
2005 MA S.B. 938 (SN)

Sections of CHAPTER 272. CRIMES AGAINST CHASTITY, MORALITY, DECENCY AND GOOD ORDER to be abolished under proposed bill (note changes also to section 34 as shown).

§ 14. Adultery
A married person who has sexual intercourse with a person not his spouse or an unmarried person who has sexual intercourse with a married person shall be guilty of adultery and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than three years or in jail for not more than two years or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars.
§ 18. Fornication
Whoever commits fornication shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than three months or by a fine of not more than thirty dollars.
§ 20. Advertising relative to miscarriage or prevention of pregnancy
Except as provided in section twenty-one A, whoever knowingly advertises, prints, publishes, distributes or circulates, or knowingly causes to be advertised, printed, published, distributed or circulated, any pamphlet, printed paper, book, newspaper, notice, advertisement or reference containing words or language giving or conveying any notice, hint or reference to any person, or to the name of any person, real or fictitious, from whom, or to any place, house, shop or office where any poison, drug, mixture, preparation, medicine or noxious thing, or any instrument or means whatever, or any advice, direction, information or knowledge may be obtained for the purpose of causing or procuring the miscarriage of a woman pregnant with child or of preventing, or which is represented as intended to prevent, pregnancy shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than three years or in jail for not more than two and one half years or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.
§ 21. Instruments or other articles for self-abuse, prevention of conception or abortion, in general
Except as provided in section twenty-one A, whoever sells, lends, gives away, exhibits, or offers to sell, lend or give away an instrument or other article intended to be used for self-abuse, or any drug, medicine, instrument or article whatever for the prevention of conception or for causing unlawful abortion, or advertises the same, or writes, prints, or causes to be written or printed a card, circular, book, pamphlet, advertisement or notice of any kind stating when, where, how, of whom or by what means such article can be purchased or obtained, or manufactures or makes any such article shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years or in jail or the house of correction for not more than two and one half years or by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars.
§ 21A. Furnishing drugs, articles or information for prevention of pregnancy or conception
A registered physician may administer to or prescribe for any married person drugs or articles intended for the prevention of pregnancy or conception. A registered pharmacist actually engaged in the business of pharmacy may furnish such drugs or articles to any married person presenting a prescription from a registered physician.

A public health agency, a registered nurse, or a maternity health clinic operated by or in an accredited hospital may furnish information to any married person as to where professional advice regarding such drugs or articles may be lawfully obtained.

This section shall not be construed as affecting the provisions of sections twenty and twenty-one relative to prohibition of advertising of drugs or articles intended for the prevention of pregnancy or conception; nor shall this section be construed so as to permit the sale or dispensing of such drugs or articles by means of any vending machine or similar device.
§ 34. Crime against nature
Whoever commits the abominable and detestable crime against nature, either with mankind or with a beast, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than twenty years.
Changed to read:
Section 34. Whoever commits a sexual act on an animal shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 20 years or in a house of correction for not more than 2 years, or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
§ 36. Blasphemy
Whoever wilfully blasphemes the holy name of God by denying, cursing or contumeliously reproaching God, his creation, government or final judging of the world, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching or exposing to contempt and ridicule, the holy word of God contained in the holy scriptures shall be punished by imprisonment in jail for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars, and may also be bound to good behavior.
§ 63. Tramps; begging or riding freight trains as prima facie evidence
Whoever, not being under seventeen, or a person asking charity within his own town, roves about from place to place begging, or living without labor or visible means of support, shall be deemed a tramp. An act of begging or soliciting alms, whether of money, food, lodging or clothing, by a person having no residence in the town within which the act is committed, or the riding upon a freight train of a railroad, whether within or without any car or part thereof, without a permit from the proper officers or employees of such railroad or train, shall be prima facie evidence that such person is a tramp.
§ 64. Tramps; punishment; entering buildings; injuries to or threats against persons or property; carrying weapons
A tramp shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than thirty days; and if he enters a dwelling house or other building without the consent of the owner or occupant thereof, or wilfully or maliciously injures or threatens to injure any person therein, or threatens to do any injury to any person, or to the property of another, or is found carrying a firearm or other dangerous weapon, he shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not less than one nor more than two and one half years, but notwithstanding the foregoing a tramp found carrying a firearm or other dangerous weapon in violation of section ten of chapter two hundred and sixty-nine may be prosecuted and punished thereunder.
§ 65. Arrest of tramps without warrant; making complaint
A sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable or police officer, upon view or information of an offence described in the two preceding sections, may, without a warrant, arrest the offender, and make complaint against him therefor; and the state police shall make such arrests and complaints. Mayors and selectmen shall appoint special police officers, who shall also make such arrests and complaints in their respective towns.
§ 66. Vagrants
Persons wandering abroad and begging, or who go about from door to door or in public or private ways, areas to which the general public is invited, or in other public places for the purpose of begging or to receive alms, and who are not licensed or who do not come within the description of tramps as contained in section sixty-three, shall be deemed vagrants and may be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months in the house of correction.
§ 67. Vagrants; arrest without warrant; taking before court; complaint
Sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, constables and police officers, acting on the request of any person or upon their own information or belief, shall without a warrant arrest and carry any vagrant before a district court for the purpose of an examination, and shall make complaint against him.
§ 68. Vagabonds
A person known to be a pickpocket, thief or burglar, if acting in a suspicious manner around any steamboat landing, railroad depot, or any electric railway station, or place where electric railway cars stop to allow passengers to enter or leave the cars, banking institution, broker's office, place of public amusement, auction room, store, shop, crowded thoroughfare, car or omnibus, the dwelling place of another, or at any public gathering or assembly, shall be deemed a vagabond, and shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not less than four nor more than twelve months.
§ 69. Vagabonds; arrest without warrant; taking before court; complaint
Sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, constables and police officers shall take any such vagabond into custody without a warrant and shall, within twenty-four hours after such arrest, Sundays and legal holidays excepted, take him before a district court, and shall make complaint against him.

4 Thoughts:

Blogger Demotiki said...

I might point also point out that the link provided by our corespondent incorrectly claims that legislators were responsible for the legalization of same-sex weddings, when in fact it the SJC was responsible for the change. In fact, the typical right-wing argument is that legislatures, not the courts should determine who can marry who. But hey, let's not cloud the air with "facts."

I might also point out that our corespondent only proves the point I made in my previous post that many Republicans are far too interested in the sex-lives of their neighbors.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 5:34:00 PM  
Blogger Kyahgirl said...

Its always so interesting to read the blog when you and Allen have a heated discussion about something.

Eventually the truth comes to light.
Laura

Thursday, November 24, 2005 4:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I just got back from FL, so I might be a little confused, but who is sleeping with a bear, now?

Monday, November 28, 2005 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Demotiki said...

Libby wrote about his fantasies of having small girls copulate with bears. Allen says this is normal and we shouldn't get all worked up about it, but that gays are the real problem.

Monday, November 28, 2005 2:39:00 PM  

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