Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Sanctioning Santorum

Leave it to the conservatives to equate the state respecting the rights of consenting adult homosexuals to have sex to the state allowing incestuous sex with minor children.

In an AP interview published Monday, Senator Rick Santorum, R-Pa., was quoted as saying, "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."

According to the AP, Santorum spokeswoman Erica Clayton Wright said the lawmaker's comments were "were specific to the Supreme Court case," that case being Lawrence v. Texas.

Ms. Clayton Wright’s explanation doesn’t help Santorum. The Texas case that she claims his comments were focused on is a case where a state government asserts that it may criminalize activity between consenting adults in the privacy of their home for the sole reason that it believes that activity immoral.

But what is the basis of such a moral claim? Like most religious conservatives, Santorum equates the consistent protection of individual rights with pell-mell anarchy. If the state breaks from the Holy Bible’s prohibition on homosexual conduct and respects homosexual rights, it only follows that men will seek to have several wives, married couples will wantonly cheat on each other, and sex with one's own children will be an everyday occurrence. Throw in a couple lines about the End Times and one can easily see how disconcerting a pro-homosexual outcome on the Texas case would be for religious conservatives.

Yet America is not a nation governed by the Holy Bible. Each citizen is free to live by the moral code of his own choosing, but when it comes to affairs of the state, only the acceptable guide is reason. The religious faith of some citizens, however passionately held, is not a substitute for a rational legal code.

Yet the Texas law is a prime example of irrational law. It does not protect anyone from the initiation of violence or fraud, but instead seeks to impose an antiquated and mystical moral view on a portion of the population despised by people of a certain faith.

A homosexual has every right to use his or her sexual capacity as he sees fit without interference from the state. Homosexuals don’t have a right to “anything,” but they do have a right to their lives, which Santorum does not seem to respect.

Some have called for Santorum’s removal from the leadership of the Senate due to his bias against homosexuals. I call for it due to his bias against individual rights, and his unwillingness to defend simple truths or protect the innocent victims of government abuse.

No comments: