I know this isn’t my usual blog fare, but I had so much fun writing up this story at Mr. Conservative that I’m reprinting it here in its entirety:
When Carlos Romero was tried in Marion County, Florida, for having sex with a donkey, he mounted an unusual defense: It’s unconstitutional to ban donkey love or, indeed, to ban any sexual relationships between humans and animals. Carlos eventually plea bargained his claim, although he still plans to appeal the judgment holding that his conduct was illegal.
It all started when Carlos was caught last August in a compromising position with a female miniature donkey named Doodle. (Doodle was, apparently, a very pretty donkey.) The state charged him with sexual activities involving animals, a first-degree misdemeanor. Rather than copping a deal after copping a donkey feel, Carlos insisted upon going to trial in order to defend his constitutional right to have sex with animals.
Further, said the lawyers, “By making sexual conduct with an animal a crime, the statute demeans individuals like Defendant (Romero) by making his private sexual conduct a crime.”
Carlos’ enthusiastic defense counsel didn’t stop there. In case Carlos’ privacy rights weren’t enough to make a constitutional argument, the attorneys also argued that the statute was deficient in that the state was not required to prove either that the animal was injured or that it did not consent. “Therefore, the only possible rational basis for the statute is a moral objection to sexual acts considered deviant or downright ‘disgusting,’?”
(The lawyers really weren’t thinking when they made that argument. Florida’s anti-bestiality statute is the animal equivalent of statutory rape laws, which also do not rest upon the absence of injury or the presence of consent. The law presumes that children are injured when an adult has sex with them and it also states that children cannot legally give consent. Same goes for animals.)
Despite the intellectual and legal weakness of their arguments, Carlos’ attorneys were on a role:
The personal morals of the majority, whether based on religion or traditions, cannot be used as a reason to deprive a person of their personal liberties. If the statute were to require sexual conduct with animals to be nonconsensual or to cause injury in order to be a crime, then perhaps the State would have a rational basis and legitimate state interest in enforcement.
The classification of zoophilic acts as first-degree misdemeanors is grossly out of proportion to the severity of zoophilic acts.
One has to admire the zeal Carlos’ attorneys showed when they afforded Carlos’ his constitutional right to an attorney. He is a most unappealing character. According to the Gainesville Sun,
Romero admitted that he gets sexually aroused around animals more so than humans and allegedly masturbated with Doodle in his room. He claimed that he would have had sex with the miniature donkey eventually, but that she wasn’t ready and was “blooming into maturity.”
“Blooming into maturity?” Funnily enough, that’s exactly what pedophiles say when they groom their child victims for rape, both statutory and otherwise.
On December 14, Carlos Romero pleaded no contest and was sentenced to a year of probation, including psychiatric counseling, testing for STDs, and a prohibition against getting anywhere near children. Probation rather than jail was important to him, Carlos said, because it would have been difficult to mount an appeal challenging the law if he had been sent to jail.
Carlos’ promised appeal means that there is still some likelihood that the Supreme Court will one day have to decide whether states may criminalize bestiality. Insurers already struggling with the increased costs resulting from ObamaCare may discover that there’s a whole new class of federal rules controlling medical and veterinary insurance coverage for mixed-species marriages.