Jacob Levy, writing on The Volokh Conspiracy, takes Rich Santorum to task for comparing buggery to child molestation and bestiality. The thing is, Santorum doesn’t make that comparison:
“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,” Santorum, R-Pa., said in the interview, published Monday.
He’s comparing apples to apples–consensual adult sex to consensual adult sex. No mention of sex with children or animals here.
Update (12:24): I e-mailed Jacob with my concerns simultaneously to posting them here and he responds thusly:
The relevant debate is highlighted in the second link, Levy’s earlier Volokh post on that topic. He interprets Santorum’s saying homosexuality isn’t the same thing as bestiality and pedophilia as inviting comparison and thus linking them. I interpret it the opposite way.
Levy’s interpretation of the “it” referring to marriage rather than buggery is not unreasonable, although I don’t think that’s what Santorum is saying/meant. If it is, then I still find Santorum’s statement defensible as being consistent with his religious view of marriage and sexuality, although I would disagree with the lumping of these issues, as I noted in my original post on this issue. I don’t believe in “sin,” only right and wrong, which I define in humanist terms. I agree with Protagoras that, “Man is the measure of all things.” In all issues of morality and public policy, the question Who does this hurt? must be asked. With respect to child molestation, the answer is rather obvious. There is no such thing as “consensual” child molestation, since children lack the maturity to formulate consent. Frankly, I haven’t given much thought to bestiality and would prefer not to start now.