Thursday, June 30, 2016

Marriage Equality, Bestiality, Zoo culture, LGBTI

Marriage Equality according to Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Humans Rights maintains:

men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and its dissolution.

Some, such as Liberal backbencher Cory Bernardi believe it's a slippery slope from the introduction of marriage equality to legislation that condones marginal practices such as polygomy and bestiality, and may result in the marriage, not just cohabitatiion between human and not-human others. He introduces in his concern two lines from Leviticus 18:22-29 in the King James Bible - Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womakind: it is an abomination. Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself is a confusion.
His emphasis of course is on bestiality - sexual activity with animals, because we humans appear to condone, or rather, don't find disgust in our relationship or sexual activity with all kinds of not human objects and machines (vibrators, blow-up dolls, etc) used as mastabatory adjuncts, or pre-coital devices for sexual arousal. Indeed virtual sex and sex with robots (humanoids equipped with teledildonics) is already being developed, a time foretold by David Levy in his book Love and Sex with Robots (2007). Sub-cultural individuals called furries - who wear fursuits, identify with and dress as animals and meet up with like minded others who engage in physical activities such as rubbing, hugging or stroking, which provides psychological or physical satisfaction. A fairly benign kind of activity, that conceals race, gender and body type and allows a freedom of contact not found in usual human interractions.

When it comes to desire and sexual satisfaction animals don't discriminate between humans and objects. Dogs in particular have no hesitation in mounting the leg of a human or attempting to mount a person who is bending over. Human response is generally to dissuade the animal from making us an object of their desire. Well, excuse me, but I didn't give you permission to use my leg to masturbate. My male cat would often bite and tease our fluffy feather duster, dribble at the mouth and become aroused whilst thrusting itself into the soft surface. We usually watch this activity with good humor, passing them off as 'just animals'. We forget that we are essentialy animals, the major difference being that we are the animal that knows it will die.

Zoo culture and zoophilia, still an underground movement and considered deviant, has all the same, been acknowledged and perhaps embraced in part by the Australian philosopher Peter Singer who is on record as defending 'consensual' sex betwen humans and animals and is concerned only with whether the sexual contract is 'mutual satisying'. In his article Heavy Petting he explains:

The taboo on sex with animals may, as I have already suggested, have originated as part of a broader rejection of non-reproductive sex. But the vehemence with which this prohibition continues to be held, its persistence while other non-reproductive sexual acts have become acceptable, suggests that there is another powerful force at work: our desire to differentiate ourselves, erotically and in every other way, from animals.

I personally believe there is no accurate way of knowing whether the animal you wish you have sex with has given permission, and you may say that if the animal does not fight off your approach then it has given consent. But all kinds of things are in play in this scenario. Your pet is fed and housed by you and generally gives you unconditional love; so any display of affection or sexual attention may be accepted by the animal under duress. There are some that think sex with an animal might be considered statutory rape and others believe that since an animal is only an animal that we don't have to have to afford the same considerations to it. After all, we humans (except those who are vegetarian) use animals for our own ends. We slaughter and ingest animal flesh and use animal bioproducts to extend our life, what difference does it make if we also use it for our sexual gratification?

Richard Kahn from the University of California in Los Angeles says that

The steady growth of Zoo subculture, the rise of a number transdisciplinary scholarly studies on bestiality, and a changing legal status for animals in many nations, may very well point to changing conceptions of human identity that support Singer’s view of existence as a continuity between human and non-human animals. Zoophilia, if not bestiality, then, represents a marginal but potentially illuminative practice of how new conceptions of equality, reciprocity, and love could be made manifest between human and non-human species. However, it is certain that Western society’s long standing taboo against bestiality remains powerfully proscriptive for a great many people and so, as conceptions about bestiality and zoophilia continue to emerge and confront society, they are sure to generate and be met with heated disapproval. (The Encyclopedia of Human-Animal Relations, Mark Bekoff (ed.), Greenwood Publishing, Westport, CT. 2006)

The fact is that animals do not have the same rights as humans. Human speciesism (human supremacism) reigns, maintaining that non-humans who do not share our morality should not be given similar rights. Sadly, some humans, namely those who form part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex community do not have the same rights as the majority of heterosexual human beings in regards to marriage equality even though they are members of our species and our humanity!

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