Sen. Nan Rich Defends Bestiality Bill
Last week, I consulted with some leading experts in the field of zoophilia -- sexual attraction to animals. Drs. Hani Miletski and Andrea Beetz had both found that "zoos" have genuine affection for their animal lovers. They suggest that the "correlation" that Rich has been touting between bestiality and sex crimes against humans is not causation and thus, that it should not be the basis for outlawing bestiality.
I asked Rich's office to provide the studies that back her claims, and her staff did so. But the studies appear to contain exactly the flaw that Miletski and Beetz had predicted -- the research subjects were already sex offenders. Milestki says that people with antisocial personality disorder, which affects many sex offenders, may have a kind of sex with animals that is different than the kind that true zoos have. The former rapes animals. The latter dotes on the animals, seeking a bond that's similar to the one between spouses. Miletski objects to a law that treats the two with one policy.
But Rich doesn't waver. "They're wrong," she says, when told of the objections of Beetz and Miletski.
Rich said that the correlation with sex crimes isn't the only reason she's brought the legislation. "An animal has feelings," she says. "It's a living thing. I've worked with the Humane Society of the United States, and they feel the same way."
Miletski points out that there's also a strong correlation between child victims of sex abuse becoming child abusers as adults. But not all child victims turn out that way, just as not all people who have sex with animals abuse children.
The bill is being heard in the Florida House today, and it's moving quickly toward passage before the end of the legislative session. I asked Rich whether she anticipated any opponents, and she responded, incredulously, "How would anybody voice objection? Who thinks it's OK to have sex with animals?"