I honestly can’t believe I have to do this, but apparently we need to argue about incest. Last week we told you about the Columbia political science (and adjunct law) professor, David Epstein, who is accused of having a sexual relationship with his 24-year-old daughter.
I’d hoped that most reasonable people would agree that incest is wrong and shouldn’t be allowed. But I’m dealing with lawyers and quite a few homophobes. I wasn’t exactly surprised that commenters made various Lawrence-based arguments and ridiculous connections between incest and gay sex.
And if the commenters are defending incest, you can best believe that Epstein’s lawyer is defending incest too…
The Huffington Post has Epstein’s lawyer, Matthew Galluzzo, making the stupid and disgusting case that incest is somehow similar to gay sex:
“Academically, we are obviously all morally opposed to incest and rightfully so,” Galluzzo said. “At the same time, there is an argument to be made in the Swiss case to let go what goes on privately in bedrooms.”
“It’s OK for homosexuals to do whatever they want in their own home,” he said. “How is this so different? We have to figure out why some behavior is tolerated and some is not.”
Galluzzo also said that even though Epstein’s daughter had emerged as a victim in the case, she could “be best described as an accomplice.”
I’m not going to totally slam Galluzzo. When your client is accused of being a dirty pervert, you’ve got to go with whatever argument you think has legs. I think he could have made the argument without making a stupid reference to homosexuality. But whatever, playing on people’s not-so-hidden homophobia is just another way to make his client look reasonable.
Of course, incest is not reasonable. It’s not close to reasonable. The fact that so many people want to make it into something that sounds reasonable says a lot more about the sick fantasies of these guys and their subtle hatred of gays than it does about the legal justifications for incest.
Incest is EASILY distinguishable from gay sex under Lawrence. It’s right in the holding if you actually read the freaking case:
Bowers’ rationale does not withstand careful analysis. In his dissenting opinion in Bowers Justice Stevens concluded that (1) the fact a State’s governing majority has traditionally viewed a particular practice as immoral is not a sufficient reason for upholding a law prohibiting the practice, and (2) individual decisions concerning the intimacies of physical relationships, even when not intended to produce offspring, are a form of “liberty” protected by due process…
This case does not involve minors, persons who might be injured or coerced, those who might not easily refuse consent, or public conduct or prostitution. It does involve two adults who, with full and mutual consent, engaged in sexual practices common to a homosexual lifestyle.
Coercion is inherent in every case of parent/child incest. EVERY SINGLE ONE. It really doesn’t matter if your twisted little minds can conceive of a “supermodel hot” daughter seducing her father while he is just sitting there trying to watch SportsCenter. A daughter, inherently, “might be injured or coerced” into having sex with her father. She “might not easily refuse consent” to sex with her father. You don’t even have to have a basic moral compass to see that.
The lawyer calls Epstein’s daughter an “accomplice.” Was his law school in the basement of a whorehouse? Epstein’s daughter is as much of an accomplice as a rape victim who was wearing a low-cut blouse is an accomplice. No matter how smoking hot a 15-year-old girl is, she cannot consent to having sex with her teacher; similarly, a child of any age cannot consent to having sex with his or her parent — no matter how badly they “want it.” Galluzzo is being intellectually dishonest to suggest that we live in a legal system that is incapable of knowing the difference between consent and coercion.
And gay sex has nothing at all to do with the issue. Gay sex might be morally reprehensible to some people, but it doesn’t hurt anybody. Incest, on the other hand, is rape by a different name. It’s using your power and position and leverage to get sex out of somebody who is not in a good position to say no. It’s not the government’s job to legislate morality; it is the government’s job to protect innocent victims.
Or not so innocent victims. I really don’t care if a daughter is grinding up against her father’s package every morning while he was fixing her breakfast. I really don’t care if she is a dirty little whore who was hell-bent on getting back at mommy by screwing daddy. I don’t care if she’s 50 when the incest happens. At the end of the day, children do not have the capacity to choose to have sex with their parents, simply because the parent/child relationship ruins the capacity for consent.
This isn’t a tough question to me: not legally, morally, ethically, genetically, theologically, or otherwise. You can’t have sex with your children. You also can’t have sex with anybody who is below the age of legal consent. Are these hard rules to follow?
Apparently, a lot of you think they are. So have at it in the comments. Please, share your gross and disgusting fantasies about how it would be okay to have sex with your kids if they are pretty enough. I want to hear how you mask your own latent homosexuality by pretending that having sex with your offspring is morally equivalent to getting a reach-around from Lance Bass.
Because honestly, keeping you engaged enough to skeet all over the ATL comments section is morally preferable to having you out on the town tonight, looking for a woman you can impregnate with your next sexual partner.