All right, all right, ha ha, Floridians are stupid freaks, it's an easy joke. They never outlawed bestiality before because they thought animal husbandry meant marrying animals, Fark has a Florida tag because they're so reliably nutty, etc. It's all very tired.
In the last couple of days the big joke has been that Florida finally attempted to outlaw bestiality and accidentally outlawed sex between humans (or, at least, what passes for human in Florida). Everybody's laughing about it based on a post on the blog Southern Fried Science, which pointed out that (1) the law bans sex with "animals", and (2) humans are, scientifically speaking, animals, and (3) therefore Florida has banned humans having sex with humans.
Potentially salutary impact on the nation's gene pool aside, this is too pedantic. As another blogger points out, the statute clearly draws a distinction between "persons" and "animals," and prohibits the former from sexual contact with the later for the purpose of sexual gratification. No judge would interpret that to prohibit humans from sexual contact with humans, even if "persons" are scientifically "animals" as well. Both reason and the rule of lenity prohibit it.
But scientists, and persons who are (not unreasonably) cautious about engaging in sexual contact with Floridians, may want more precision and certainty than that. Fortunately, traditional methods of statutory interpretation can help. All we have to do is see if somewhere else in Florida law there is a statute making it clear that when the Florida Legislature uses the term "animal", they mean the colloquial definition, not the scientific one. Then we can be sure that, no matter what sort of deoxyribonucleic-acid-dump-site Florida may be, and however true it may be that 166 years of imbeciles is enough, the Florida Legislature did not intend to stop Floridians from reproducing.
Let's see. Florida Statutes, Title XLVI, Crime: Section 828.02, Definitions. This should do it:
In this chapter, and in every law of the state relating to or in any way affecting animals, the word "animal" shall be held to include every living dumb creature . . . .
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- About Clark Being "Purged" From Popehat - May 24th, 2017
- The Dubious "Anthony Weiner's Accuser Was Actually Over 16" Story, And Why I'm Very Skeptical - May 22nd, 2017
- Lawsplainer: The Remarkable Anthony Weiner Guilty Plea - May 19th, 2017
- The Elaborate Pantomime of The Federal Guilty Plea - May 8th, 2017
- A Disturbing In-Flight Experience - May 1st, 2017