Texas puts the "best" in bestiality! A cop got arrested for fucking a dog. Hilarity ensues. (source) And, who could sympathize with this cop? He was fucking a dog, after all. Well, that's the thing about seeing someone prosecuted — you shouldn't think about whether you sympathize with them. You shouldn't think about "what happens if I want to fuck a dog?" You should think about what's really going on, and how it could affect you, even if you could never get a chubbie for a pug, no matter how slutty it is.
In Texas, believe it or not, it is legal to have sex with your dog.
Enter the Harris County DA's Sex Crime Division.
JoAnn Musick from Harris County District Attorney Office’s Sex Crime Division says the acts being committed by Sustaita Jr. seen in the bestiality video are so extreme and graphic, she decided to charge the deputy with felony obscenity, since Texas remains one of the eight total states where no laws exist specifically banning bestiality. (source) (corrob.)
So what? Fuck him. He's a cop fucking a dog.
Because if we fuck him, its all of our asses that bleed.
If you have the right to do something, why should it be illegal to film it? Think about how fucked up our laws are when it comes to this shit. Two 17 year olds get married. Perfectly legal. They want to fuck. Again, perfectly legal. They set up a tripod in the bedroom and film it – now they're "child pornographers," and there is no exception, and they will go to jail and be registered sex offenders for life.
So that's not exactly fucking a dog — but in the eyes of Texas law, you can fuck a dog as readily as you can fuck a melon or a fleshlight. If I go out, buy the sexiest honeydew melon I can find, carve me a sweet hole in it, and go the fuck to town on it, giving it a reverse cow-melon, an inverse-Tony-Danza, or even cut a second hole in it and ask Ken over to double team it, there isn't a damn thing the law can do about it.
Don't judge me, monkey! I would make sure that the holes were offsetting so our dicks wouldn't touch, so there'd be nothing gay about it.
It would make me weird, but so what? If being free means anything, it means being able to have weird ass perversions involving Ken and a melon.
Would you say I should go to jail if I film the melon fucking episode? I mean, sure … maybe there should be some social consequences for me putting the image of me and Ken longingly staring at each other while we double-fuck a honeydew melon, but just because it is wrong doesn't mean it should be illegal.
But, you say "fucking a dog is disgusting".
No argument there.
But, now you're talking about putting someone in jail as a matter of taste. That's where I get pissed off. Because a man did something completely legal, but the state is trying to put him in jail for making a film of it … and I do not think the First Amendment should abide such a maneuver.
Unfortunately, it likely will. Miller v. California upheld the constitutionality of an obscenity prosecution, so long as the state can prove three elements:
- Whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest,
- Whether the work depicts/describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions specifically defined by applicable state law,
- Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary and/or artistic, political, or scientific value.
How are we to define "serious _____ value?" If freedom of expression means anything, then we must leave the marketplace of ideas to decide what expression should live or die. Sometimes, even often, we must pay an unfortunate price for holding on to that ethic. It means that both Mein Kampf and America's Next Top Model get to exist. It means that "Anal Zucchini Vol. 5" stands aside Casablanca. Lets remember that once James Joyce's Ulysses was considered to be contraband here.
The filmmaker must have the freedom to film the porn, he must have the right to distribute it, and we must have the right to buy it or not buy it, as it were.
Asking six (or 12) people who couldn't get themselves out of jury duty to determine whether a work has "serious value" — and to not only make that decision for themselves, but for the rest of us, is worse than any dog-fucking movie. If we leave a tool like this in the hands of some prosecutor, they're going to use it when they just don't like that kind of thing.
This time it might be the kind of thing that none of us are ready to defend. I'm not going to get upset if they make it illegal to fuck dogs. But, I am going to get upset – as you should – if a prosecutor finds conduct that she thinks is objectionable, and shoehorns it into an obscenity prosecution. Because if this man goes to jail, it isn't going to be because he fucked a dog — it is going to be because the government didn't like his movies.
And that leaves your ass exposed as much as mine.
I stand with Justice Brennan, who called for an end to obscenity prosecutions in a dissent he wrote for Paris Adult Theatre v. Slaton:
[T]he effort to suppress obscenity is predicated on unprovable, although strongly held, assumptions about human behavior, morality, sex, and religion. The existence of these assumptions cannot validate a statute that substantially undermines the guarantees of the First Amendment…Paris Adult Theatre v. Slaton, 413 U.S. 49, 109-110 (U.S. 1973) (Brennan, J. dissenting)
If we don't eventually crush Miller, they're coming for our "regular" porn or even our speech about abortion. Or whatever they want. Because allowing obscenity prosecutions is no different than simply letting a prosecutor threaten any citizen with a long time in a metal box, simply because they don't like what you have to say.
And with an incoming administration that just might abuse that privilege, maybe it is time to take on Miller before it is too late. If we must climb that mountain with a dog fucker as a companion, then so be it.
NOTE: After his arrest, cops allegedly also found child porn on his computer. That's a whole 'nother rant for another day.
Marc Randazza is the national president of the First Amendment Lawyers Association
Last 5 posts by Randazza
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