It is already illegal to attack someone because he is a pedophile. It's even illegal to physically attack him if you know that he's acted upon it, if he isn't doing it at the time that you attack him and ostensibly in defense of another.
The text of the federal hate crimes bill does not protect pedophilia and it never did. I will allow that you sincerely give Republicans more credit for integrity than to think that they did this routine in the Rule Committee out of hate and stupidity. I will allow that certain other folks around here aren't intellectually up to figuring all of this out on their own, but you are. I just don't think you gave it all the time and consideration it deserved, and I think that's what "Lisa A" and Rethinkwhatever were counting on.
(A) IN GENERAL- Whoever, whether or not acting under color of law, in any circumstance described in subparagraph (B), willfully causes bodily injury to any person or, through the use of fire, a firearm, a dangerouse weapon, or an explosive or incendiary device, attempts to cause bodily injury to any person, because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person--
Pretending that the language here is vague because it doesn't specifically exclude pedophiles, is rather like saying that the First AMendment is too vague because it doesn't specifically state that the Army Of God, stoning, and Jihad are not protected religious expression.
The problem with this bill, Nova, is that the language in the beginning allows for court challenges by pedophiles, especially if future versions of the DSM redefine pedophilia as an orientation and not a disease, which is what happened with homosexuality in the DSM IV.
This future redefinition of pedophilia is not merely a paranoid or theoretical "what if" but a projection of current attempts to shift the understanding of pedophilia.
Harvard Medical School already refers to pedophilia as an orientation (not a disease) and affirms its resistance to therapy:
For now, mental health leaders declare both that pedophilia is an orientation resistant to change and, yet, that it is a mental disorder needing treatment , but this uneasy compromise may change sooner than we think. Recent conferences on pedophilia have involved discussions about decriminalization of pedophilia and of viewing it as an orientation as opposed to a mental illness. For example, Baltimore Conference, August, 2011.Pessimism about pedophilia
Pedophilia is a sexual orientation and unlikely to change. Treatment aims to enable someone to resist acting on his sexual urges.
No intervention is likely to work on its own; outcomes may be better when the patient is motivated and treatment combines psychotherapy and medication...
And a recent article in the UK Guardian actually introduces the growing support for pedophilia's redefinition as an "orientation" :
Now what does this have to do with the California bill?Paedophilia: bringing dark desires to light
...But there is a growing conviction, notably in Canada, that paedophilia should probably be classified as a distinct sexual orientation, like heterosexuality or homosexuality. Two eminent researchers testified to that effect to a Canadian parliamentary commission last year, and the Harvard Mental Health Letter of July 2010 stated baldly that paedophilia "is a sexual orientation" and therefore "unlikely to change"...
While much of the bill addresses gays and bisexuals specifically, the actual legal language of what the bill will do once it becomes law does not limit the reach of the bill to gays and bisexuals:
The language here is "sexual orientation change efforts" not "gay, lesbian or bisexual sexual orientation change efforts." The legal language is more general than that, leaving open the possibility that the law can apply to anything else defined as a "sexual orientation."(From your own post)
This bill would prohibit a mental health provider, as defined, from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts, as defined, with a patient under 18 years of age. The bill would provide that any sexual orientation change efforts attempted on a patient under 18 years of age by a mental health provider shall be considered unprofessional conduct and shall subject the provider to discipline by the provider’s licensing entity.
Now, much of the latter portion of the bill discusses specifically (and only) GLBT orientations and issues. Most of these are affirmations of belief, not changes in the law per se. (Look at your own post to see this.) But the presence of legal affirmations about the history and rights of the GLBT community does NOT preclude a court challenge by pedophiles once pedophilia is also defined as a sexual orientation, since the actual language of the law is not "ant-gay therapy" but "sexual orientation change efforts."
If it sounds like I'm nitpicking, then you don't understand the law. Most challenges to the law are to its language, not necessarily its spirit. Much of legal language is a question of definition and the law is all about the language used.
This is why the California Republicans brought pedophilia up as an issue. It wasn't to stop the bill, although some religious groups certainly want the bill stopped. The rank and file of the GOP, especially in California, knows that the gay issue is done and the GLBT community has won. Dragging pedophilia into the mix only makes the GOP look like bigots in California. If they ever hope to win back their seats in either house of the state legislature, they need to make nice with the gay community.
The goal in bringing up pedophilia was not to smear the GLBT community and have it backfire on the CA GOP itself. The only reason to bring it up was because the language of the bill itself will allow a court challenge by pedophiles once their condition has been redefined as an "orientation."
It's all about the letter of the law, not its spirit. Most Californians support the bill in spirit, but if they realized that the letter had a loophole big enough for pedophile activist groups (like B4U-Act) to drive a truck through, they might not be so supportive.
The California legislators must know this. They're not that stupid. If they had not intended to leave the door open for pedophiles at some later date, they would have shifted the language to exclude any orientation other than homosexual or bisexual orientation. The fact that they did not, coupled with Ody's video, make it very clear where this law is eventually intended to go.
You predictions about the future DSM are exactly that, predictions. Moreover they are predictions which play to your preconceived notions. In short, they have no basis in logic. Homosexuality wasn't declassified from mental illness because it's a sexual orientation, it was declassified because it's not a mental illness.
Likewise the status of pedophilia as unchangeable does not mean that it's OK or ought to be. There are many conditions or illnesses which don't respond adequately to therapy.
IN essence, all of these articles pull together language and opinion from academic resources which do not and were never intended to be used to support the conclusion that anti-gay religious zealots misuse them for.
Please, inform us how having sexual urges for the same sex is completely different than urges for children? Consent you say? Please inform me how orientation requires consent.
early article on the PR campaign laid out for gay acceptance.
Right now, we can see the tiny beginnings of this in the pedophilia movement. If you look at the Guardian article I linked to above, you will see the very beginnings in a "well-balanced" article showing "both sides" (as if there is another side to child rape). The old practice of "child brides" is mentioned, as if going back to the bad old days of the Renaissance when a 40 year old man could marry and impregnate a 12-year old child was a good thing. It's just the beginning--think of it as the late 40s or 50s of the gay rights movement. Everyone still agrees that pedophilia is a bad thing, but we are being encouraged to "understand" it. The defense of Roman Polanski, which rears its ugly head from time to time, is really a defense of pedophilia, child rape (and illegal drugging), but "sophisticated" people in Hollywood, like Whoopi Goldberg, tell us that what Polanski did wasn't really that bad....The first order of business is desensitization of the American public concerning gays and gay rights. To desensitize the public is to help it view homosexuality with indifference instead of with keen emotion...
DESENSITIZATION. It has already started. And as the PR campaign article states:
Now it may take another 40 years--we're still at the beginning of this process with pedophilia, but if the DSM V starts defining pedophilia as an "orientation", the PR campaign will take off in earnest.At least in the beginning, we are seeking public desensitization and nothing more. We do not need and cannot expect a full "appreciation" or "understanding" of homosexuality from the average American. You can forget about trying to persuade the masses that homosexuality is a good thing. But if only you can get them to think that it is just another thing, with a shrug of their shoulders, then your battle for legal and social rights is virtually won.
My predictions are logical ones based on what the Harvard Medical School is doing. They have already started calling pedophilia an orientation. There are now a handful of conferences that are beginning to struggle with how to define pedophilia, not just how to approach the offending pedophile. The logic is thus: when major universities and mental health institutions reach the tipping point on pedophilia and decide it is an inborn orientation, then pedophilia becomes no psychologically different from any other sexual orientation. Psychologically, all orientations, thought to be hard-wired in the brain, become "something you're born with", an essential part of the person. Once defined this way, the legal system will be in a quandry: if gays and lesbians deserve equal protection under the laws because of their inborn orientation, why shouldn't pedophiles be welcome to that same protection?You predictions about the future DSM are exactly that, predictions. Moreover they are predictions which play to your preconceived notions. In short, they have no basis in logic.
That, my dear Nova, is the logical thread. The legal logic is already in place. If the California law goes through as written, then a legal challenge claiming the psychological equivalence of homosexuality and pedophilia as orientations will be difficult to defeat, and the law then becomes a blueprint for normalizing pedophilia and preventing its early treatment. This is a logical potential outcome based on what has occurred in the courts with gay rights over the past 40 years.
Now here is my speculation--not legal logic, just mere speculation--based on current trends. The legal argument above, claiming equivalence between same sex attractions and pedophilic ones as psychological "orientations", will certainly be challenged by those who believe that child rape is a crime and by the religious. But there will be several counterarguments, which, by the time this thing comes to court, will be aided and abetted by radical changes in social attitudes in the coming decades.
The first change will be based on the continuing sexualization of children and young teens in the media. Think Disney (Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, etc.), Abercrombie and Fitch (and fashion in general), and Planned Parenthoodamong others. My guess is that by the time pedophile rights reaches the Supreme Court, the age of consent will have already been chipped away--maybe to 14. There are people already questioning the age of consent and this will continue. I recently ran across an article in which an age of consent of 14 has been suggested by a British gay activist. My belief is that by the time pedophile activist groups start claiming equal protection under the law, the US population will have been talked into lowering the age of consent. Now this idea of mine is pure speculation. But the legal argument is not--it's the totally logical outcome of the legal ground that has been already prepared.
This is circular logic, which is why you don't understand logic when you see it.Homosexuality wasn't declassified from mental illness because it's a sexual orientation, it was declassified because it's not a mental illness.
For years, homosexuality was considered a mental illness and appeared in the DSM because it was so considered. If you had asked a psychiatrist in the 1950s if homosexuality was a mental illness he would have certainly replied that it was. What happened in 1973 was that the political climate had changed and the opinions of certain psychiatric authorities changed. Homosexuality did not change. The attitude toward it did. That same psychiatrist when asked the same question about homosexuality 20 years later, would have to have replied that it was not a mental illness since it was no longer listed in the DSM IV. It's that simple.
The same evolution in definition is happening with pedophilia. Pedophilia has been considered a mental illness by the psychiatric community and is still considered a crime by society. However, as the mental health authorities and researchers begin to change their thinking, this may soon lead to the redefinition of pedophilia as an orientation and not an illness. The ground is already being prepared in the media to help bring about changes in social attitudes. It won't be an easy sell, but once the DSM changes its definition, pedophilia will no longer be considered a mental illness. And, since we've lost the language of religion in the public sphere, we can no longer call it a great sin. Therefore, there's nothing to stop the same shift from happening with pedophilia as has occurred with homosexuality.
There is no way to definitively claim whether either homosexuality or pedophilia is a mental disorder. When compared to prototypical mental disorders like bi-polar disorder and psychosis, neither sexual orientation seems to prevent the person from living a self-sufficient life. Certainly there are no medications to change sexual orientation in the way that there are meds to help with bi-polar and psychotic disorders. No amount of therapy can change either orientation, whereas some therapeutic good from talk therapy can be gained for mild depressives or victims of sexual violence. In essence, neither homosexuality nor pedophilia are classic mental illnesses, and, one can argue, that if it weren't for society's criminalization of same sex or child sexual attraction, that these people would have normal, happy lives. Both groups can pay their bills, hold down a job, and be productive without the aid of medication or therapy. It's just society that makes their lives a living hell.
The only thing that makes pedophilia different from homosexuality is that pesky age of consent.
Give me a good example here of some mental illness that is as resistant to meds or talk therapy as hard-wired sexual orientation.Likewise the status of pedophilia as unchangeable does not mean that it's OK or ought to be. There are many conditions or illnesses which don't respond adequately to therapy.
The articles are harbingers of what is to come. There is serious talk in psychiatric circles of changing pedophilia from a mental illness to a sexual orientation. Much of this talk comes from the practicing psychiatrists who have been dealing for years with pedophiles and have found them as resistant to therapy, drugs, and more extreme treatments (like chemical castration) as gays are. Medically, I believe it makes sense to think of pedophilia as a hardwired orientation, considering the overwhelming recidivism rate. Back in the 60s, 70s, and even 80s, the psychiatric community thought they could find a cure for pedophilia. Even the Catholic Church defends its sorry self with the plea that they were told by the psychiatric community that pedophilia was an illness and was curable. (Certainly there is a lot of self interest in this plea, but they're not wrong about the thinking of the time period.) But now, after years and years of failure, the psychiatric community knows better and is coming to the conclusion that there is no cure. It's an orientation that does not go away.IN essence, all of these articles pull together language and opinion from academic resources which do not and were never intended to be used to support the conclusion that anti-gay religious zealots misuse them for.
Now as a medical term, I have no objection to the word "orientation" here. But, you see, I have a concept of sin, and just because something is built in does not mean it is intrinsically good and that it is ok to act on impulses arising from that orientation. For example, as a Catholic, I do not believe that it is wrong to drink alcohol (unlike my strict Baptist friends). However, if you come from a family hard-wired for alcoholism, it IS a sin to act on that impulse because of the certain destruction that will follow. Oddly enough, Nova, my concept of sin could distinguish between the largely non-destructive results of a long term same sex relationship of consenting adults and the horrible damage caused by pedophiles to the young on which they prey. You need a concept of sin, harm, and moral wrong for that.
But our society has lost the language of sin and moral wrong. It has only the language of medicine--illness, disorder, syndrome--and the language of the law--equal protection, discrimination, civil right. In this medical-legal matrix, pedophilia and homosexuality will occupy the same category once the DSM is changed: an orientation that is inborn, with no medical cure, which deserves equal treatment (or at least non-discrimination) under the law. To call one a crime and one not is largely an arbitrary designation, once the ability to distinguish moral and immoral, right and wrong is gone.
|« Previous Thread | Next Thread »|