You can kill animals. You can eat animals. You can even torture animals -- and press charges against anybody who photographs you while you're at it. But you can't make sweet, sweet love to animals. Not anymore.
This is a sad week for Florida's zoophiles, for as I write this, there is a bill awaiting Rick Scott's signature that will outlaw what most people call "bestiality," and what zoophiles call "sex." And it won't just outlaw full-blown sex. It'll outlaw oral sex too. (The law is necessarily more ambiguous re: heavy petting.)
The bill, SB 344, is the result of hard work and consciousness-raising by state Sen. Nan Rich, clearly no animal lover. It was passed 115-0 on Wednesday. (Presumably, not even those who think the bill is ridiculous want to face the kind of attack ads a "no" vote would generate come next election season.) It's certainly taken long enough -- Rich has been fighting to keep man's best friendships purely platonic for years. We covered some of her earlier efforts as well as some of the zoophiles they exist to criminalize in a long feature in 2009. This was maybe the single largest story ever written about zoophiles, and it's worth revisiting now, on the eve of the moment when men like Malcolm Brenner -- a major character in the story, the love of whose life was a dolphin -- are about to become felons.