No, Florida's Bestiality Law Will Not Outlaw Human Sex

On a slow news day the blogosphere will take anything they can get, and a post on a pretty obscure blog wondered if Florida's anti-bestiality law will forbid sex between humans, since, you see, humans are members of the animal family. Gawker, Newsweek, Mother Jones, The Buzz, and The Huffington Post all ran with it. Problem is, the bill doesn't actually ban sex between humans, and while our politicians can be a little slow, they definitely didn't forget that humans are technically animals.

"The answer is this poorly-worded miasma of a law recently passed in Florida, which presumably was designed to prevent bestiality and promote animal welfare, but which has actually made it illegal, effective October 1, 2011, for anyone to have sex in Florida," wrote Southerfriend Scientist.

See, the bill as written prohibits "knowing sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal," and doesn't specifically define "animal" and humans are technically "animals," so ergo human sex will be outlawed.

Except, it won't be. This blog has a crude take on why it doesn't outlaw sex between humans, but it's much more complicated than it needs to be.

Rick Scott hasn't signed the bill into law just yet, but assuming he does it would become part of Chapter 828 of Florida law. Chapter 828 specifically deals with crimes involving animals, and the very first statue in 828 defines broad terms that would appear in other statutes in the chapter.In fact, here's the first sentence from 828.02:

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

"Dumb creature" is a rather crude way of putting it, but that excludes humans, but we're glad some traffic-hungry websites got a little bit of traffic out of this none story.

Thanks for playing along blogosphere.

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