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By Diogenes ( articles ) | Mar 08, 2007

Now here's a Thinking Catholic who knows his Crit Legal Theory. Multiple pederast and former L.A. priest Michael Baker is claiming California's foul lines are skewed in favor of right-handed hitters:

A former Roman Catholic priest said in court Wednesday that the rights of homosexuals have been violated by a state law that makes it easier to prosecute gay pedophiles than heterosexual child molesters. ... The state law in question has no time limit for prosecuting homosexual offenders, but there are various limits for heterosexual offenders.

Defrocked priest Michael Stephen Baker, 59, said the provision denies equal protection of the law to gay people. He cited a central provision of the U.S. Constitution that has been used to advance racial equality and gender rights.

[chop]

The state law imposes no time limits on prosecuting heterosexuals who force intercourse. But gays are subject to prosecution for sexual acts with a child without limit, regardless of whether the allegations involved forced or consensual sex. "Had [Baker] been engaged in heterosexual intercourse with a female of the same age, he could not have been charged," [Baker's lawyer Donald H. Steier] said.

Steier's final formulation, though logically redundant (could Baker have engaged in heterosexual intercourse with another male?), is essentially a rehearsal of the old age-of-consent controversy. More interesting is the legally pertinent claim that the inequality of time-limits "denies equal protection of the law to gay people" -- i.e., to persons of a particular sexual orientation.

What's the novelty? Baker is here affirming what the psychotherapy guilds, the prestige media, the bishops conferences, and every gay lib organization in the world have been at pains to deny: that his choice of an underage male as a sexual partner is a function of his being gay -- and not the operation of an unrelated pathology such as pedophilia or ephebophilia. No, he's not saying that all gay males are pederasts. He's claiming that his identity -- and thus his right to equal protection under the law -- is inextricable from his orientation, and that laws asymmetrically putting boys out of bounds asymmetrically penalize him: they penalize them precisely as a gay man. The upshot? The choice for little boys in preference to little girls is a gay choice.

Mainstream gay activists, not surprisingly, are squawking in protest of Baker's claim and trying to distance themselves therefrom:

A staff attorney for the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the premier group lobbying for the legal rights of gays, said the sexual orientation of an abuser is irrelevant. "People don't have the right to abuse children regardless of their sexual orientation," said Tara Borelli, a Lambda staff attorney. "Abuse by a gay priest isn't a gay issue; it's about abuse of power."

The Wilton Gregory line: it's about the children. But is it? The Lambda Legal Defense folks clearly want to change the subject as quickly as possible, because in fact Baker is invoking the same fallacy that the gay rights mainstream has used (successfully) in pretending that laws prohibiting sodomy between consenting adults discriminate against homosexually-oriented citizens as a class. The flaw has been neatly exposed by Joseph Sobran. In the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court case, he wrote

Justices Kennedy and O'Connor proved themselves virtuosos of the non sequitur. They agreed that sodomy laws "discriminate" against homosexuals as a "class" or "group." Kennedy, ever the metaphysician, added that such laws "demean their existence." But of course the law in question said nothing about classes or groups; it merely forbade specific sexual acts. You might as well say that laws against theft "discriminate" against burglars as a class (or should we say "demean the existence of the larcenous community"?).

Bull's eye. One can see why the Lambda crew -- and Archbishop Gregory too, if he's paying attention -- are twisting uneasily atop their file-cabinets. If it's fallacious to view laws forbidding acts of pederasty as discrimination against a group, it's fallacious to view laws forbidding acts of sodomy as discrimination against a group. Conversely, if the state acts reasonably in unequally discommoding persons of a particular sexual orientation when it outlaws acts of pederasty, then, when it outlaws acts of sodomy, it cannot be said that the unequal impact on citizens with particular orientations is by that fact unreasonable. Michael Baker has simply made his own the majority opinion in Lawrence v. Texas and is taking its logic to first base.

Well, to the first base ump.

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