From the state that brought you laws that state that “One may not commit ‘unnatural acts’ with another person” and “unmarried couples may not commit ‘lewd acts’ and live together in the residence”, comes this:
An act relating to sexual activities involving animals; creating s. 828.126, F.S.; providing definitions; prohibiting knowing sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal; prohibiting specified related activities; providing penalties; providing that the act does not apply to certain husbandry, conformation judging, and veterinary practices; providing an effective date.
Southernfriedscience.com makes an interesting point with regards to this particular statute: since one can argue that humans are technicially animals, we fall under this statute as well. Congratulations, Florida’s Legislature. Thanks to your marathon sessions, local government officials may soon have the ability to send out notices like these:
Under Florida Statute 828.126, you are hereby notified that since you, as a human, a classified as a animal under conventional scientific norms, any and all activity of a sexual nature must cease and desist immediately.
Govern yourself accordingly.
Your Local Government Authority
Of course, a notice as asinine as this will likely never be sent out, but our elected officials in Tallahassee managed to open the door. How? By doing what they do best - not reading even a synopsis of what they were voting on. They will say "we didn't have time," but the fact is this - we are stuck with a law that could be interpreted in such a way that makes sex between human beings illegal.
It sounds crazy, but remember that law, and how it's interpreted is a tricky thing. Many first-year Law School students learn this. The law is something that can be interpreted either very loosely, very strictly, or somewhere in between. In our country, most judges have the common sense need to dispense justice with professionalism using the "somewhere in between" school of thought. There are, however, some in the judicial field with the common sense of a housecat, and this leads to the following question.
What if an overzealous police officer, looking to nail some crook’s hind quarters to the wall, manages to get that criminal tossed in jail because he was caught “in the act” with his “partner,” a human being, when they arrested him? Bear in mind, at least in Tampa, the opportunities to be caught both inside and outside the bedroom are endless. Can you say "Mons Venus?"
Now, suppose for a moment, that same criminal went before a judge who had a very loose interpretation of F.S. 828.126 and classified humans as “animals.” Guess what? Sexual intercourse between humans being illegal under this statute has just been validated by judicial decision. Sounds insane, right?
The Law of Unintended Consequences meets the Natural Law of the Universe, and both meet in Florida's General Assembly. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a Blue Law!
In just about every instance, those judges who have common sense would never allow this sort of law to stand. That's why it's a "blue law." It’s the same as laws in Louisiana forbidding gargling in public places, or Rhode Island where it is an offense to throw pickle juice in a trolley. They are unenforceable, or simply too ridiculous to attempt to enforce. In the 20thcentury, many states worked diligently to get these laws off the books, but Florida has proven if you can’t be good, at least be consistent.
This state has some of the most ridiculous laws this country has ever seen. A special law prohibits unmarried women from parachuting on Sunday or "she shall risk arrest, fine, and/or jailing." One law states “You are not allowed to break more than three dishes per day, or chip the edges of more than four cups and/or saucers.” Still another says “It is considered an offense to shower naked.” There are even state statutes banning a man from kissing his wife’s breasts, and banning oral sex entirely. Florida’s books are loaded with these.
The granddaddies of them all? Two statutes, both equally hilarious, ridiculous and (hopefully) unneeded. The first states “Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal.” The second is straightforward, “If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.”
This is the reason that bills need to be reviewed by our elected officials before they are signed into law. Granted, many would have likely received laughs and even an occasional cackle, but it would have at least made some legislators ask “what the hell are we voting on?” Instead, they do their horse trading, back door deals and talking to lobbyists, and now we are stuck with a law that, improperly interpreted, would destroy two of the foundations of marriage: procreation and intimacy.
How do you prevent idiotic laws like this from hitting the books? There are plenty of serious ways to do it, but here is one entertaining suggestion: rewrite the “no sex with a porcupine” law to read something like this.
Any statute which does not receive a proper review by the State Legislature, that is passed into law and later rendered unenforceable due to it violating the nature order of the universe and basic common sense, shall carry with it a penalty of all legislators voting for its passage be forced to have sex with a porcupine.
Now that would be a blue law we’d all love to enforce! And no, it cannot be a porcupine that lives along N. Dale Mabry!