Monday, November 9, 2009

Really? REALLY?

Ah, the things we discover when we have the California Penal Code on our desk...

OK, so I wanted to look up the penalty for shooting an endangered species (btw -- don't shoot an endangered species). I figured I'd check the index under "Endangered Species." There was nothing there. So then I thought I'd check the index under "Animals" (hoping for an "Endangered Species" subheading). And I'm reading all the entries under "Animals" and I hit upon "Crime Against Nature," which refers me to Penal Code section 286, which is the California sodomy statute.

Now, let me be perfectly clear here. In its current form, the sodomy statute prohibits forcible sodomy, or sodomy with someone under the age of consent, or sodomy with someone who is unconscious, and so forth. And, y'know, I'm against all those things. Forcible sodomy -- not good.

But we all know that sodomy statutes weren't always just about forcible sodomy, and it sure isn't forcible sodomy that went by the "crime against nature" name. (By the way -- we have a different statute that prohibits sodomizing animals -- I think that one
probably would count as a "crime against nature.")

But, here, today, in 2009, it's probably time that we stop using the "crime against nature" name to refer to sodomy -- and we sure as hell shouldn't be cross-referencing it under "Animals."

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