Monday, October 4, 2010

Not All Politicians Are Afraid to Mention This Topic ...

This photo has nothing to do with the following text. I found the picture on an old hard drive and wanted to save it. My daughter took this photo of me a few years ago when I was in my freight-hopping phase.

Until today, I had no idea that a person could be branded for life, barred from employment and housing, forced to endure perverted "treatments" reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange, for the "crime" of falling in love with someone three years younger. Sex Offenders Exposed, published in the Austin Chronicle last month, describes insane laws that group high school sweethearts together with sexual predators who rape and kill children, all under the heading "Sex Offender."

I'm not sure whether this is a worst-case example of a glitch in the way people assess risk, or if there is some other reason for these laws. Maybe a combination of causes. In any event, the laws are clearly hurting people, not helping, and could never have been expected to accomplish the goal of protecting children from sexual predators. Unfortunately, politicians don't want to touch the subject, for fear of being accused of being "soft" on sex offenders. Most people probably don't know how broad the law is -- I certainly didn't. I had no idea you could do prison time, be placed on parole for life, be subjected to monthly lie detector tests, and forced to undergo "treatments" that would make it difficult for you to ever have a normal sexual relationship. You could be subjected to all this, not because you hurt anyone, but because you were a young person who was curious, and you looked at some photos; or because you were 19, and a girl you were in love with told you she was 17, but actually she was only 15, and you held her hand. 

In the comments under the article, one politician was willing to stand up for reason -- Ed Kless says:

I am running as a Libertarian against Senator Shapiro in November. I am running is a straight up race, there is no Democrat in the race.

While I am sure Senator Shapiro (mentioned in the article) meant well in passing this legislation she is just wrong about the purpose of government. It is not to protect people from all harm, but rather to protect their individual rights. 

The unintended consequences of legislation of this nature are rarely looked it. Kudus to Jordon Smith for a fine piece of investigative reporting. We need more stories like this.

Please visit my campaign site at, if you like what you see please consider passing it on to your friends. 


  1. A novel I recently read (and LOVED!!!!) talked a little bit about this. It was a Fraction of the Whole by Steven Toltz. He talked about how there's a big difference between raping a child, and having sex with an older teenager.

    Yeah. Crazy that someone's life would be ruined because they had a romance with a 15-year-old when they were 19.

  2. Sounds like an interesting novel. I'm going to read it, on your recommendation.

  3. Hi Barbara,

    This is John from the Extro-list. I used to think "sex offender" meant guys who molested children or raped adults, but it can mean almost anything now. Stupid college students who have consensual sex against a wall in an alley after leaving a club get nailed with it, and while I disagree with what they did, I don't think they deserve such status.

    I will say that the psychological maturity levels between teens only a few years apart can be vast. If I were the father of a 15 year-old girl I would be very angry at a 19 year-old guy who was dating her (or even if I had a 14 year-old daughter wanting to date a 17 year-old guy, where it is legal). But sometimes an "early developer" girl will lie about her age and even have fake ID, so the guy is truely clueless.