Ohio Lawmakers Are Debating Whether to Outlaw Bestiality in the State

[image-1] If it seems like we're rolling out a headline from Scene's Middle Ages archives, well, that's only because of the striking similarities between those days and the 131st General Assembly here in Ohio. SB 195, which seeks to prohibit bestiality in Ohio, is up for committee debate this week. The year is 2016.

“This is sick, perverse, deviant behavior,” bill sponsor Sen. Jim Hughes told the Columbus Dispatch last year year. “We should not allow this in a civilized society. To me, it’s shocking Ohio is one of the minority of states that does not make this illegal."

SB 195 will be discussed Wednesday morning in Columbus.

The bill lays out fairly specific and thorough descriptions of what "sexual conduct" means. If you need a refresher, here's the Ohio Senate with some helpful guidelines: "Any act done between a person and animal that involves contact of the penis of one and the vulva of the other, the penis of one and the penis of the other, the penis of one and the anus of the other, the mouth of one and the penis of the other, the mouth of one and the anus of the other, the vulva of one and the vulva of the other, the mouth of one and the vulva of the other, any other contact between a reproductive organ of one and a reproductive organ of the other, or any other insertion of a reproductive organ of one into an orifice of the other..."

Having sex with an animal would constitute a second-degree misdemeanor if this bill passes. The court may order the offender to give up ownership of the animal.

Now, it's not like Ohio leaders haven't tried to jam this sort of bill through the General Assembly before.

State lawmakers tried to get a similar bill passed in 2011. It's worth noting real quick-like that then-House Minority Leader Armond Budish (the current Cuyahoga County Executive) cracked a stilted joke at the bill's sponsor's expense, looking back at Rep. Jay Goyal's career and noting that "his biggest disappointment in an otherwise stellar legislative career is that the bill has not passed and the sheep of Ohio have not adequately been protected." Animal advocates across the state fired back, publicly criticizing the representative for blowing off a serious issue.

That bill died in the House. We'll see if Ohio can muster up the will to outlaw sex with animals anytime soon.

About The Author

Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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