On Pro-Rape Republicans [TW]

[Potential trigger warning for rape, incest, pedophilia]

Let me say, for the record, that I don’t actually believe any Republicans are pro-rape.

Let me repeat that: I don’t believe any Republicans are pro-rape.

But there’s been another rash of GOPers making the lazy, illogical argument that we can’t allow our lesbian, gay, and transgender brothers and sisters to have the same full and equal right to marriage as the rest of us because – if we did – we would then have to allow incest and bestiality and pedophilia.

South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy is just the latest case in point, as flagged by the inimitable Pam Spaulding.

He joins the long line of other Republicans like Mike Huckabee,  J.D. Hayworth, Rick Santorum and conservative talk show hosts Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Michael Savage, and Pat Robertson who have made the same argument. Media Matters even put together a compilation of conservatives repeating this nonsense like a broken record:

This isn’t just your usual slippery slope argument, though – there’s a much more insidious element to this line of thought. It’s the idea that consent is irrelevant. The obvious difference between two adults entering into a marriage – let alone a sexual relationship – and any of those other things is that both parties can (and do) consent.

We make pedophilia a crime because children can’t consent to sex. We make bestiality a crime because the animal can’t give consent. It’s why we make incest a crime, to the limited degree we do – the idea of consent becomes very problematic when family authority is involved. And, of course, rape is a crime because of the absence of consent.

So when a conservative or Republican makes the argument that consensual relationships are of a kind with incest, bestiality, and pedophilia, they are essentially making the argument that consent doesn’t matter. And if consent is irrelevant, then why are we prosecuting rapists?

My point here isn’t to demonize any Republicans, but to point out the absurdity of their arguments against marriage equality. Are they really willing to legalize rape in order to continue discriminating against our LGBT brothers and sisters? I don’t think so.

Then again, with Republicans showing an increasing willingness to shut down health services for women and make it harder for poor children to get food just for the appearance of being tough on abortion – even when it doesn’t stop a single abortion from taking place – maybe I’m being too optimistic.