Anthropology demonstrates that human beings have undergone extensive lifestyle transitions, from hunting and gathering to agriculture and farming to agri-business and Wall Street shenanigans. This social evolution has led to the emergence of law and religion. Law and religion now serve big societies by providing order, values and ethical standards by which to live. At least that’s the idea.
Law and religion also get highly aroused by being voyeurs into our sex lives. They sit on the edges of our beds with binoculars, peering into everything we do and how we construct our sexual identities. Then, they put on paper everything we are not allowed to do because it will lead to the end of society. Utter and total chaos — everyone just take the high road to hell.
I exaggerate, somewhat. But law and religion would do well to take their dirty little hands out of our sex lives. Where is the crime in someone sharing sexual pleasure with another person of the same gender? Why should a couple be shamed for having sex before marriage, to test-run their sexual compatibility?
Legally, the cellular life and growth of cancer in our body is not punishable, but when it’s a zygote, it’s potentially criminal. Selling guns in Texas is acceptable, but selling vibrators can get you jail time. We permit capital punishment, but outlaw oral sex in 19 U.S. states.
The most recent assault on our sex lives comes in the form of proposed Amendment 62. Amendment 62 is a repeat of the “personhood” measure of 2008 (Amendment 48) whereby a “person” with full legal rights is defined from the moment of fertilization. Fertilization is the successful unification of sperm and egg. Preventing fertilization through birth control or wasting eggs that could fertilized via in-vitro would be considered murder. Abortion would also be considered murder — even in cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the woman.
Our legal system charges murder very seriously. This is not like being slapped with a fine for stealing a Snickers bar from King Soopers. Luckily, the previous effort to define a person in the Colorado Constitution lost in every county of the state. Seventy-three percent of voters — 1.7 million people from nearly every demographic group — rejected it.
In a press release last week, Rev. Phil Campbell, director of ministry studies at the Iliff School of Theology, stated that the government intrusion of this amendment would threaten religious freedom in Colorado. “(It can) take away a woman’s right to make decisions about her own health care with her doctor, her family, and her God,” he said.
Leslie Durgin, senior vice president of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, declared, “Amendment 62 is bad policy, bad law and bad medicine. It was a bad idea in 2008, and it is still a bad idea now. Amendment 62 would insert the government into the personal, private health care decisions that women and their families make every single day.”
Unfortunately, proposed Amendment 62 is not the only strike our sex lives are currently enduring. Another recent attack on our sexuality included a Boulder County pre-schooler being booted out of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic school because the parents were lesbians.
Sex therapist Marty Klein of, author of America’s War on Sex, claims that many legal and religious systems are waging war against sex. “Those who are trying to ‘clean up’ America say they’re fighting for a number of critical reasons: the family, marriage, morals, education, community safety. … But this isn’t really true. It’s a war against sex: sexual expression, sexual exploration, sexual arrangements, sexual privacy, sexual choice, sexual entertainment, sexual health, sexual imagination, sexual pleasure.”
At the end of the day, who we have consensual sex with is our personal business. How we express our gender, our sexual orientation and our sexual activities is our personal business. What grows in our body is our personal business. What we choose to do with our bodies, inside and out, is our personal business.
Don’t let the social system shrink your sexual voice. Don’t let Amendment 62 seize your sexual choice. Our sexuality is no one’s business but our own.
To learn more about Amendment 62, visit Protect Families Protect Choices at www.protectfamiliesprotectchoices.org.
Jenni Skyler, PhD, is a sex therapist and board-certified sexologist. She runs The Intimacy Institute in Boulder, www.theintimacyinstitute.org.