Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 15, 2010

HAYWORTH AND HORSES.... There's just something about same-sex marriage that prompts conservatives to think of bizarre relations with animals. In the most infamous instance, then-Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) was asked about marriage equality, and started talking about "man-on-dog" sex.

That was seven years ago, and it's tempting to think even Republicans would have matured a bit since. Apparently not.

Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) primary challenger, former Arizona congressman J.D. Hayworth, warned this past weekend that the same-sex marriage decision handed down by the Massachusetts Supreme Court is so loose in its logic and wording that it could lead to a man marrying his horse.

Appearing on Orlando, Fla. radio station WORL on Sunday, the Arizona conservative had what could be described as a Rick Santorum "man on dog" moment.

"You see, the Massachusetts Supreme Court, when it started this move toward same-sex marriage, actually defined marriage -- now get this -- it defined marriage as simply, 'the establishment of intimacy,'" Hayworth said. "Now how dangerous is that? I mean, I don't mean to be absurd about it, but I guess I can make the point of absurdity with an absurd point -- I guess that would mean if you really had affection for your horse, I guess you could marry your horse. It's just the wrong way to go, and the only way to protect the institution of marriage is with that federal marriage amendment that I support."

I hesitate to bother responding to this on the merits -- it's just blisteringly dumb -- but for the record, in states with marriage equality, nuptials are limited to consenting adults.

Nevertheless, it's possible Hayworth feels the need to move way to the right on this issue because John McCain has taken a hard-right stance on gay issues. Indeed, while McCain has sometimes been labeled a moderate on gay rights, the Arizona senator, in recent years, has announced his opposition to gay marriage, opposition to civil unions (even at the state level), opposition to gays serving openly in the military, and even opposition to gay couples adopting children. This is pretty extreme, intolerant stuff.

So, apparently, Hayworth feels the need to kick things up a notch, which forces him to warn of man-horse relationships. It's going to be quite a primary.

Steve Benen 12:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (45)

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Is a marriage considered final if the horse (or dog) doesn't answer "I do" during the vows?

Posted by: artsmith on March 15, 2010 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

50 years ago, I couldn't figure out why the cowboys'd leave their horses to hang out with a girlfriend. I guess JD got stuck on that one...

Posted by: neill on March 15, 2010 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Laugh if you want, but I'd certainly never bend over to pick up a bar of soap if I was showering with a horse.

Posted by: Al on March 15, 2010 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, that's what Hayworth (and so many others) forget -- it's mutual intimacy that matters. Of course, this kind of homophobia doesn't exist in a vacuum; it's part-and-parcel with chauvinism. In his world, a man's intimate feelings are what matters, and there's no real difference between a woman and a horse on the other end (except that one's biblically ok and one ain't).

Posted by: Mike on March 15, 2010 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Even Caligula, himself, only planned on making Incitatus a senator.

All joking aside, Hayworth's comment was no accident or bit of outlandishness he pulled out of thin air. A couple years ago a documentary made the rounds of the film festivals about a man who died after having sex with a horse. It turned out that he was part of a group of men who would get together at a farm and "indulge" themselves. They were straight, not gay, but for some weird reason they were into getting banged by horses.

The right wing does an expert job of keeping tabs on all of this to use as their arsonal. Bet your bottom dollar, if Hayworth is challenged on his comment this documentary and it's story will make an appearance.

Posted by: SaintZak on March 15, 2010 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

If you want to know the reason why right wing men think of sex with animals whenever they think of same-sex marriage, take a look at right wing women. Someone could actually consider climbing into bed with Michelle Bachmann?

Posted by: TCinLA on March 15, 2010 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Why does HAyworth's marriage (or anyone else's for that matter)need protection from marrying horses?

Posted by: anon on March 15, 2010 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

But does the legislation refer to consenting adult HUMANS?
I mean, horses can nod, and that can be considered consent.

Posted by: Wilco on March 15, 2010 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

If McCain and his fellow wingnut decide to outdo each other going to the right on homosexuality, then one can only speculate on where that ends: concentration camps? Branding? Castration? Slavery? Execution? No position is extreme enough for these yahoos, and the corporate MSM reports every stupidity without any critical analysis.

Posted by: rRRk1 on March 15, 2010 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Hayworth's comments were taken out of context. He was clearly referring to centaurs, rather than conventional horses.

Posted by: GOP Talking Point on March 15, 2010 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Is this supposed to make me feel sorry for John McCain? Because it doesn't. He's not even on the same page as his own wife, or our military leaders for that matter.
He could have retired with whatever remains of his dignity, but chose to try to out crazy the crazies.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on March 15, 2010 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

When you believe in talking snakes...

Anything is possible:

A horse is a horse, of course, of course...
And no one can talk to a horse of course...
That is of course unless the horse is the famous Mister Ed.

Posted by: koreyel on March 15, 2010 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

If the law regards same sex marriage, wouldn't you have to marry a same sex horse? So much for women wanting to marry a horse hung like a man.

Posted by: Dave on March 15, 2010 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

So that's what The Horse and His Boy is all about.

Wow, and I always thought C.S. Lewis wrote childrens stories.

Posted by: Mustang Bobby on March 15, 2010 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

If the horse is not gay, then is it rape when a man has sex with a man-horse? What about sex with an un-consenting horse?

Posted by: st john on March 15, 2010 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Whoa, boys!


Yours crankily
The New York Crank

Posted by: The New York Crank on March 15, 2010 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

I can't help wondering why a person running for US Senate from Arizona is giving an interview to a radio station in Orlando, Florida. Is that where Arizonans go on vacation?

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on March 15, 2010 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Since humans are in their own legal category, mentioning animals is irrelevant and vulgar with respect to marriage issues. Actually germane is, why couldn't you marry your sister, mother, etc. It's a legit legal question in itself, aside from why you think people bring it up.

Posted by: Neil B. on March 15, 2010 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

The sad fact is that, for many voting Americans, homosexuality and bestiality are essentially the same thing. But somehow these same people are unable to see a connection between:

1] The highest temperatures in recorded history and rising levels of co2 in the atmosphere.

2] No Child Left Behind and the floundering of our education system.

3] Rising health insurance rates and the need for HCR.

4] A blundered war in Iraq and the rise of terrorist activity worldwide.

But, oh boy! Gay people and pig fuckers, you can't separate 'em.

Posted by: chrenson on March 15, 2010 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

All of this discussion still leaves unanswered the age old question:

If a man and a woman from Kentucky run off to Arkansas and get married and then move to Arizona; are they still cousins?

Posted by: AmusedOldVet on March 15, 2010 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

I think in Hayworth's case, he's more worried about Horse-Man relations.

TCinLA nails it (figuratively)!

Posted by: royalblue_tom on March 15, 2010 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Hayworth has done a bit of a bait and switch. He stated, "You see, the Massachusetts Supreme Court...actually defined marriage...as simply, 'the establishment of intimacy,'" But then Hayworth said. "...if you had affection for your horse..." There is a difference between affection and intimacy - or doesn't he know the difference. Could we assume that J.D. Hayworth has been intimate with his horse? Just what is he suggesting?

Posted by: Vandal on March 15, 2010 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

I don't care if Hayworth wants to marry a horse. Just as long as the horse consents.

Posted by: doubtful on March 15, 2010 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

@Wilco, to quote an old album title,
A Nod Is As Good As A Wink To A Blind Horse

But, damn, I was hoping JD would contain the crAZy until after the primary. Our Dems here in AZ need all the help they can get...

Posted by: gaardvark on March 15, 2010 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Hayworth is really a man worth listening to on matters of equine romance since he is a horse's ass himself.

Posted by: candideinnc on March 15, 2010 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Caligula aside, there IS a real danger of electing a horse to the U. S. Senate.

I mean, we have already elected the back end numerous times. . .

Posted by: DAY on March 15, 2010 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

People in glass houses ...

I was just thinking that Hayworth has subtly equine features.

Posted by: Winkandanod on March 15, 2010 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

We are definitely not dealing with a person of even average mental capabilities when it comes to the majority of today's republicans. We are talking about bottom of the barrel on thinking skills, emotional development and maturity.

Posted by: Silver Owl on March 15, 2010 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

As a commenter at TPM suggested: check his office for centaur pictures.

Posted by: king buzzo on March 15, 2010 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Hayworth the Horsefucker, I like the sound of that!

I'm way past these bozos drumming up something so important to me and perverting it to their own political ends when usually everything they say ends up being a personal projection of either their's or their underwriters or their constituents. Maybe everybody in Arizona wants to marry their horse!

Posted by: Trollop on March 15, 2010 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Do we have a response from McCain, either Cindy or John? What about Megan?
Does Mary Cheney, an out lesbian and biological mother, have a comment on the proclivity of homosexuals for horses or other non-human sexual partners? Is this only for mammals, or can we include reptiles and fish? Dolphins are mammals. How about dolphin or whale love?
This really opens Pandora's Box (the indiginous people of Pandora are called Na'vi, and are not mammals, but we have Jake Scully's Avatar mating with Neytiri, a non-human, non-mammal).

I submit this for discussion/consideration of many ideas and concepts.

I am committed to Oneness through Justice and Transformation
st john

Posted by: st john on March 15, 2010 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

This discussion is silly - a horse can't possibly consent, because it can only say "neigh".

Posted by: N.Wells on March 15, 2010 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK
Steve: "Nevertheless, it's possible Hayworth feels the need to move way to the right on this issue because John McCain has taken a hard-right stance on gay issues."

And meanwhile, just to the west of them both, I offer you the pathetic pile of closeted confusion that is California State Sen. Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield).

Fuck 'em all.

Posted by: Out & About in the Castro on March 15, 2010 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

You will not be surprised to find out that Hayworth doesn't even have the premise of his ridiculous braying correct. The Mass SJC did not define marriage as the "establishment of intimacy." That phrase does not appear at all in the Goodridge opinion.

Posted by: Glenn on March 15, 2010 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Hayworth is obviously suffering from a profound mental disturbance caused by watching too many episodes of Dudley Dooright as a child. Me, I always thought that Nell and Horse made a sweet couple.

Posted by: Tim H on March 15, 2010 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

A good question, and here's another: Why are so many liberals, who love to twist the "Tea Party" name into "Teabaggers," familiar with sexual practice? Can't imagine.

Posted by: Chuck on March 15, 2010 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

"a horse can't possibly consent, because it can only say 'neigh'."
Posted by: N.Wells on March 15, 2010 at 4:30 PM

I'm afraid you have it backwards, putting the cart before the... well, you know.
The well-known legal principle, "qui tacet consentit," or "silence implies consent," would clearly apply. Accordingly, if the horse does not articulate an objection, consent is established, and the honeymoon is on.
And if the pubbies are true to form -- the most hysterical homophobes among them invariably eventually turning out (as it were) to be closeted themselves -- we can look forward to an awful lot of homo-equine marriages once they realize this.

Posted by: smartalek on March 15, 2010 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Why do rethugs have such a fetish about kinky sex and controlling womens wombs?

Posted by: js on March 15, 2010 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

As Mr. Ed said, "Some day I've got to earn ventriliquism, he'd malke a great dummy".

Posted by: ComradeAnon on March 15, 2010 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

Chuck, what is the Teabagger sexual practice? I had not heard of it before the whole Tea Party stuff arose. Is referring to Tea Partiers as Teabaggers like referring to the Democratic Party as the Democrat Party? What about The Coffee Party USA? Do we have a pejorative for them, yet?

Posted by: st john on March 15, 2010 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Chuck, it was the Tea Party who folks started referring to themselves as "teabaggers." It was only until they found out that it described a sex act that is enjoyed -- or so I've heard -- by straight people as well as gays that they took umbrage.

The technical term for that is called "getting pwn'd."

I agree with st john: I'll stop calling them "teabaggers" when you stop calling it the "Democrat Party."

Paw the ground once for yes, two for no.

Posted by: Mustang Bobby on March 15, 2010 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

uh..."Teabagging is a slang term for the act of a man placing his scrotum in the mouth or on or around the face of another person." in other words, it's a thing hetros can [and do] do...is oral sex only something liberals know about? i can't imagine that's remotely true.....and while i'm here, check out this photo of a woman "teabagging for jesus" : http://b0ll0cks.blogspot.com/2009/10/teabagging-for-jesus-pix-definition.html

Posted by: dj spellchecka on March 15, 2010 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

"McCain...has announced his opposition to gay marriage, to civil unions...,opposition to gays serving openly in the military..." Steve Benen.

Pitiful, a faux conservative trying to outbid a rabid reactionary.
I suppose it's best Barry Goldwater isn't around to see what's being done in the name of "conservatism" these days.

Posted by: Doug on March 15, 2010 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Just say neigh to human-animal hybrids>

Posted by: Zelph on March 17, 2010 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

@ Neil B. (and in general) - With reference to the marriage of relatives, I don't know about other countries but in Australia it's legal to marry an aunt/uncle or niece/nephew, as well as first cousins, although direct descendants/ancestors and siblings can't marry. The argued reason for this is, I suppose, the genetic problems that may be found in offspring, although 1) I don't see how that doesn't apply to cousins etc and 2)that loses some of its weight when you consider that adoptive parents/siblings can't marry, even if the adopted relationship has since been legally dissolved.

My point with this is simply that laws relating to marriage don't always make any sense at all. I can't think of a good reason for not allowing same-sex marriage other than tradition and taboo, but apparently SOMEONE thinks they've got one. Please, share it with me, I'm all ears. (Although actually, don't. Not unless it is something strikingly unique and original, because I can guarantee I've heard it before and thought it was stupid then, too)

Posted by: kris on March 17, 2010 at 4:15 AM | PERMALINK



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