Ten years ago, WCBM Baltimore hosted a superb actor and parody artist who discussed at great length the (mythical) “Animal Lovers League.” I asked him: “How on earth can you claim there is anything such as a freely consenting beast to whom you make love?” He replied without hesitation: “Have you never had a dog make love to your leg?”

Our phone lines were quickly clogged with outraged callers – although some other callers were highly amused, doubting as they did the authenticity of any such organization. Since then, the Internet has revealed that there is even a pro-bestiality website.

And now, at the time he was giving testimony before the New York State legislature in Albany, even as illegal same-sex marriages have run wild in San Francisco and other places, the Catholic bishop of Brooklyn, Nicholas DiMarzio, has asked a thoroughly pertinent, contemporary and reasonable question: “Why can’t we have marriages between people and pets?”

That created such an uproar of resentment from the Sodomy Lobby, that attorney William Donohue, that president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights – who is incapable of ever writing a dull press release – issued the following:

Cardinal Edward Egan and several other high-ranking Catholic clerics appeared in Albany yesterday to lobby against same-sex marriage. Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio spoke bluntly about the Church’s opposition to gay marriage on Fred Dicker’s talk-radio show. Noting the absurdity of permitting two people of the same sex to marry, Bishop DiMarzio questioned the wisdom of allowing three people to marry. But what really drew the ire of homosexuals was his comment, “Why can’t we have marriages between people and pets?”

Immediately, the Brooklyn bishop was criticized by New York State Senator Thomas Duane and Kevin Cathcart, executive director of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. Catholic League president William Donohue rose to Bishop DiMarzio’s defense today:

“Tom Duane brands Bishop DiMarzio’s comment about marriages between people and pets ‘nonsensical,’ and Kevin Cathcart labels it ‘absurd.’ But neither offers a principled reason why – if two men can marry – we can’t allow Fred to marry Fido. Nor can they make a principled argument against allowing Tom, Dick and Harry to marry. After all, if it’s discriminatory not to allow Tom to marry Dick, why isn’t it a matter of discrimination to stop Tom and Dick from adding Harry to their marriage? Why should poor Harry be excluded?

“If love is the sole basis for marriage, then what gives society the right to deny a marriage license to Fred and Fido? Or, for that matter, to Sam and Sally, a brother-sister couple who – like in the movie ‘The Dreamers’ – love each other in a way most people find unnatural? Surely it is irrational to forbid incest! After all, we once made it illegal for whites to marry blacks, didn’t we? So isn’t it the same to deny Fred and Fido; Tom, Dick and Harry; and Sam and Sally? Wouldn’t it be intolerant to say no to this happy trio of lovers? Isn’t this what makes America great – equal rights for those who commit bestiality, polygamy, sodomy and incest?

“Thank God we have bishops like Nick DiMarzio. It’s about time we forced the crazies to defend their logic.”

And I will add: Thank God we have Bill Donohue.

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