Professional troll Michele Bachmann is at it again – normally, it's our policy not to feed them, but this particular breed of bully is an elected member of the House of Representatives.
The "Queen of the Tea Party" spewed her trademark vitriol at gay rights activists this past Wednesday on Ohio Christian University's "Faith & Liberty" radio show. The subject? Age of consent reform.
"They want to abolish age-of-consent laws, which means...we would do away with statutory rape laws so that adults will be able to freely prey on little children sexually," Bachmann said.
Age of consent laws are continually being debated, but not for the reasons Bachmann and her conservative cohorts would like their constituents to believe. These debates center upon the idea that most teenagers (of all sexual orientations) have sex well before they're 17 or 18 (the legal cutoff age in most states), and they do so fully understanding the implications and consequences of the act. Lowering age of consent regulations would be in recognition of the fact that young adults who can procure a hunting license at age 12 in many states or drive a car by 16 – both acts arguably more dangerous than sex – can also engage in consensual, safe sex without fear of prosecution by the law.
It's also becoming more prevalent for laws initially created to prevent predators from exploiting children to be used against consenting teenagers. Take this sexting case between a 15-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy in Virginia, or this Florida case involving 18-year-old and 14-year-old girls.
Furthermore, complete abolishment of these laws is less of a topic of conversation than lowering the age to a more reasonable range, but leave it to Bachmann to twist the issue to pedophiliac levels. Along with essentially calling homosexuals child rapists (WHAT), she also accused them of pushing "deviancy" and bringing about "the rise of the tyranny" before calling marriage equality a "radical experiment." In the process, she also compares transgender rights to a totally made up agenda for polygamy.
Just in case you weren't entirely convinced Bachmann is off her rocker, she ended the hate speech by claiming she's spreading "goodness and joy and wholeness and healing" and ushering "a fresh way of thinking for people’s lives.” Oh, is that what that was? It sounded to us like hate-loving, mean-spirited, closed-minded lie-telling. And we're guessing by "fresh" she means "archaic."
Whatever your opinion on the hot-button issue that is age of consent reform, it's certainly not limited to one sexual orientation, and it's a discussion requiring fact-based research and respectful positioning. Which is why it's so terrifying when people with influence like Bachmann boil down a very complicated, nuanced debate with sweeping, misleading, and straightup hateful statements. We'll be counting down the days until her congressional seat expires – lucky for all of us, she won't be seeking re-election this November!