PHOTO: Front page story about Terry Bean, 66, and his former boyfriend, Kiah L. Lawson, 25, who are accused of having sex with a 15 year old boy at a Eugene hotel on Sept. 27, 2013 according to the newspaper story by Maxine Bernstein, "Bean's ex-boyfriend helped police find teenager, former lawyer says," Sunday Oregonian, Nov. 23, 2014, p. A14. Also see "WATCH: Obama Bundler, HRC Founder Terry Bean Arrested on Sex Crimes Charges," advocate.com posted Nov. 23, 2014 for more background on Terry Bean, who was a founder of the Washington, D.C. Human Rights Campaign, along with Steven Endean, and who recently visited Obama with his former boyfriend.
What is noteworthy about this case is that the age of consent in Oregon was raised in 1971 as a compromise to legalize sodomy between consenting adults for all Oregonians, including gay men. The Oregon sodomy law was usually used to target adult gay men, but because it also applied to oral sex between heterosexuals, straight Oregon legislators were motivated to change it and raised the age of consent as a compromise.
Today the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) -- Oregon Revised Statutes ORS 163.385 Sodomy in the third degree, which Terry Bean is charged with violating, says, "A person commits the crime of sodomy in the third degree if the person engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person under 16 years of age or causes that person to engage in deviate sexual intercourse." As used in chapter 743, Oregon Laws revised in 1971 say, "Deviate sexual intercourse means sexual conduct between persons consisting of contact between the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another."
This case is really more about intergenerational sex and a case of ephebebophilia instead of pedophilia, because it is about two adults that are sexually attracted to a boy who is sexually mature and past puberty, but under the age of consent according to current laws, instead of an adult being sexually attracted to a pre-pubescent boy. The difference is significant because until recently sex with post-puberty persons over the age of 10 or 11 was considered legal in many places and cultures. Many of these volatile and emotional issues that have real legal consequences are discussed in the book by Theo Sandfort, Edward Brongersma, A. X. van Naerssen, "MALE INTERGENERATIONAL INTIMACY: Historical, Socio-Psychological, and Legal Perspectives," Harrington Park Press, 1990 , simultaneously printed in "Journal of Homosexuality," Haworth Press, ol. 20, No. 1/2, 1990.
The research done by Stephen Robertson, "Age of Consent Laws," Children and Youth in History, Item #49 (accessed January 22 2009, 3:22 pm) Children and Youth in History, Center for History and New Media at George Mason University says the age of consent in Oregon was 10 years old in 1880, 16 in 1920 and 18 today.
George Painter, "The Sensibilities of Our Forefathers, The History of Sodomy Laws in the United States," Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest, Last edited: August 10, 2004 says the age of consent was raised to 18 by the state legislature in 1971. A law review article by Edward N. Fadeley, "Sex Crime in the New Code," 51 Ore.L.Rev. 515 (Spring 1972) was critical of the fact that the new code raised the age of consent from 16 to 18, especially since the reason for the action "is not at all clear." Some participants I've talked to recall that raising the age of consent was a compromise for legalizing homosexual sodomy.
Source: Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) -- Oregon Revised Statutes ORS 163.385 Sodomy in the third degree - "A person commits the crime of sodomy in the third degree if the person engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another person under 16 years of age or causes that person to engage in deviate sexual intercourse. . . Deviate sexual intercourse means sexual conduct between persons consisting of contact between the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another."
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