Petaphilia

The Great American Man-Dog Marriage Panic

In the palmy days of the Cold War, a prankster argued that farmyard animals should be fitted with clothes so children wouldn't get the wrong ideas. He even produced samples of cow attire, which were shown on TV with much fanfare—and a serious debate ensued. It's easy to laugh in retrospect, but perhaps he was getting at a fantasy so unspeakable that it could only be accessed by a prank. Back then Americans were worried about all sorts of monsters from the id. I guess we still are, perhaps with good reason.

The libido harbors many possibilities. No one knows that better than men of the cloth. (Can you say altar boy?) No wonder many clerics feel compelled to speak out about the wages of gay marriage. Imagine what America would be like if their fears came to pass. Millions living in muttrimonial bliss. Consecrations performed by the Church of Labrador Saints. Why, the North American Man-Dog Love Association would be bigger than the AARP. Attention must be paid before "The Lord Is My Shepherd" takes on a romantic ring.


illustration: Paige Imatami

To those who struggle against the longing to marry their animal companions, let me say, I feel your pain. The heart is a lonely pointer; I know that all too well. But there are ways to keep this passion on a leash. You can stay away from dog runs, avoid pet-store windows, and relieve your tension with erotica like the Westminster Dog Show. But first you've got to stand up and admit, "I am a petaphile!"

With support and prayer, you may come to understand that gay marriage won't open the door to anything—except your fantasies.

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