Bill Heath: American Traitor
Note: If you’re reading this “live” as this incident is playing out, you can visit the website of The Piercing Experience, a Georgia studio (and one of the nation’s best) that is actively following this case and posting to-the-minute info.
Thanks to Republican representative Bill Heath, a man who many believe had part of his penis mutilated in a bizarre religious ritual*, Georgia (as in the US state, not the communist republic bordering Turkey) is getting ready to pass a new law banning genital piercing for consenting adult women. This law would dictate mandatory two year prison sentences for any piercer that does these piercings, with a maximum punishment of twenty years in state prison simply for doing a hood piercing. Shockingly, this law unanimously passed the House (160-0!) and is now seeking approval from the Senate before being signed by the Governor.
Bill Heath sponsored the law as an amendment to an existing FGM bill, slipping it into an unrelated bill at the last moment after someone mentioned to him that female genital piercing existed — “What?” the moron replied (“slack-jawed” were the words of the Associated Press reporter). He continued, “I’ve never seen such a thing… I, uh, I wouldn’t approve of anyone doing it. I don’t think that’s an appropriate thing to be doing.” Later, after jotting down a quick anti-woman, anti-freedom rant, he explained, “[I am trying to] make illegal the voluntary piercing of female genitals for decorative purposes.”
This bill is fundamentally wrong. Honestly, it’s so wrong it’s insane. You know, I’ve seen politicians do some stupid things, but I’m still always amazed when someone’s hatred and closed-mindedness can so void any semblance of intelligence and leave them as nothing more than a hollering buffoon. Let’s take a closer look.
There has been no public or private debate on the subject.
Bill Heath wasn’t elected to introduce this ban — he’s not acting on his constituent’s wishes. He introduced it on a whim, after hearing about a subject he knew nothing about. I’ll ignore spending much time asking you whether you really want a politician that rashly forces through law, without consulting experts, the public, or anything other than his bigotry. Even if you agree with his conclusion about female genital piercing, his way of reaching and enacting it spits in the face of liberty.
The House never debated this amendment, and neither did the public — this was forced through so quickly that the media didn’t even report on it until the House had already approved the law. That’s just not how democracy is supposed to work!
This bill is fundamentally sexist and anti-woman.
A bill that bans a unisex activity (since both genders enjoy genital piercings) for only women is sexist. Remember, this bill only bans genital piercings on women — men are still permitted to have them. Saying that women can’t have piercings says that women don’t have a right to their bodies, since every woman I know with genital piercings got them consensually, and usually totally independently of anyone else. The supplemental argument — one that’s currently playing out in the California courts with Todd Bertrang — is that women are so weak that they can’t stop piercers forcing modifications on them, an equally insulting claim.
I don’t know if Bill Heath has fundamental shortcomings in his manhood that make him so terrified of female sexuality that he’s trying to ban it at all costs, but it’s not his place and it’s not his right. Especially given how many women use genital piercings as a way of claiming their own bodies back from male-dominated culture, Bill Heath’s attempt to violate women by taking away that right to their bodies is despicable. His attempt to introduce such legislation via a rider on a bill essentially designed to protect women makes it even more sickening…
This bill ignores thirty years of culture and research.
Genital piercing has been popular and at least partially above-board in Georgia for about thirty years, and publicly accessible commercial body piercing studios have been doing genital piercings for a decade and a half in Georgia. Tens of thousands of women in Georgia have genital piercings and are very happy with them, and complications are virtually unheard of (it’s not as if this is tongue splitting, or a procedure with real risks). There have been no studies suggesting that female genital piercings are anything except healthy, stimulating, and extremely positive.
This bill is unfair to business.
This bill tells companies with a decade and a half of successful and appreciated history in the community that, without space for debate or negotiation, they have to cease operating or face prison time. Government has no right to arbitrarily put people out of businesses they’ve held for most of their lives simply because some small-minded legislator decides to scribe his hate-filled whims onto a larger bill.
This bill violates citizen’s privacy and overextends government’s reach.
The simple fact is that this is none of the government’s business. We’re not talking about minors. We’re not talking about danger. We’re talking about a safe, positive, and private activity between consenting adults. This isn’t like drugs or guns or any of the other hot topics politically — there are no societal risks or dangerous cultural side-effects from allowing people to have happy lives. The government simply has no right to intrude on people’s private lives and tell them how to enjoy and decorate their genitals.
This bill does nothing to protect the safety of the public. It is nothing more than an attempt to enforce one specific moral code, and, even if Bill Heath is right and women with genital piercings are an affront to God, it’s not government’s place to write laws about it. Henry George said it far better than I could — “It is not the business of government to make men virtuous or religious, or to preserve the fool from the consequences of his own folly. Government should be repressive no further than is necessary to secure liberty by protecting the equal rights of each from aggression on the part of others, and the moment governmental prohibitions extend beyond this line they are in danger of defeating the very ends they are intended to serve.”
This bill is fundamentally unamerican.
This bill takes the shockingly backwards view of a tiny minority and attempts to force it on the majority. America, at least in theory, is a place where you can be whoever you want to be and do whatever you want to do, as long as you’re not hurting anyone else. Your own thing in your own time. America isn’t a country that passes laws putting people in prison for having the wrong political views. It’s not a country that tells people what they have to believe. It’s not a country that would send people to prison over body piercings for longer than they’d get for most armed robberies… or is it quickly becoming that, thanks to traitors like Bill Heath?
In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”
So let’s be real clear on this:
Bill Heath is involved in an active conspiracy to strip American citizens of their fundamental civil rights and freedoms. Mask it in moralism all you want, but you can’t get rid of that core truth. Even if you think female genital piercing is sick and perverted, are you comfortable living in a country where the government is so controlling and invasive that they even tell you how to have sex?
Bill Heath thinks that’s what America should become. You can reach the treasonous bastard via email at Bheath@legis.state.ga.us or via his homepage at billheath.net. In addition, here are three more direct methods:
Be sure to let him know what you think — in the form of words though, not the bullets he deserves. Or, if you think you can contain your rage better than me and you think you can get through, try and explain to him or his wife why genital piercing is important to you and why you hope he’ll recant his crimes against humanity.
PS. You can also contact Governor Sonny Perdue himself at 404-656-1776 or online by clicking here. In addition, here’s a list of all the email addresses for Georgia’s Senators (who have to sign off on the bill next, although since it’s obvious that this ludicrous law would never stand up to a challenge in court, I’m hoping they’ll have the sense to remove it) — you can paste list this into your email and urge them to vote to remove Bill Heath’s anti-piercing amendment to House Bill 1477 (Senate Bill 418):