Some years ago, before the advent of TiVo, I was channel surfing one evening and landed on C-SPAN. They were showing the last lecture by Molly Ivins from her year as a teaching fellow at the U. C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. The event was held in Zellerbach Auditorium, and it was really just Miss Molly with a moderator, taking questions from the audience and telling interesting stories.

That's where I first heard this story...

"Profiles in Courage"

By Molly Ivins from The Progressive

The seventy-third session (1993) of the Texas Legislature is pretty much typified by the following Warren Chisum story, Representative Chisum being the Bible-thumping dwarf from Pampa who has added such je ne sais quoi to the proceedings this year.

The Texas Senate had a rare moment of courage early in the session when it voted to remove homosexual sodomy from the revised version of the penal code. All were astonished.

Their vision made its way over to the House, where Chisum promptly rose and introduced an amendment to reinstate the damn thing. The Housies were afraid everyone would think they were queer if they didn't vote for Chisum's amendment, so they did.

Then some scholar explained to Chisum that unless he reinstated the ban on heterosexual sodomy as well, the law would be declared unconstitutional. So Chisum promptly got up and did just that.

Whereupon we had one of the more bizarre debates in the history of the Lege, with assorted avant garde members rising at the back mike to say, approximately, "Uh, Warren, uh, suppose I am in bed with my lawfully wedded spouse and I, like, kind of misaim and wind up in the wrong hole. You don't want to send me to prison for that, do you?"

Chisum would stoutly reply, "Yes, I do. It's against nature and The Bible."

So the Housies were afraid everyone would think they were perverts if they didn't vote for it, and they did. Chisum then shook hands with his ally, Talmadge Heflin of Houston, in celebration of this double triumph, and the Speaker had to send the Sergeant-at-arms over to reprimand them both.

Because under Chisum's own amendments, it's illegal for a prick to touch an asshole in this state.

This historic event is captured in the film Dildo Diaries, along with Miss Molly herself.

Molly Ivins also writes books, in addition to her column in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She has often described the Texas State Legislature as "the best free entertainment in Austin."

Fortunately, this sort of nonsense was declared unconstitutional by the U. S. Supreme Court in 2003 in their decision on Lawrence v. Texas.

Erik Fair <>
July 22, 2004