sexually incompetent

Court Declares Gay Man Too Stupid To Have Sex With Boyfriend

A British judge agreed with psychiatrists that Alan, a 41-year-old man who lives in an assisted living facility, is simply too mentally incompetent to be trusted with sex. Though Alan has a “vigorous sex drive,” he also has an IQ of 48, a “moderate” learning disability, and is “seriously challenged in all aspects of his mental functionality,” according to court records. “I therefore make a declaration that at the present time Alan does not have the capacity to consent to and engage in sexual relations,” ruled a judge. “In such circumstances it is agreed that the present régime for Alan’s supervision and for the prevention of future sexual activity is in his best interests.”

Britain’s Mental Capacity Act 2005 allows judges to force people of diminished mental capacity to have life-saving decisions, like surgery or abortions. Here, it’s being used to keep Alan from having sex with his boyfriend Kieron, who also lives in the home.

But the judge hasn’t given up all hope: While a psychiatrist thinks even sex ed would be too much for a man who “believed that babies were delivered by a stork or found under a bush,” the judge ordered Alan to receive such instruction “in the hope that he thereby gains that capacity.”

For now, Alan will do as priests: self-service.

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  • Traci

    Since two men having sex together cannot produce a baby in this way, I don’t see why it matters where this man thinks babies come from. I could see how it might be worrying if it were a woman having sex with a man — a pregnancy could then occur and she might not realize what caused it or what at first was happening to her. But, in this case, I don’t think that’s a legitimate concern. If the psychiatrist wanted to demonstrate by example why it is necessary to assume that this man is too mentally disabled to have sex, they should have chosen a different way of doing so. If both men know that they are having sex, and are wanting to do so, I don’t see why they shouldn’t be allowed. If the concern is STD/STI protection, just teach them to always use a condom. I doubt they’re so mentally handicapped that they can’t understand that.

  • Cam

    how will knowing where babies come from make a difference to a man having sex with another man??

  • Codswallop

    (A link would have been nice, because there is more to the story than just the ruling. For instance, Alan has been accused of making ‘lewd’ gestures to children.)

    Still, IMO, this ruling is awful.

    IIRC, an IQ of 70 or under is considered (in the US) as mentally handicapped, at least for things like the Death Penalty, so with an IQ of 48 this man must be profoundly handicapped. If he were being exploited due to his handicap, or if his handicap is genetic and he was fathering children, I could see why his sexual activity might be society’s concern, but neither of those things seem to be the case. Despite his handicap he is a human being and has rights and sexual expression seems like a rather basic one. If neither he nor his sexual partner is being abused then I don’t see the problem. In fact, if he has a “vigorous sex drive” it’s probably better for everyone he have an appropriate outlet for it instead of frustrating it until he finds an inappropriate one.

  • randy

    99.9% of straight people are too stupid to have sex too, but they are allowed????

  • Jeff

    @Traci: If he got through 41 years of life without learning how babies come into the world, I’m pretty sure he is in fact too mentally challenged to use or remember to use condoms correctly.

  • Rock

    I’m pretty sure he has a “regimen for supervision” not a “regime.”

  • Codswallop

    To me this seems like a half-measure and unfortunately that measure is in the direction of eugenics. What they want is for Alan to be a non-sexual being, but that isn’t the case. The only way to guarantee that would be to castrate him but, correctly, Britain would consider that a human rights abuse so they’re trying to control his sexuality judicially, which is not only most likely doomed to failure but offensive. You can call it “for his own good” all you want but it’s hard to justify any societal or legal interest in his sexuality if no one is being forced or harmed. I have a mentally handicapped relative and other family members who are educators and case workers for the mentally handicapped, and it’s not unusual for the MH to act out sexually in ways that are embarrassing or uncomfortable to caretakers or others, show a lack of boundaries regarding nudity or sexual activity, etc. But either the MH have rights or they don’t. Alan is a person, not a pet. If no laws are being broken (public nudity, etc.) then it’s hard to justify this.

    The judiciary should stay out of questions of consensual sexual activity between adults unless abuse or a pressing societal interest can be show. After all, isn’t that what the anti-gay laws attempted to do, control sexuality?

  • DavyJones

    I’d imagine it’s more of an issue of ‘consent’ than it is a matter of him being ‘to stupid’ to have sex, or know where babies come from, or wear a condom. The question is, “Can someone who doesn’t really understand what sex is, be a sexually consenting partner?”

  • ewe

    This is a slippery slope. What exactly is sex according to the lawman? Kissing? petting? touching? Talking? Loving?

  • DR

    Aside form the fact that Queerty failed to mention that this man has been accused of sexually acting out, he functions, in terms of sexual knowledge, at the level of a small child. I won’t sit here and say I’m jumping up and down in agreement with the decision, but on the other hand, as Davy Jones notes, can he consent if he really doesn’t know what “sex” really is?

    By the way, Queerty, this was without a doubt one of the most offensive and uncalled for titles I have ever seen on this site. He was not declared “too stupid” for anything, he was declared legally incompetent. If you don’t agree with the decision, fine, but to characterize it in such a way is insulting and rude.

  • David M

    Yes, this is an issue of “consent” between two human beings. The judge may be thinking that if a stupid, heterosexual women cannot give consent, then a stupid homosexual man cannot give consent, either. The judge may be against two different sets of rules for gay couples and straight couples. In addition, the person in question will be given some educational help in this area of competency, so the judge is not lacking in compassion, either. I’m at peace with this decision because it looks like the laws are being applied with a sense of equality for everyone.

  • Thomas

    @Rock: Actually, “regime” is perfectly acceptable, though more of a British English thing than American.

  • Terence

    I’m a bit disappointed that Queerty exploited this story with such an alarmist title. If they did their research, they’d know that 1) an IQ below 70 means that an individual really cannot make the most basic decisions that individuals with a normal IQ in the 90’s – 100’s can make; 2) These laws are based entirely on consent and whether or not an individual can give consent, NOT based on “stupidity” or exposure to the realities of sex.

    This is not discrimination. This is about whether someone is allowed to have sex with an individually who cannot mentally give consent to that sexual activity. These laws are applied to the elderly suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s who are also often horrifically exploited for sex and they are applied to mentally handicapped individuals who are impaired to an extent that they could not give consent. The application of this law protects him from individuals who would otherwise coerce him into sexual activity.

  • David Gervais

    DR said:

    By the way, Queerty, this was without a doubt one of the most offensive and uncalled for titles I have ever seen on this site.

    Abos-bloody-lutely ! !

  • David Gervais

    I’ve read the judges decision:
    It’s one page and worth reading.

    The key points are: The judge addressed and then set aside the knowledge of heterosexual sex and pregnancy as irrelevant.

    He did not accept all the Psych’s evidence.

    He recognized ‘Alan’s potential to have a homosexual relationship and kept a door open for that.

    The most relevant part is near the end:

    “I am not satisfied that sufficient practical steps have yet been taken to see if Alan can have sex, with the result that the present régime of deprivation of liberty can be lifted.
    I therefore order that:
    i) the declarations I have made be of an interim nature;
    ii) the local authority do provide Alan with sex education in the hope that he thereby gains that capacity; and
    iii) the matter be returned to Court after a period of nine months for a review in order to see what progress the education is making, with a view to making final declarations at that point.

  • David Gervais

    It seems to me that once you scrape away the tabloid quality of the above story, the judges decision is very considerate of ‘Alan’, far more than has been shown by his caregivers.

    In my opinion, the Judge has actually protected Alan’s rights and humanity and actually ordered his caregivers to try to facilitate Alan’s human relationship potential.

  • giovanna


    i agree with everything you say, but eugenics doesn’t seem to be at issue here. the man is not procreating. he is in no way “tainting” the gene pool. it seems to me instead a question of our sexual squeamishness and incapacity to consider sex except as lived within some parameters we have stipulated are normal. these parameters, by the way, involve forced prostitution, the trafficking of young girls, and marital rape. this whole issue brings to the fore how puritanically we see sex, and how difficult it is for us to consider it as a basic and fundamental human expression.

  • Aaron

    Considering the fact Britain doesn’t care whether or not those mature enough to have sex actually do it (see the sex rates among 11, 12, 13, 14 year olds there….) why should this matter? This is just further proof that britain isn’t as progressive as they’d like to believe. Just look at some of their censorship laws.

  • thematics

    Part of the decision needs to be based on whether his sex partner are on par re: IQ/social functioning and whether their relations are consensual and safe.

    The sexual acting out with non-consensual parties needs to be watched for closely. This also applies to individuals with dementia, who often also lack impulse control but experience near-normal levels of desire until mid-late stages of their disease. (There are plenty of 80 yr olds gettin’ more than some of us!)

  • vince in weho

    it seems that those who are taking the judge to task haven’t had much experience dealing with the handicapped nor have they read the actual ruling.

  • StevenW

    If a person has a mental age thats well under 16, wouldn’t it be paedophilic to sleep with them anyway? Sexual maturity must be considered a mental as well as physical state.

  • Nick

    Some of these comments are just plain odd. You don’t have to jump the defense of everything just because a person involved is gay.

  • David Gervais

    Nick wrote: “You don’t have to jump the defense of everything just because a person involved is gay.”

    Right. However, we, including you, DO have to defend those whose rights are under threat. Their sexuality and Alan’s is, as you imply, irrelevant.

    Civil Rights are the muscles of the body politic. We must exercise them or we will lose them. If we do not defend everyone’s rights, then we are defending no-one’s rights.

    Other people have said things along the same lines:

    No man is an Island, entire of itself; …
    any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind;…. -John Donne

    They came first for the …, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a …
    Then they came for the …, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a ….
    Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up. -Pastor Martin Niemöller

    Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. -Martin Luther King

    Note to other readers: Yes I know I’m repeating myself here, but it seems that it needs to be repeated.

  • pete N sfo

    Is he ‘hot’ and dim…

    or just dim?

    I’m pretty sure I’ve had sex with guys with lower than 48 IQ…

    They’re called, ‘shut-up & fucks’

    joking, of course.

  • Fitz

    The judge didn’t say that the man was “Too Stupid”… only Queerty would say that. The judge said that the man was too disabled to give informed consent. Queerty’s comfort level with calling disabled people “Stupid” is appalling.

  • declanto

    Remember this when Queerty asks you to vote for the best GBLQT blog of the year.

  • Rando

    People don’t realise that the restriction isn’t because of reproduction necessarily, but the mental maturity of the patient.

    It is the same reason statutory rape is illegal. A patient with an IQ of 48 does not have the mental maturity to have sex, and can easily be taken advantage of. I’m in agreement with the ruling. It’s to protect him.

  • kae

    Yet another example of the dumbing down of a quite complicated issue into a gross one-liner. Nothing quite like attention grabbing headlines is there queerty?

    no 18 – Aaron. You’re talking bollocks.

  • DeGuyz in Mississippi

    Happy Mardi Gras!!! NOLA will have their fair share of them this year.

  • 1844

    How does the Court expect to enforce this ruling. Is Aaron going to be put in a chastity devise? Is he going to be gagged and plugged all the time? Let’s face it; hormones will win out pretty much all the time.

  • David Gervais

    To: #30 · 1844

    See my previous comment #15. Follow the link. I’m sure that will answer you.

  • tallest

    I don’t know how I feel about this. But that this is an issue being decided by the courts makes me think Alan and his boyfriend have been sexually active before. I think if they both want to have sex let them, with the lot they’ve been handed they deserve such a simple pleasure. It’s too cloudy an area to be deciding for anyone.

  • David Gervais


    In this case, it is not “the courts”, but rather a specialty court that deals with people in the care system.

    The Judge accepted only one reason of many proposed as a valid reason to restrict ‘Alan’; that he did not understand the risk of STDs. The order is solely to protect Alan from STDs. Other than that, he agrees with you.

    The Judge also gave his caregivers nine months to improve Alan’s sex education. If that succeeds, the Judge has already said that he will change the court order.

  • Jaroslaw

    The “simple” facts are everyone cannot do everything they want; life is full of restrictions there is no solution to satisfy everyone. If Alan got an STD, his family would be up in arms that the “system” didn’t protect him.

    My only worry is that there is one standard for straights and the other for Gays. In the US, mentally impaired people have been judged to have the right to reproduce but the care of the children is provided for by multiple layers of caregivers. This is absurd. If you can’t care for your own children, you shouldn’t be allowed to have them. NOTE; to my way of thinking knowing upfront that a couple doesn’t have the capacity while in state care is different than finding out afterwards the parents can’t or won’t care for their own. As I said, thorny issues with no easy answers.

  • Elliander

    I consider this very troubling. It seems that the Judge in this case is saying that anyone who is disabled can never have sex as long as they are disabled. The case would appear to set a precedent where a whole range of disabilities could be considered statutory rape.

    Once upon a time people believed that “Retards” should be kept from breeding through a Eugenics program. However, since this has become unpopular due to how Nazis also did this to the Jews, that’s considered politically unsavory.

    I’ll bet this Judge is using this as an excuse to enact a kind of Eugenics program. Now we live in a world where society can determine who is fit to reproduce.

  • Elliander

    “believed that babies were delivered by a stork or found under a bush,”

    That statement proves his capacity to learn. Someone had to teach him that. Therefore someone can tell him otherwise.

  • Jaroslaw

    #36 – have you worked with the mentally retarded? What the “storks” statement means is he is repeating what someone told him. He hasn’t “learned” or processed anything (at least about reproduction). If you told a higher functioning adult the moon is made of green cheese, he would think about it for about a second and laugh it off.

  • Elliander


    I have both worked with the mentally disabled and have been disabled myself. (pervasive developmental delay) I have long since healed, which some people do, but just because today I am a self reliant home owner getting ready to go to medical school doesn’t mean I don’t remember what it feels like.

    No one, except the individual in question, can possibly know what it feels like. In many cases an individual who has trouble expressing themselves are presumed to be mentally retarded. I have known many people who were very intelligent people but because they could not stay focused on normal testing it was assumed they didn’t understand the material. Allot of people who really do have trouble learning usually have one or two things they know almost everything about, so even in that case a standard academic testing isn’t an accurate representation of comprehension.

    Given that it is generally impossible to accurately measure how much someone has processed information where interaction skills are limited, you can only rely on a basic definition of learning which can be summed up as the ability to retain a fact and repeat it.

    If someone told you 1+1=2, and you could repeat that, it doesn’t in and of itself mean you understand why 1+1=2 but neither is that alone evidence for a lack of understanding. If you were at a grade level where that was the most math you knew it might very well just be a repetition. But the fact that it can be repeated at all implies some measure of learning has taken place.

    That an adult believes in the Stork can be a number of things. It can mean that the adult is treated like a child with children books. It could very well be that because he doesn’t understand the way the body works he believes in the stork because he lacks any other information.

    To draw a comparison: It is generally known that Columbus did not discover that the world was round. People of the time not only knew the world was round but understood the circumference of the Earth. The objections made had more to do with the idea that he was wrong in his idea of distance, that given the distance, he’d run out of supplies before reaching India. Which he would have had another land mass not be in the way. Even so, school children are taught that Columbus is important because he discovered the Earth was round. The Teachers and the Students both believe this to be true because they do not understand. They are simply repeating what they are told without fully investigating the facts. They lack any other information.

    Just because a surprising number of people believe that Columbus was anything other than an inept Navigator doesn’t mean they are mentally incapable of processing this fact. It just means that they haven’t been properly educated.

    That doesn’t mean they are incapable of learning. Just as belief in the Stork doesn’t mean one is incapable of learning. Learning wrong is still learning.

  • Jaroslaw

    Elliander – I was responding in post #37 with two short sentences to your two short sentences in post #36. As such, what I wrote is valid. To respond briefly to #38, although this article does not say that he is incapable of learning, (possibly) repeating something isn’t proof he can learn either. However, the judge seems to have tried to be fair by ordering sex education.

    I’m glad you healed and are on your way to medical school; I am aware of everything in your post #38 and do not wish to write an essay in response! I’ve already said these are thorny issues and no solution will satisfy everyone. Saying this does not make light of his or your previous problems; but rather that decisions have to made by some method and in a perfect world everyone would get excellent care etc. but I don’t foresee that anytime soon in a time of exponential diminishing resources.

Comments are closed.