In case you missed it, a hoax rapidly circulating on social media falsely claims that a bill passed by the Michigan Senate establishes criminal penalties of up to 15 years in prison for consenting adults who engage in oral or anal sex.

In fact, the bill authored by state Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, would ban anyone convicted of torturing an animal or engaging in bestiality from owning an animal for five years. Non-profit shelters also would have free access to Michigan’s criminal history database.

Several websites latched onto a report that the legislation would make it illegal for adults in Michigan to engage in oral or anal sex.

Kudos to Eclectablog for first reporting that the story was false.

A blogger in Texas apparently started this charade when he distorted the bill (PDF) to give the impression that it applies to people. That misinformation quickly spread across several social media networks. Jones told WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids that his bill was simply meant to protect animals from sodomy.

Jones said his legislation does not change current law as far as sodomy between two consenting adults, though the language of the proposed law does include “mankind” provisions designed to protect minors.