The National Association for Rational Sex Offense Laws (NARSOL) met in Houston for their annual conference, where they discussed eliminating what they deem “discriminatory” and “dehumanizing” sex offender registries, drawing praise from Mayor Sylvester Turner.
NARSOL says they exist to advocate for the abolition of registries and to “discourage discrimination towards those accused or convicted of a criminal offense.”
Their founder, who goes by the pseudonym “Alex Marbury,” was originally concerned with changing age of consent laws and has founded several LGBTQ activist groups.
While the organization claims they have no stance regarding age of consent, they have a history of sympathizing with sex offenders. In one of his blog posts, Steve Yoder, a columnist and speaker at the NARSOL conference, defended Norman Achin, a public school teacher caught sending lewd photos to a police officer masquerading as a minor.
Achin was arrested and put on the sex offender registry, and he lost his public school teaching position and pension. Yoder claimed Achin was tricked, arguing that law enforcement sting operations do not help children and “tempt” citizens with no history of criminal conduct.
“Stings” have recently been employed by the Harris County Sheriff’s Department under the Houston Area Internet Crimes Against Children operation. The police department has arrested more than six sex offenders, including Michael Stevens, superintendent of Itasca Independent School District in Hill County.
Jeremy Malcolm, self-proclaimed anti-fascist and writer for NARSOL, defended those who purchase child sex dolls, saying they are harmless outlets for pedophiles:
Since experts believe that pedophiles don’t choose to be attracted to children, it also seems unfair to criminalize them for what may be an unwanted condition, especially since most of them never go on to abuse a child. … In fact, the use of child sex dolls by pedophiles may actually reduce sex offending.
Malcolm also cited a Toronto Star article claiming pedophilia is like a “sexual orientation.”
According to The Texan, NARSOL used the term “minor-attracted persons” on this year’s conference schedule, while the organization received a letter from Mayor Sylvester Turner applauding their “restorative justice efforts on behalf of marginalized citizens.”
Under Texas law, those convicted of sex crimes must register with local law enforcement; the lists are then released by the state. According to a Houston Police Department online portal, there are more than 7,000 sex offenders presently living in Houston.