I am really losing patience with this discussion comparing the “orientation” of pedophilia with the orientation of homosexuality.
Let’s point out some of the obvious differences.
Gay men and lesbians can engage in consensual sexual relationships and find partners with whom to enjoy healthy emotional and sexual relationships.
The only people who seem to think that they should repress these urges are some fundamentalist monotheists. And most of us here probably feel a combination of distress, and perhaps occasionally amusement, at their attempts to repress their real sexuality. And they often fail. When Christian preachers bring male escorts on business trips (to carry their luggage) and Republican politicians pick up men in public restrooms, we smirk or shake our heads, and wish they would/could just embrace their sexuality and stop being such hypocrites. History demonstrates that folks who try to repress their real sexuality, often fail.
But when we talk about pedophiles, we are assuming that they of course should and can repress these urges. And maybe they can. For a year. Five years. Ten years. Twenty years. Maybe for a whole lifetime. But maybe not. I think my example of priests in an earlier post is an excellent illustration. They try to repress it. They try hard. And some may in fact succeed for a lifetime. But there is ample evidence to prove that often, they are not successful at repressing their sexual drives. And children are damaged. Forever.
In terms of your defenseless coma patient, yeah, coma patients are subject to abuse. From predatory individuals, or individuals with fetishes related to being attracted to dead people or unconscious people. But normal gay (or straight) men are not going to rape a coma patient.
First of all, because most people are just not attracted to comatose people. But more importantly, because they are able to find consensual partners, for one night stands, or for forever relationships.
Gay men and lesbians (even more than straight people) are seeking encounters with peers. Pedophiles are not seeking relationships with peers. The power imbalance between who they are and who they are sexually attracted to is significant.
They are not parallel situations. I refuse to talk about pedophilia like a civil rights issue. It is recognized as a mental health issue, and I don’t see any reason to treat it as anything else.