Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Prudishness: 1, First Amendment: 0

Well, we knew it couldn’t last.

Though the Supreme Court happily refused to consider Catholic Charities “case” against New York’s Health and Wellness Act, SCOTUS also declined to hear the challenge to Alabama's ban on the sale of sex toys, ending a nine-year legal battle. According to the Associated Press, an adult-store owner had asked the justices to throw out the law as an unconstitutional intrusion into the privacy of the bedroom. But the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal, leaving intact a lower court ruling that upheld the law.

While Alabama’s anti-obscenity law (1998) does not ban the possession of sex toys, it does ban the distribution of "any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs for anything of pecuniary value."

Similar laws have been upheld in Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas, but struck down in Louisiana, Kansas and Colorado.

Is it because I live in NYC? Or because I’m “liberal?” Or work in women’s health/rights that this seems INSANE to me? How can a state possibly outlaw the sale of vibrators (and the Supreme Court not even blink) while guns can be sold at big box stores?

To end on a “forward looking” note, at least Sherri Williams, owner of the Pleasures stores in Huntsville and Decatur plans to sue again on First Amendment free speech grounds. "My motto has been they are going to have to pry this vibrator from my cold, dead hand. I refuse to give up," she said.

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