Thursday, February 22, 2007

From the Law Files

11th Circuit: Sex Toys Are Like Prostitution The Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an Alabama law banning the sale of sex toys, on the grounds that Alabama has an interest in preserving "public morality" against the sale of such devices. The challenged law prohibits only the sale of devices "primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs." It does not forbid their use or possession. According to the Eleventh Circuit, Lawrence, which struck down a Texas anti-sodomy law, limited its holding to "private" activity between sexual partners. The Alabama law, on the other hand, prohibits the sale of sex toys--a "public, commercial activity." Reasoning that the sale of sex toys was more similar to "prostitution" than to private, consensual sex, the Eleventh Circuit upheld the Alabama law.

So this begs the question... where do Alabamans purchase their sex toys? Any chance of a "field report" Pat?


  1. I can't say I have first hand experience with this law.. but, come to think of it, I can't think of a single adult toy store in Alabama.. but heading north, the Boobie Bungalo is just across the border in Tennessee..

  2. Anonymous1:46 PM

    Having just read the case.

    The court never reasoned it was like prostitution...

    There was sentance detailing the Courts finding it Lawrence that private sexual conduct could not be barred by law meant to protect public morality.

    The Court stated this holding (Lawrence) did not apply to cases involving (1) minors (2) forcible sexual acts (3) public conduct or (4) prostitution.

    Why doesnt the headline just say the 11th Circuit compares sex toys to Child Rape in Public for Money. Oh wait cuz people might actually then realize how ridulous these "reporters" actually are.

    In my opinion the sale of sex toys is much closer to the operation of a strip club, which as we all know the government regulates the hell out of.

  3. Sorry to anger you... I wasn't really interested in the legalese. Which case did you read the Lawrence vs Texas or the Alabama one? It sounds like your saying the headline got one out of four right?

    From what I've picked up the sex toy / prostitution comparison fits because they're both considered forms of "commercial activity".

    And what the Alabama decision is saying is...

    Lawrence vs Texas gave us "you can't stop what people do with/to each other sexually." This particular case is different because you can stop what people buy in order to uphold "morality" (i.e. you can't buy sex because it's immoral or you can't buy liquor on Sunday cause the priests and nuns would be trashed).

    You say the same thing in your comment(comparing sex toys to strip clubs). Lawrence vs Texas doesn't reference strip clubs it references prostitution.

    We could sword fight all-day long, a case doesn't get to Federal court if it's not complicated right?

    Just know that I thought the post was interesting from the "wow I wouldn't want to live in a state where sex toy's are considered illegal and immoral"- perspective.

    And I'm sure the Boobie Bungalo management team just purchased more inventory.

  4. Anonymous4:03 PM


    What lawrence says is its holding doesnt apply to several thing one being public conduct and one being prostitution. Just because two things are listed as not being included in something doesnt make them the same. Yes it "references" prostitution...

    A not equal to B and C doesnt mean B and C are even close to the same.

    And Im sure Lawrence intends strip clubs in its definition of public conduct.

    Im just having one of those days where I realize I hate "headlines". I know thats a headline you picked of someother site so Im just iritated by them.

  5. So if the case law only prohibits the "sale" of devices primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs, then it does not prohibit their production for personal use. So here's how we profit, start selling books teaching Alabamans how to "whittle" and carve their own dildos and french ticklers.

    And I always thought that the Lawrence decision holding was this: There are only two things in Texas, steers and queers.

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  7. Ed if you want to, you should click on the headline of the post and comment on the original blog. that way they know what kind of "reporter" they are.