A decision issued yesterday by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says Alabama doesn't have to lift its silly, arcane 1998 law banning the sale of sex toys. The Constitution does not include a right to sexual privacy
, the panel of three judges ruled. Many Americans would disagree, including this one. To paraphrase Andrew Orlowski's brilliant quip about the INDUCE Act
, under this law one could stroll down Alabama's southern streets selling semiautomatic rifles and dildos, and be arrested for the dildos.
"In this case, the American Civil Liberties Union ('ACLU') invites us to add a new right to the current catalogue of fundamental rights under the Constitution: a right to sexual privacy. It further asks us to declare Alabama's statute prohibiting the sale of 'sex toys' to be an impermissible burden on this right. Alabama responds that the statute exercises a time-honored use of state police power -- restricting the sale of sex. We are compelled to agree with Alabama and must decline the ACLU's invitation. (...)
"Alabama's Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act prohibits, among other things, the commercial distribution of 'any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs for any thing of pecuniary value.'"
This calls for massive civil disobedience. FreeTheAlabamaVibrator.com is still available, people -- it's time to stick it to the Man. Here
's the decision in PDF (Sherri Williams v. Attorney General of Alabama, case 02-16135
). More on the story here
, in a Seattle P-I piece. And during National Orgasm Week
, no less. Is nothing sacred? Here's a PDF
summarizing the state's gun laws (Alabama's congresscritters are against renewing the Assault Weapons Ban, which expires on September 13 -- evidently the state's pro-gun lobby is much more powerful than its pro-vibrator lobby). (Thanks, Baptiste Coulmont
Update: Fleshbot has just issued this
fatwa playful tease to readers who oppose the Alabama ban:
three $50 gift certificates from Eros Boutique to the three readers who come up with the best sex-toy related protest items, either by way of a vibemod prototype or Photoshopped creation. Confederate Flag Ticklers? Birmingham Ben-Wa Balls? Crimson Tide Cock Rings? Send your ideas and photos here.
You can have our Hello Kitty vibes and Cup-'o-Pussys when you pry them from our cold, dead hands, Alabama governor Bob Riley.
Neglected public payphones in New York City are being turned into “GuyFi” stations: a place where one can rub one out for the sake of “stress relief.” Annalee Newitz reports on the wank booths from a company named “Hot Octopus”… The company reported that at least 100 men used the booth on its opening day […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
A leaked Comcast memo discloses that the company’s consumer data caps have nothing to do with network congestion, contrary to its public claims. The internet service provider has often complained (such as when lobbying against net neutrality) that it must impose limits on service to prevent network congestion. The argument suggests that these measures are […]
Remember back to the time when people thought java was just a hip way to talk about coffee? Or you vaguely remembered from geography class that it’s an island in the South Pacific? We’ve come a long way since then and now that we’ve rocket blasted into the tech future, you’re going to need to […]
Plastic is so 2013. You don’t want to buy something only to throw it away or lose it and barely care. You like nice things and want to hang onto them. The Plazmatic lighter here is a high quality, high tech alternative to the typical cheap, plastic lighter you get at the old gas station. […]
Real engineers build things. Super cool engineers build things with their hands and fingers, like our engineering forefathers did. No idea where to even begin to do that? This step by step Arduino course is now 92% off and is going to get you up and running, from zero to hero, in no time. So […]