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.