Lookin’ For Love In All The Wrong Places

This had to be intentional: Yesterday, which was Valentines Day, the Eleventh Circuit again upheld Alabama’s law prohibiting the sale of sex toys.

How, exactly, is this law constitutional in light of Scotus’s holding that states have to recognize man-on-multiple-minor-male-beasts marriages? Well, despite the parade of horribles often seen in its trail by its detractors, Lawrence v. Texas is not so broad, applying only to private consensual sexual contact, whereas, in the Eleventh Circuit’s words: “There is nothing ‘private’ or ‘consensual’ about the advertising and sale of a dildo.” Hence, states may prohibit those sales.

Now I don’t know many people who have been publicly forced to buy, er, sexual toys, and I’m sure the authors of the opinion don’t, either. I think what they are trying to say is that this law involves commercial activity, whereas Lawrence involved personal intimacy. And commercial activity gets less due process protection than personal activity. So, while the fact that some lawmaker thinks some personal activity is gross will not justify outlawing that activity, if the lawmaker thinks some commercial activity is gross, the lawmaker can on that basis alone eliminate the activity.  In other words, if the Alabama law prohibited the use of the devices, the result may have been different.

As an aside if you doubt that Federal Courts are extremely, I mean extremely, deferential to the powers of legislatures, you need to read this decision. Commercial activity or not, if grossness alone is a rational reason to prohibit an activity, than 1) the word rational has no meaning whatsoever, and 2) we do not live in a free society.  

Here’s my previous coverage of this case.

Explore posts in the same categories: Eleventh Circuit

6 Comments on “Lookin’ For Love In All The Wrong Places”

  1. Kathy Says:

    IIRC, this provision was tacked on to the end of an unrelated bill, and most legislators had no idea they were voting to ban the sale of sex toys. Which makes the state’s determination to fight for it even funnier.

  2. Mark Says:

    I think it’s pretty gross that legislators are so interested in what people they don’t know do with their genitals.

  3. Texas Redhead Loser Says:

    Wheeler, I’m pretty sure you know where I stand on this one so I’m going to leave it alone. The catalogue I have is in Arkansas right now with K&R. They wanted to see the one that supposedly has 300 functions.

  4. wheeler Says:

    “They wanted to see the one that supposedly has 300 functions.”

    i guess everything really is bigger in texas.

  5. 300 functions? Really? My Swiss-army knife doesn’t have 300 functions, but now I’m imagining a Swiss-army dildo, and I can only think of 272 functions… 🙂

    I’m telling you that the birth of my daughter (and any other baby) was pretty gross, so I’m going to favor a ban on childbirth.

  6. […] case I mentioned here is about to climax: The owner of an adult store in Decatur launched her final appeal Monday […]

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