[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
- To: email@example.com
- From: firstname.lastname@example.org (dctest Anonymous Remailer)
- Date: 24 Feb 1999 12:28:17 -0000
- Comments: This message did not originate from the above address. It was automatically remailed by one or more anonymous mail services. This service is a test and temporary in nature. Please report problems or inappropriate use to the address below.
- Sender: email@example.com
Ala. Defends Ban on Sex Toys' Sale
By JAY REEVES Associated Press Writer
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) -- Women who say they can't enjoy themselves in the bedroom without sex toys like
vibrators asked a federal judge Wednesday to block a new Alabama law banning the sale of such items.
Those challenging the 1998 law contend it violates privacy rights by indirectly prohibiting adults from
engaging in legal acts behind closed doors.
But the state contends there is no fundamental right to a product used to produce an orgasm.
U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith gave no indication of when he might rule.
The ban on sex toys in this Bible Belt state was signed by Gov. Fob James, who was defeated last November.
He backed prayer in school and once threatened to call out the National Guard to keep the Ten Commandments
on a courtroom wall.
The ban was inserted in a law to prohibit nude dancing in nightclubs. Selling or distributing ``any device
designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs'' was made punishable by
up to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine.
The law is not being enforced pending the outcome of the lawsuit, which was filed by six women, four of
whom say they use vibrators for gratification that couldn't otherwise achieve. The other two women sell sexual
devices at stores or during in-home shows.
Mark Lopez of the American Civil Liberties Union, representing users and sellers of sex toys, told the judge
that many sex therapists recommend the devices for women who cannot achieve orgasm.
Attorneys for the state contend that similar bans in Texas and Georgia have been upheld and that legislators
have broad discretion in passing laws to protect the public from what they regard as harmful products.
Paul H. Van Wyk, a Montgomery psychologist who is not involved in the lawsuit, said in an interview that he
rarely recommends sex aids to clients, but he doesn't believe the items should be banned.
``Protecting us from vibrators is protecting us from a crime without a victim,'' he said.
One of the plaintiffs, Sherri Williams, who owns stores called Pleasures in Huntsville and Decatur, said
business was initially hurt by the law but picked up in recent weeks.
``It was Valentine's. That's always a big time for us,'' she said.