Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Alabama's sex toy ban

Alabama state representative John Rogers, Democrat – Birmingham, recently filed a bill to overturn Alabama’s ban on sex toys. If you are not already aware of it, Alabama has fought a ten-year court battle against vibrators, dildos and masturbators. The initial court case involving the law went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to hear it. Their refusal left the ban in effect, but the battle is not over. Hoover, Alabama took a store to court that was selling such items in an attempt to close it. Last week, one of the state's Circuit Courts refused to enforce the law due to its vagueness. For reference, 13A-20-200.2 of the Code of Alabama can be found here:


The Honorable Mr. Rogers is doing the right thing, a rarity among our state representatives. Aside from the gross privacy violation the law entails, this particular statute has cost Alabama millions of dollars trying to enforce it and thousands of hours spent by state employees preparing the case and its appeals. In its ten year existence, it has yet led to a single conviction that hasn’t been overturned. Although the intent was to control the proliferation of “Adult” type stores, because of its wording, the law has proved useless. Zoning laws and regulations were better tools when the law was written and are the best tools now to control such businesses. Despite of the logic of the situation and the advantage to Alabama, Rogers’ bill will have a fight from the Southern Baptist organization, the Alabama Citizens Action Program (ALCAP). As quoted in an al.com article, Dan Ireland, ALCAP’s executive director, “Laws are made to protect the public,…Sometimes you have to protect the public against themselves."

That’s what I like about my state, there is always somebody willing to pursue the ridiculous for their self-perceived greater good.


No comments: