Williams v. Pryor: Court Rules Alabama Can Ban the Sale of 'Sex Toys'

Williams v. Pryor: Court Rules Alabama Can Ban the Sale of 'Sex Toys'

Williams v. Pryor

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Decided: Williams v. Pryor — The 11th Circuit Court rules that the Alabama legislature is within its rights to ban the sale of "sex toys," and that people do not necessarily have any right to buy them.

Amended in 1998, the Alabama Code obscenity provisions in question state:

"It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly distribute, possess with intent to distribute, or offer or agree to distribute any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs for any thing of pecuniary value."

Possession and use of sexual devices are not restricted, just the commercial distribution of them. Anyone who violates this law by selling sex toys is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to one year of jail or hard labor for the first offense. Subsequent violations are a class C felony.

Chief Judge R. Lanier Anderson III writes for the majority:

"The fundamental constitutional rights of privacy recognized to date by the Supreme Court in the area of sexual activity each have followed from the Court's protection of a person's right to make the decision not to procreate without governmental interference. ...

None of these cases, however, is decisive on the question whether the Constitution protects every individual's right to private sexual activity and use of sexual devices from being burdened by Alabama's sexual device distribution criminal statute."

Read More: Williams v. Pryor


Ban on Sex Toys (Huntsville, Alabama)

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