Years after GWB left the Governor’s mansion, the Great State of Texas seems to continue to be obsessed with dildos. I reported on Feb. 13 in Texas Dildo Law Goes Limp that the Fifth Circuit struck down Texas’ Saudi-esque “obscene devices” law.
In that post, I reported on Reliable Consultants v. Ronnie Earl ___ F.3d ___ (5th Cir. 2008). In that case, just in time for Valentine’s Day the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck a blow for individual freedom and struck down the Texas “obscene device law” — the law that makes it illegal to sell (not possess) dildos in the Lone Star State.
Naturally, the State of Texas simply can not survive if dildos are sold in that state. Therefore, a bunch of small-government republicans have banded together to waste the taxpayers’ money seeking a rehearing en banc.
The brief is the same old “the sky is falling” bollocks — as if every time you touch your genitals, an angel burns to death. The argument boils down to this (found on page 14).
- If the Texas dildo law is invalidated as an improper encroachment upon personal liberty, this will open the floodgates, and laws on bigamy and incest will be struck down too.
- Striking down the law “impermissibly overrides state lawmakers’ settled ‘authority to regulate commercial activity they deem harmful to the public’” (naturally citing a dissenting opinion from the 11th Circuit).
These arguments are easily dispensed with, even if you turn off 98% of your brain cells.
Remember when gays started marrying in Massachusetts? A friend of mine who is a Jehovah’s Witness (yeah, seems funny that I have friends like that) predicted that men would soon marry goats. I haven’t heard of a satyr being born in Massachusetts yet.
Anti-bigamy laws are not an encroachment upon personal liberty. It is perfectly legal for three people, four people, five people, or a whole softball team to form a polyamorous group, live together, sleep together, and have children together. The only thing that is not legal is for a person to be married to another person who is already married to someone else. Marriage is NOT a sacred institution — it is a contract between two people and the state. The state gives benefits to a pair of people who decide they want to get married — for example, inheritance, marital privileges, and the like. Extending such privileges to larger groups would allow any cult or group of criminals to simply say “all 75 of us are married, therefore we can invoke the marital privilege.”
Incest — same thing. There is not an impermissible encroachment upon personal liberty, because incest has effects that will harm us all. Those who are in an inferior position in a family will not be able to give true consent. Even if they were (lets say fraternal twins wanted to do the nasty), there is a very real possibility that the incestuous relationship would result in inbreeding — which would lead to more Texans like the idiots who voted for this law in the first place. I don’t know, maybe if the incest took place between verifiably consenting adults who were also sterile, I suppose that I wouldn’t expect the state to get involved if my neighbor made that choice.
The second argument is just plain funny. The legislature of Texas has somehow deemed it to be harmful for people to masturbate? However, since they can’t make masturbation illegal, they have determined that the commercial activity of selling an item for the stimulation of the genitals is “harmful to the public?”
Does it not seem beyond belief that you can buy a gun with relatively little hassle all across the South. However, the legislatures of Mississippi, Alabama, and Texas are terrified of vibrators? One commentator said:
one could stroll down Alabama’s southern streets selling semiautomatic rifles and dildos, and be arrested for the dildos. (source)
The only thing that dildos threaten is some ass-hats in Austin who are terrified of the fact that women will like their dildos more than their men. Given what I have seen come out of the Texas legislature, I couldn’t blame them.