Feb 14,2008 00:00
HOUSTON -- Texas' adult bookstore industry hailed a court decision lifting a state ban on sex toys even if it did miss part of a lucrative Valentine's Day business.
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 Wednesday in Houston that the 35-year-old law banning promotion or sale of sex toys violates the privacy protections of the 14th Amendment, the Houston Chronicle said. It is expected to go into effect in March.
Alluding to Lawrence vs. Texas, a Houston case that resulted in the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the state's sodomy law in 2003, the judges wrote, "The state here wants to use its law to enforce a public moral code by restricting private intimate conduct.
"This case is not about public sex," the court continued. "It is not about controlling commerce in sex. It is about controlling what people do in the privacy of their own homes because the state is morally opposed to a certain type of of consensual private intimate conduct."
Mississippi, Alabama and Virginia have obscene device laws similar to Texas.
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