Posts Tagged 'First Amendment'

Sexual Lewdness: Protected Speech

Larry Craig is setting an excellent prescedent for the pornographic industry -- he's claiming his foot-tapping and hand-gestures were protected speech, even though they could be considered sexually lewd and obscene, by offering homosexual sex to a stranger. The adult industries, from erotica to gonzo, ride on the verge of prosecution because obscenity is not protected speech. So, where does Craig's action take the adult industry? Well, it doesn't "fix" anything, but it is beginning to provide precedence...if obscene gestures, directly sexual gestures, are considered protected under free speech, according to the US Constitution, this opens up a category of allowable, protected speech. Obscene sexual hand-gestures of a woman in just her panties and bra? Protected. Obscene sexual hand-gestures of a naked woman? Well, inexplicit nudity can be considered protected, so with Craig's precedence, even more naughtiness is allowable by adding obscene hand-gestures. Thus, a naked woman masturbating -- sexually-alluring hand gestures that many find obscene -- isn't too far away. Pornography is around because of lack of interest in prosecuting...but when it crosses the line into protected speech, the adult industry is handed a pocketful of get-out-of-jail-free cards. The more the 'protected speech' card is played by powerful people trying to get out of trouble, the better the adult industry has it. Craig doesn't open any floodgates, but if what he does works then others are going to continue to stretch the leniency in the future.We've still got the 'community standard' problem, however, in which a community of Congresspeople could decide that public solicitation of homosexual sex is not obscene, but a naked woman during prime-time is -- well, then that says a lot about the kind of people we're electing. Who knew we were such a gay-friendly country?