Civil Liberties

John Stagliano on Censorship


Over at The Los Angeles Times' Opinion section, adult moviemaker and distributor John Stagliano—currently facing federal obscenity charges that could put him in prison for almost 40 years—is debating Pepperdine Law School's Barry McDonald all week about free expression. Briefly, Stagliano is for it, McDonald not so much. (Full disclosure: Stagliano is a supporter of Reason Foundation, the nonprofit that publishes this website.)

Here's a passage worth reading from Stagliano, auteur of the popular Buttman series and the award-winning Fashionistas:

Barry, your point is that people must be forced to not think things that you don't like, and for that you'd have me put in jail. Your comment that it "seems" to you that viewing images "to obtain sexual pleasure cannot be the healthiest way of experiencing sex" seems not a good enough reason to imprison me for 39 years. In fact, using a proper concept of morality based on individual rights, it is you and those who would put me in jail when I did not infringe on anyone's rights who are behaving immorally.

More here, today and the rest of the week.

Check out Stagliano's Defend Our Porn! website.

If you subscribe to the print edition of reason (only $19.97 for a year's worth of the mag ABC News' John Stossels says is "one sane voice fighting tons of nonsense"), look for a Q&A with Stagliano in the August/September double issue, now winging your way. And look for an extended interview soon at, our video site featuring the Drew Carey Project.

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