Civil Liberties

Georgia Woman Sues Over City Sex Toy Ban


A Georgia woman has filed a lawsuit against the city of Sandy Springs over an ordinance banning the sale of sex toys to anyone without a "medical, scientific, educational, legislative, or law enforcement" purpose. In effect, Sandy Springs residents are required to have a doctor's prescription or otherwise prove they only intend to use that vibrator for state-sanctioned reasons. 

"(Some people) have this dirty mind about how people are going to use it," plaintiff Melissa Davenport told Atlanta's WSB-TV 2. "People really do need devices because they need it for health reasons and to have a healthy intimate life with their spouse." 

Davenport, 44, has multiple sclerosis, which interfered with her ability to enjoy sex. She credits the introduction of sex toys with "saving" her marriage of 24 years. Not that it should make a damn bit of difference why anyone wants to buy a sex toy or how they intend to use it.

Ostensibly Sandy Springs residents can turn to online sex toy retailers with little problem. But in ordering Internet dildos, they would still officially be breaking the law. I'm glad Davenport—a spokeswoman for sexual health in the MS community who seeks not just to purchase but also to sell sex toys in Sandy Springs—is challenging the ordinance as a violation of her 14th Amendment rights to privacy and liberty. 

The other plaintiff in the lawsuit is a man named Henry, described in court documents as "a bisexual man and artist." Henry has previously used sex toys in art exhibits in Sandy Springs and would like to in the future, the lawsuit says. He would also like to be able to sell artwork containing these banned sexual devices and purchase sex toys, for artistic and personal purposes, in the city. Henry alleges that the ordinance violates his First Amendment rights, as well. 

The city is expected to file a response in June.