Is It Really Illegal to Own More Than 6 Sex Toys in Texas? Sort Of!
A lot of folks over the past week have been looking at Texas gun laws and some are questioning where our priorities lie in the state.
Here's something I learned today: back in the 1970s, a new law was put on the books in the state of Texas for how many "obscene devices" you could own. The law is describing sex toys even though it never comes out and says those exact words.
Men and women in the state can own no more than six at one time. I wonder how many of you are breaking the law right now?
I know you think this is some outdated thing, but it was most recently enforced in 2003. A woman by the name of Joanne Webb was selling sex toys at a party in Fort Worth (sort of like Tupperware). She sold one to an undercover police officer. The charges were eventually dropped against her, but this brought attention to this law. Lawsuits started coming in against the State of Texas, and you know who fought them?
Why, current Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who, at the time, was the Solicitor General of Texas.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court of Appeals later ruled that the Texas law violated 14th Amendment privacy rights. Ted Cruz wrote an 83-page rebuttal fighting back their decision.
All these years later, Cruz has said it was his job to defend Texas’ laws in court, regardless of whether he agreed with them. So it doesn't look like anyone in our state will actually get in trouble for owning seven 7 toys.
So here's my question: why is this law still on the books?
James C. Todd, a former Texas assistant attorney general, explained to Politifact why that is. "They don’t want to go back and in the next election have it said (that) my opponent voted against a law to prohibit indecency," he said. While the law remains on the books, it’s unenforceable; since it’s declared unconstitutional, no prosecutor would prosecute someone for violating it, he said.
Screw that, if we all agree this law is ridiculous then get it off the books, even if it can't be enforced.