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Good vibrations - Sex Toys Illegal?

You are not allowed to sell vibrators or dildos in Georgia. But lots of stores do, anyway.

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Cheshire Bridge Road in Atlanta has several shops that offer AA-battery-powered fun. But in Cobb County, where evolution is just a theory and love of the Lord abounds, the sale of sex toys is strictly forbidden. But for how long?

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On Jan. 27, a 5-year-old lawsuit gets another chance to take down the state's ban on the sale of sex toys that shimmy with your jimmy.

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This, That and the Other, a head shop and merchant of sex paraphernalia on Cobb Parkway in Smyrna, is taking its case back to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

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In 2000, Cobb County threatened to close the store if it continued to sell sex gadgets. In response, the business owners sued the county, claiming Georgia's anti-dildo law was unconstitutional. The appeals court agreed that the law restricted freedom of speech, but declined to strike it down. Instead, the court offered state officials the opportunity to change the law's wording; they didn't. Since then, the store has had to make do selling tobacco products and adult DVDs, magazines and merchandise.

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Beth Littrell, a staff attorney with the Georgia ACLU, says the sex toy ban is vulnerable.

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"When it is commercial speech advertising a legal product, it requires more than a broad rhetorical fear of some potential negative effect," says Littrell. "There has to be more evidence than that."

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Georgia law bans "any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs." There are two exceptions: people who have a prescription from their doctors, and teachers or students in "a course of study related to such material."




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