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19 May 2014

Lawsuit Seeks to Overturn Sandy Springs Dildo Law, But A State Statute Remains the Problem

Last week, WSB-TV reported Sandy Springs resident Melissa Davenport filed suit in federal court, seeking to overturn the north Fulton County city's dildo law [Woman files suit over sex toy law. WSB-TV. Retrieved on 19 May 2014.].

Any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs is considered obscene material in the city of Sandy Springs.

Any person who sells, rents, or leases to any person any obscene material of any description, knowing the obscene nature thereof, or offers to do so, or possesses such material with the intent to do so has committed the crime of distributing obscene material. The crime is considered a misdemeanor of an high and aggravated nature, and carries a penalty of up to twelve months in jail and a maximum fine of $5,000.

(The Sybian sex toy, a favorite of both males and females, is illegal and obscene in Georgia due to state law.)
In other words, it is criminal to sell dildos, sybians (shown right), and Flesh Lights in Sandy Springs.

What many people may not know is Sandy Springs based its dildo law on a state statute that's been on the books in Georgia for over forty years.

O.C.G.A. § 16-12-80(a) reads as follows:

"A person commits the offense of distributing obscene material when he sells, lends, rents, leases, gives, advertises, publishes, exhibits, or otherwise disseminates to any person any obscene material of any description, knowing the obscene nature thereof, or offers to do so, or possesses such material with the intent to do so, provided that the word "knowing," as used in this Code section, shall be deemed to be either actual or constructive knowledge of the obscene contents of the subject matter;"

O.C.G.A. § 16-12-80(c) reads, "Any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs is obscene material under this Code section:" and

O.C.G.A. § 16-12-80(f) reads, "A person who commits the offense of distributing obscene material shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature."

Georgia's dildo law has been on the books since 1975. Since 1975, it has been illegal for Georgians to give dildos and other sex toys as gifts.

Gerry Weber, the attorney who filed the legal action seeking to overturn Sandy Springs' sex toy law, told WSB-TV, "The ordinance basically says the government can stick its nose in your bedroom and say you can use this but not that.

"People have the right to decide for themselves whether these devices help their intimate life, and the government has no business being the bedroom and second guessing that decision," Weber said.

As long as the state law, criminalizing the giving of dildos, remains on the books, Georgia government officials will stay in the bedrooms of law-abiding adults.