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Liberty for AllReclaiming Individual Privacy in a New Era of Public Morality$
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Elizabeth Price Foley

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780300109832

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300109832.001.0001

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(p.102) Chapter 5 Sex
Liberty for All

Elizabeth Price Foley

Yale University Press

The right to participate in consensual sex is not absolute and depends upon various restrictions that relate to whether one is single or married, heterosexual or homosexual, whether the sex is obtained free or purchased, and the type of sex in which the person wishes to engage. When applied to competent adults, these factors make no principled constitutional sense and are inconsistent with the morality of American law. This chapter first looks at sex jurisprudence prior to the case of Lawrence v. Texas, which not only condemns public morality as the sole basis for law but also embraces a harm principle. It then examines the major categories of current sex laws and their validity in the context of Lawrence and the morality of American law. In particular, the chapter discusses fornication and statutory rape, pornography and obscenity, sex toys such as vibrators and dildos, prostitution in relation to the twin principles of limited government and residual individual sovereignty, and deviant sex such as bestiality and necrophilia.

Keywords:   sex, law, jurisprudence, Lawrence v. Texas, public morality, harm principle, sex laws, fornication, statutory rape, deviant sex

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