Two recent Oregon Supreme Court cases demonstrate the American Civil Liberties Union's commitment to the pornography industry, claims an internationally respected expert and Justice Department consultant on the subject.
According to Judith Reisman Ph.D., the cases – State of Oregon v. Ciancanelli and City of Nyssa v. Dufloth/Smith – demonstrate that the ACLU will defend the most extreme elements of a business that now, as these cases show, includes "live sex shows."
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Late last month, the Oregon Supreme Court struck down a state law banning live sex shows as well as an ordinance that regulated the conduct of nude dancers. In two 5-1 decisions, the court ruled that both laws violated the rights to freedom of speech and expression found in the state's constitution, adopted in 1859. The lone dissenter in both cases, Justice Paul De Muniz, could not concur with the five other justices in viewing "masturbation and sexual intercourse in a 'live public show'" as a form of speech provided for in the Oregon Constitution. In both cases, the Oregon chapter of the ACLU filed an amicus curiae supporting the right of the strip club owners to facilitate sexual contact between consenting adults.
Previously, the ACLU has defended child pornography. In a quietly prosecuted case in 1981, People v. Ferber, the ACLU won a 5-2 decision in the New York Court of Appeals that for a short time "legalized simulated intercourse, real intercourse, lewd conduct ... with children," says Reisman, author of the soon-to-be-released, "Kinsey's Attic: How One Man's Psychopathology Changed the World." Fortunately, says Reisman, the Ferber case was later appealed by the New York attorney general and ultimately reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Oregon cases, like Ferber, just demonstrate how far the ACLU will go in defending pornographers, adds Reisman.
Its role in the two Oregon decisions shows that the ACLU "continues to make it a practice of defending members of the sex industrial complex," concluded Reisman, who wondered out loud: "Whatever happened to the ACLU defending the little guy?"
Total revenues from domestic porn purveyors are estimated at $12-$14 billion dollars annually. Some estimates put total revenue from the sex industry worldwide at more than $40 billion.