No Sex Toys in Sandy Springs Without a Bona Fide Reason

By Jonathan R. Tung, Esq. on August 04, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

This rather unusual lawsuit out of the Eleventh Circuit is an affirmation of Sandy Springs' ban on sex devices unless needed for "bona fide" reasons. Now, how often is that going to happen? What's a "bona fide" need for sex toys?

At a Walgreens Near You!

Although many national retailers including Walgreens sell vibrators without obscuring customers' view from them, Sandy Springs enacted a law that essentially banned such devices for purchase. The one loophole that remains in the law appears to be a doctor's prescription indicating a medical necessity.

According to WSB-TV, the local ordinance prohibits the sale of sexual devices unless the customer in question has a "bona fide" medical, educational, scientific, legislative, judicial or law enforcement purpose. The ordinance applies to all sex toys, but has hit vibrators disproportionately by comparison because vibrators are now being featured widely at many retailers including Safeway, Target and, as mentioned above, Walgreens.

The Plaintiff's Case

The plaintiff is a multiple sclerosis sufferer who argues that, due to her disease, she suffers a reduced ability to enjoy sexual intimacy with her partner. The argument she presented basically claimed that the ordinance was in violation of the 14th Amendment's inferred right of privacy.

But the circuit sided with the city and noted that it was more or less bound by previous precedent made in 2004 where it affirmed for Alabama City on similar sex-toy ban grounds. It did, however, use language that almost invited the plaintiff to push this matter up the judicial food chain.

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