Bashman on the Limits of Lawrence

How Appealing's Howard Bashman's latest column explains that fears Lawrence v. Texas would result in the wholesale invalidation of morals legislation "have proven to be overblown" -- at least thus far. As evidence, Bashman cites the Ohio Supreme Court's Lowe decision I noted last week and a recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upholding the state of Alabama's statute restricting the sale of sex toys.

If two recently issued appellate court rulings are any indication, the post-Lawrence fears of those concerned that public morality would no longer remain a valid basis for legislating consensual sexual conduct have proven to be overblown. Instead, these rulings demonstrate that, even where consenting adults are involved, Lawrence has failed to usher in an "anything goes" era, free from governmental interference.

Other cases seem to confirm this (lack of a) post-Lawrence trend. For instance, as some commenters on my prior post noted, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit also upheld a state law prohibiting consensual incest between adults in the 2005 decision of Muth v. Frank. Thus, it seems, Lawrence is has having less impact than some of its proponents hoped and critics feared.