Apr 23, 2012 Jon Katz interviewed at 2010 Woodhull Sexual Freedom Day
Without sexual freedom, our other civil liberties are not sufficiently protected.
Around two months before I started law school, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to permit states to continue criminalizing sodomy (oral sex and anal intercourse). Bowers v. Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986). That effectively exposed millions of people to prosecution and conviction. Seventeen years later, the Supreme Court, ruling 6-3, barred criminalization of consensual adult sodomy. Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003).
Little did I realize before starting law school that the Supreme Court would even get in the way of consensual oral sex. By the time I read Bowers, I realized that nothing is automatically sacred at the Supreme Court.
My law practice primarily focuses on criminal defense. Just as my obsession with civil liberties protection heavily influences my choice to focus on criminal defense, it also heavily influences the many times I have defended sexual freedom in such First Amendment protection matters as fighting to keep open adult video stores and strip clubs and to eliminate and deflate laws that make it more onerous and expensive to operate such businesses. My criminal defense practice includes defending allegations of sex crimes; all criminal defense involves the defense of the Bill of Rights, which is the very essence of civil liberties.
Recently I ran across an interview (here and here) of me at the 2010 Woodhull Sexual Freedom Day, which event I blogged about here. My message in the short interview boils down to: Sexual freedom is about free choice and expanded rights with government. Sexual freedom is not achieved if we stay silent.