Charges Against John “Buttman” Stagliano Dropped: a Victory for Porn

Via The Washington Post:

A federal judge dismissed the first obscenity prosecution brought in the nation’s capital in a quarter-century on technical grounds Friday, tossing out charges against John A. Stagliano and two companies associated with the adult video producer based in Van Nuys, Calif.

Acquitting Stagliano, John Stagliano Inc. and Evil Angel Productions Inc. before they began their defense, U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon said evidence presented by the Justice Department’s Obscenity Prosecution Task Force in the four-day trial was “woefully insufficient” to link defendants to the production and distribution of two DVD videos at the heart of the case.

(And if it’s relevant, the titles of those two DVDs were Milk Nymphos, and Storm Squirters 2: Target Practice. Classy stuff.)

Here’s the thing about so-called “obscenity”…

You can’t make something illegal solely on the grounds that some people find it offensive. That’s precisely what is meant by “free speech.” If free speech only extended to acts that didn’t offend anyone, there’d be no reason for the Constitutional framers to have felt the need to protect it.

That’s why the obscenity and anti-porn laws on the books entirely miss the point. Almost all art is offensive to someone. If the law were to operate under the premise that people have the right not to be offended, then almost all forms of expression (movies, plays, television shows, books, magazines, blogs, etc.) would come to a screeching halt.

No one is being harmed by pornography. No one. (And, no, an adult consenting to violent sex should not be considered “harmed” in any reasonable and accurate sense)

What we have here are men and women agreeing to exchange fluids as willing participants in front of a consenting film crew, the product of which will be sold to consenting adults for a price they consider fair.

As with anything else that we deal with in a free society, if you don’t like porn, don’t watch it. Plain and simple. This is not an issue of public health. It’s not an issue of cultural sensitivity. It’s not an issue of what’s “best for society.”

It’s an issue of freedom, and what it means to live in a society that’s truly free.

So I’m happy the charges were dropped, even if it wasn’t for the right reasons. Let’s hope the next time this happens (and I’m sure there will be a next time) that more people are willing to stand up for their neighbor’s right to make and distribute material produced by and for consenting adults without having to face a prison sentence just because some people find it “obscene.”

2 thoughts on “Charges Against John “Buttman” Stagliano Dropped: a Victory for Porn

  1. Pingback: Point of Contention: Does a Japanese rape fantasy video game go to far? « The Passive Aggressive

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