A Background Paper1


We are working up a fever making new laws against touching, and we’re more scandalized by a photograph or painting showing a nipple or a penis than by the image of a starving child on a dry, dusty road.

It’s Sodom and Gomorrah all over again

Dr. Robert L. Simonds,
Citizens for Excellence in Education

Are Jock Sturges’ photographs of nude children on the beach child pornography? Does learning about sex or reading about homosexuality cause young people to experiment with sex in ways they otherwise wouldn’t? Should children be shielded from nudity in art and sex on the Internet? Can words like “masturbation” and “contraception” be banned from classroom discussions? Should parents always have the final say about what minors can read, see, and learn?

These are the issues at the center of many of the censorship wars in late 20th century America. In one sense, it’s part of our tradition. From the ban on Margaret Sanger’s use of the words syphilis and gonorrhea to the ban on James Joyce and Henry Miller, the censors have traditionally focused on sex. The debate has shifted, however. While First Amendment protection now extends to a great deal of material with sexual content – at least for adults – where children are concerned, all bets are off. As a result, most censorship wars over sex are now fought ostensibly to protect minors, and to define what is “harmful to minors.”

Parents are understandably and rightly concerned about their children’s sexual decisions and behavior. For some parents, sex is something reserved only for adults, limited to certain circumstances and relationships. Other adults and children have different values, goals and expectations. One rule plainly does not fit all, so how are questions about what kind of information about sex is harmful – or essential – to minors to be resolved?

Noted children’s author Judy Blume has observed that “children are inexperienced, but they are not innocent.” Children live in a world in which sex education is censored, but sex is glamorized in advertisements and on television, and the sexual activities of government officials are described in the morning papers and the evening news. Sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy are other realities familiar to many teenagers. In the absence of empirical evidence demonstrating harm, perhaps it is time to reconsider whether it is constitutional – or wise – to deny young people access to information they need to make informed decisions and appropriate choices.

Sex, Sexuality, and The Law

All but the most astute legal scholars are confused. What is the legal definition of obscenity? How is it different from pornography? What is child pornography? What is the meaning of terms like “harmful to minors,” and which images are considered “indecent”?

The laws regulating material with sexual content have become increasingly complex, but sex is by no means a new subject in censorship law. Americans are heir to a tradition, fostered by religious perspectives, that viewed sex as something to be tolerated, at best – a necessary evil. In the 19th century, Anthony Comstock, founder of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, campaigned on the slogan “Morals, Not Art and Literature” for censorship laws to suppress erotic subject matter in art and literature and information about sexuality, reproduction and birth control. The Comstock Act of 1873 banned all material found to be “lewd,” “indecent,” “filthy” or “obscene,” including such classics as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. At one time or another, books by Ernest Hemingway, D.H. Lawrence, John Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald and a host of other literary greats have been banned under obscenity laws. Legal attitudes only began to change officially in 1957, when the Supreme Court acknowledged that sex is “a great and mysterious motive force in human life.”2

The legal definition of obscenity has gone through several permutations, with its current definition embodied in the 1973 case, Miller v. California.3 Material with sexual content falls outside the protection of the First Amendment if 1) the work, taken as a whole, appeals to a prurient interest in sex, as judged by contemporary community standards, 2) it portrays sexual conduct, defined by law, in a patently offensive manner, and 3) the work lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value. Pornography – jokingly referred to by lawyer and author Marjorie Heins as “the dreaded P’ word”4 – is not the same as obscenity. Pornography is erotic material or material that arouses sexual desire. In contrast with obscenity, pornography enjoys First Amendment protection because it does not satisfy the Miller standard, either because it has artistic, literary, historical or other social value, or because it is not patently offensive under community standards – even if some may find it so, or because the work taken as a whole does not appeal exclusively to a prurient interest in sex. Much of the material that is targeted as “indecent” is protected, at least for adults.

Children, however, are another story. Five years before Miller, the Court articulated a different standard for minors’ access to sexual material. In Ginsberg v. New York, the Court upheld a New York statute criminalizing distribution of material deemed “harmful to minors” (under 17), reasoning:

…the concept of obscenity or of unprotected matter may vary according to the group to whom the questionable material is directed. …. Because of the State’s exigent interest in preventing distribution to children of objectionable material, it can exercise its power to protect the health, safety, welfare and morals of its community by barring the distribution to children of books recognized to be suitable for adults.5

Material may thus be deemed “harmful to minors” if it appeals to the “prurient, shameful or morbid” interest of minors, lacks serious social value for minors, and is “patently offensive” based on adult views of what is fit for minors. This “variable obscenity” standard has been faulted because it upholds “unlawful to minors” laws without requiring the government to prove a compelling state interest or actual harm.6 It arguably applies equally to an emancipated 16 year old and a 4 year old child.

Ginsberg limited minors’ access to material with sexual content, but that is not the end of the story. In New York v. Ferber, the Court also upheld restrictions on various depictions of minors that are or could be considered sexual.7 The Court recognized the potential overbreadth of the statute – which could apply not only to child pornography, but also to a National Geographic photographic essay on tribal rites, ancient Greek art, and textbooks showing the effects of child sexual abuse or genital mutilation – but upheld it, citing the compelling need to protect actual children from possible exploitation by child pornographers. Left open was the question whether material apparently prohibited under the statute would be protected if it had literary, historical, scientific, or artistic value. That question remains unanswered, but since then the Court has demonstrated continued concern about possible exploitation of children used to create sexual materials, and upheld a law criminalizing an adult’s possession of child pornography in his own home.8

These issues are in the forefront of a current debate over the Child Pornography Protection Act of 1996. The CPPA criminalizes not only sexual images involving actual children, but also computer-generated images, the use of “body doubles,” and sexual images that appear to be minors, or that are advertised as minors, even if no minors are actually involved. Thus far, however, the statute has fared relatively well in the few courts to consider it. One federal district court found it unconstitutionally vague and overbroad, in a decision reversed on appeal, and another upheld the statute on the theory that such materials facilitate sexual exploitation of children.9 The CPPA signals a significant shift. A computer-generated image of a minor portrayed in a sexual manner is not the same as a picture of an actual child, and raises wholly different concerns from those expressed by the Court in Ferber and Osborne – the protection of real children from possible exploitation. The CPPA represents an unprecedented effort to suppress the ability to explore the idea of minors as sexual actors through pictures, film and theater. Without a recognition that the First Amendment protects such materials if they have artistic, historical, scientific, literary or other value, the CPPA could influence how Romeo and Juliet is presented, chill display of art like Balthus’ The Guitar Lesson, and discourage exhibits of ancient and contemporary erotic art and statuary. It has already affected U.S. distribution of a new film version of Lolita, and emboldened authorities in Oklahoma to seize the film of Gunter Grass’ classic World War II novel, The Tin Drum.

The notion of “variable obscenity,” and the Court’s willingness to alter the terms of First Amendment analysis in cases involving minors as observers and objects in art and literature with sexual themes also helps explain Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica,10 where the Court upheld an FCC broadcast rule banning “indecent” speech or “patently offensive depictions or descriptions of sexual or excretory activities or organs,” except on supposedly child-free “safe harbor” late night hours. The FCC’s action against Pacifica Radio targeted comedian George Carlin’s “Filthy Words” monologue, whose clearly satiric nature was apparently lost on the FCC and the Supreme Court, much as the anti-Nazi message of The Tin Drum was lost on the police in Oklahoma City.

Although the Supreme Court has generally endorsed increasingly restrictive laws wherever children and sex were combined, last year it refused to apply the Pacifica child-protective rationale to sex on the Internet. In Reno v. ACLU, the Court struck down the Communications Decency Act which targeted “indecent” speech on-line. Granting cyberspace the highest level of First Amendment protection, the Court also took the occasion to comment on the positive social value of sexually explicit speech, declaring that terms like “indecent” and “patently offensive” are so broad and vague as to threaten “serious discussion about birth control practices,” homosexuality, prison rape, or safer sex in addition to “artistic images that include nude subjects” and “arguably the card catalogue of the Carnegie Library.”11 Perhaps this represents a turning point in the Court’s willingness to scrutinize more closely claims about “harm to minors,” and to evaluate more seriously their independent need for access to materials with sexual content.

The uncertainty may be resolved soon. In October 1998, Congress enacted the Child Online Protection Act, also called “CDA II” because it is a successor to the Communications Decency Act. It would prohibit material deemed “harmful to minors” on commercial sites on the Internet. The President signed the bill, notwithstanding the fact that the United States Department of Justice expressed reservations about its constitutionality. Almost immediately, the law was challenged on the ground that it violates the First Amendment, as applied by the Supreme Court in Reno v. ACLU; the federal district court hearing the challenge has so far agreed that it is constitutionally suspect.12

Sex Education

What if I want to have sex before I get married?

Well, I guess you’ll just have to be prepared to die. And you’ll probably take with you your spouse and one or more of your children.13

Students are best motivated to delay sex when they are provided with full and accurate information about conception, contraception, safe sex and emotional and psychological aspects of sexuality and reproduction, according to a persuasive body of social science research. There is no persuasive support for the proposition that sex education encourages sexual experimentation or increased sexual activity. The American Psychological Association has reported that comprehensive sex education, that also provides students with behavioral strategies to avoid sex, can be successful in delaying sex and avoiding teen pregnancy. In fact, most teens are sexually active. The Commission on Adolescent Sexual Health estimates that 50% of females and 75% of males ages 15 to 19 have had sexual intercourse.14 These teenagers need reliable information on how to protect themselves from pregnancy, AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases: an estimated 3 million teens – about one in four who are sexually active – acquire a sexually transmitted disease every year.15

Despite this, in 1996 Senators Lauch Faircloth (R- NC) and Rick Santorum (R- PA), with the help of right wing groups like the Heritage Foundation, quietly attached a section entitled “Separate Program for Abstinence Education” to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, which overhauled welfare.16 The provision, buried at the end of the 250-page bill, provides $50 million a year for 5 years to states for abstinence education. The law specifies that funded programs, among other things, must teach: 1) the social, psychological and health gains of abstinence; 2) that abstinence is the only way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases; 3) that a mutually faithful monogamous relationship in the context of marriage is the expected standard of human sexual activity; 4) that sex outside marriage is likely to have harmful effects and that out-of-wedlock pregnancy is harmful to the child, the parents and society.

This legislation requires funded programs to censor information on contraception and disease prevention to promote an abstinence message. Curricular materials for such programs include Sex Respect, Facing Reality, and Teen Aid. All use scare tactics to convey the message that pre-marital sex is dangerous and immoral; all are homophobic in endorsing sex in marriage as the only acceptable expression of human sexuality; they also rely on gender stereotypes and contain medical misinformation. The National Coalition for Abstinence Education, under the aegis of Focus on the Family, distributes widely a “report card” which grades state plans strictly on their adherence to the tenets of the federal abstinence program, disregarding all else.

Some communities have fought against this form of censorship and viewpoint discrimination. Shreveport, Louisiana, successfully challenged the use of Sex Respect and Facing Reality on the grounds that they violated church-state principles and contained medically inaccurate information.17 Although every state has applied for funding, many are struggling to use the money without undercutting other comprehensive sex education programs, for example through programs to educate younger children or media campaigns like Michigan’s “Sex Can Wait” program and Maryland’s “Virgin: Teach your kid it’s not a dirty word.”

The fear-based approach to sex education has spawned old-fashioned censorship incidents. In Franklin County, North Carolina, the school board ordered three chapters – dealing with AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, contraception, marriage and parenting – literally razored out of the 9th grade health textbook. The action was recommended because the book used the word “partner” instead of “spouse,” and encouraged abstinence until ready for sex instead of marriage. The school health coordinator’s advice was ignored: “We don’t believe that knowledge of contraception is going to cause kids to go out and have sex. We believe knowledge is empowerment. It’s ignorance that’s a problem.” Equally amazing, District 24 in Queens, New York, has had a policy for more than a dozen years to ban from the curriculum four words masturbation, homosexuality, abortion and contraception.

The media has sometimes played an inflammatory, if contradictory, role in the debate. Bryant Gumbel’s “Public Eye” program on CBS revealed its bias in the introduction to a story about a comprehensive sex education program run by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Concord, Massachusetts: “Film strips that go all the way and then some… and you won’t believe where in a church!” The 25 year old voluntary church-based program, which teens attend with parental permission, provides co-ed discussion of the biology, morality, ethics, health, risks, and mechanics of sex, guided by female and male adults. The obvious merits of such an approach, however, were ignored by a largely sensational treatment on TV – the same medium that brings “Baywatch” to many teens on a weekly basis.

Suppression of frank information about sex is also a hot topic in Hauppauge, Long Island, as a result of demands by a parent and a parish priest that the magazines Seventeen, YM and Teen be removed from middle school library shelves. The superintendent says the magazines are not “age appropriate,” and endorsed their removal because they don’t teach “abstinence as the best was to prevent AIDS.” The magazines contain articles on peer pressure, divorce and conformity, along with factual columns about sex, bodies and health – they are also the number one place girls get information about sex and their bodies. Censorship of this sort is not confined to the lower grades. Last year, administrators at the State University at New Paltz came under fire for authorizing a women’s study conference that dealt with repression of female sexuality as an aspect of repression of women, and included topics on sado masochism, lesbianism and other sexual topics. And Nassau Community College has been locked in a court battle for years with critics of its elective sex education course, who complain that the course “advocates an anti-religious sexual ethic” and violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.18

Partly as a result of the assault on comprehensive sex education, only 3 percent of teenagers learn about sex from sex education classes, according to a recent poll. That figure is down from 18 percent in 1986. That statistic may well drop to zero in the future, if politicians, the media, judges, and educators continue to insist that denying teens information about sex will reduce their interest in it.

Gay and Lesbian Themes

The proponents of abstinence-only and fear-based sex education programs are predictably hostile to the idea and practice of homosexuality. The same evangelical groups that have challenged comprehensive sex education have waged an aggressive campaign to purge public schools of books about gays and lesbians, to deprive students of information about gay/lesbian sexuality, and to deny public funding for arts and cultural programs with gay and lesbian themes.

The Manhattan Theater Club in New York City recently garnered criticism when it caved in to pressure from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, and withdrew a planned production of Terrence McNally’s play Corpus Christi depicting a gay Christ-like figure. The MTC ultimately reversed its position, after a public outcry. However, in 1997, San Antonio eliminated funding for the Esperanza Center for Peace and Justice, a national leader in combining cultural arts programming with a broad range of social justice advocacy, because of its sponsorship of a gay and lesbian film festival. Cobbs County, Georgia and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina have also eliminated local arts agencies completely rather than support works with homosexual characters or themes. Similarly, Out North Contemporary Art House in Anchorage, Alaska, whose director is an openly gay man, lost funding because its presentations are not “mainstream” shows “you would take your own family to.”

Public funding for the arts is not the only target of censorship efforts focussing on gay and lesbian themes. The Idaho Board of Education recently denied funding for a research project about gay communities. In Jefferson County, in Louisville, Kentucky, three novels by openly gay author E. Lynn Harris were pulled from the shelves of Central High School when two parents complained. Commented the English teacher who had the books in her classroom, “If you ban these books, you subtract role models from these students who have all too few.” A nationwide campaign against two books, Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy’s Roommate has been fought by conservative groups saying they promote homosexuality. In North Carolina, Hertford County school officials destroyed a gay-themed book and 2,000 others deemed “inappropriate.” Just last month, free concerts by famed folk-rock group, the Indigo Girls, were canceled at high schools in South Carolina and Tennessee, in part because the Grammy Award winning singers are lesbians.

Many of these actions reflect the success achieved by pro-censorship forces in getting elected to school and library boards and local arts organizations. As these events reveal, such a strategy can be highly effective, but it is not foolproof so long as there are parents and students willing to fight for their own First Amendment rights. For example, in 1996 a federal judge in Kansas ruled that Annie on My Mind, a book about two girls who fall in love and struggle with declaring their homosexuality, could not be removed from the school library because school officials disapproved of its content.19

The Internet is the latest and hottest arena for censorship debates about the issue of sexual orientation. There is intense pressure to block and filter minors’ access to sexual content on the Internet, and gay and lesbian sites are a particular target. In response, gay advocacy groups complain that although many gay Internet sites are about culture and identity and not sexual behavior, all information that touches on gay themes is rendered invisible. Thus, a gay square dancing site or a gay resource directory, sites that do not contain sexually explicit material, will be blocked. In an ironic turnabout, the American Family Association website was recently blocked by Cyber Patrol, because of intolerance towards gays and lesbians.

Depriving minors of information about various forms of sexual expression is troublesome on many fronts – ranging from concerns for their physical health, emotional well-being, and intellectual growth and freedom to inquire about life in all its aspects. It is especially tragic, however, if it also contributes to the gay youth suicide rate, which is three times higher than that of non-gay youths.

Nude Art and Other Dangers

Nudity – frontal or otherwise – involving sexual activity or otherwise has always offended a certain number of people. But shifting standards of what is acceptable for family viewing and of what is “harmful to minors” has lowered the threshold so that today it seems as if the body itself has become taboo. Nudity has been sexualized.

Frontal nudity is not tantamount to obscenity. Indeed, in much classic art, the nude form is neither erotic nor offensive. Nonetheless, distribution of pictures depicting nudity could be considered illegal under a variety of existing statutes and standards. Child pornography statutes have been used to target artists whose work involves children, and even parents who take pictures of their own children.

In a recent well-publicized case, prosecutors charged Barnes & Noble with violating state law by displaying Jock Sturges books with photographs of nude children where minors could see them. Sturges, an award-winning photographer whose work is in the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Bibliotheque National of Paris, has been targeted by Focus on the Family and Loyal Opposition, headed by Randall Terry, former leader of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue and currently running for Congress. Some of the charges against Barnes & Noble have been dropped, after it agreed to display Sturges books higher than five and a half feet, while others are still pending. Other less visible cases have turned an innocent picture taking session into a nightmare, like that experienced by a Wayne State University art professor, who was investigated for child abuse when a janitor found a nude photograph of her three year old child in her wastebasket.

Books and photographs are not the only focus of such attacks. The Academy-Award winning film, The Tin Drum, was seized from the Oklahoma City library, private homes and video stores because of complaints by Oklahomans for Children and Families. The film’s message, about the disintegration of central Europe during the rise of Naziism, was completely overlooked by OCAF in its attack on a few isolated and suggestive, but not explicit, scenes. A federal judge ruled that the police violated the Constitution when they seized copies of the film without a warrant or court order. The court has yet to decide whether the film violates state child pornography laws.

Another artistic casualty of the sex and censorship wars is the new film version of Lolita, starring Jeremy Irons. True to the Nabokov novel, the film explores a man’s sexual obsession with a prepubescent but precocious girl, and uses a body double in sexually explicit scenes. Although the film has been shown in Europe, Lolita has until recently been unable to find a distributor in the U.S., undoubtedly because of uncertainty about whether it will elicit charges of child pornography.

What of National Geographic pictures of naked children involved in tribal rituals? Medical textbooks displaying children’s genitals? Scholarly description of children’s sexual fantasies? Could these be construed to violate state pornography statutes which prohibit “lascivious exhibition of genitalia”? That questions like these exist is enough to predict a chilling effect on scholarly writing and distribution of such materials. The ambiguity of the legal standards, the absence of any limiting principle that protects work with artistic, scholarly or other merit, and vagueness about what is harmful to minors all plainly contribute to censorship.

Most problematic is the idea that children shouldn’t see a depiction of a naked body. Consider the decision by one TV station to cancel an educational film teaching women breast self-examination techniques because the broadcaster decided the material was “inappropriate for family viewing.” This was the same theory on which the New York State Museum recently asked sculptor Kim Waale to remove portions of her work, A Good Look: The Adolescent Bedroom Project. Similarly, many libraries have “no nudes” policies for their public exhibit space, resulting in the exclusion of Robin Bellospirito’s highly stylized nudes. Tulane student artist Jenny Root’s nude sculpture, Mother/Father, was moved so it wouldn’t accidentally be seen by children. The aversion to artistic representations of the human body recently reached new heights at Brigham Young University, where four sculptures of nudes, including The Kiss, were removed from a traveling Rodin exhibit. Bellospirito won her right to exhibit her paintings in court; Waale and two other artists withdrew their work from the New York State Museum in protest, but art lovers in Utah who hoped to see The Kiss were out of luck.

Sometimes efforts to protect minors from nudity and sexual knowledge verge on the ludicrous. On Long Island, an edition of Where’s Waldo?, the charming mini figure puzzle book, was banned because hidden among hundreds of tiny figures crammed onto the “beach” page someone found a woman with a partially exposed breast the size of a pencil tip. In Erie, Pennsylvania, teachers used markers to block out passages of mating habits from naturalist Diane Fossey’s Gorillas in the Mist. In New York, a teacher was disciplined for allowing other students to read a composition about a sexual experience written by a fellow student. Octorara, Pennsylvania, school officials removed a Margaret Atwood story, “Rape Fantasies,” from the high school honors English curriculum.

Nudity is opposed on both sides of the ideological spectrum. Goya’s famous Nude Maja, hung on a classroom wall for 15 years until a professor charged that it was “sexually harassing.” In New York City new zoning rules will exile to remote areas most sex shops, topless clubs, and bookstores featuring sexually explicit but constitutionally-protected fare. The language of the ordinance is broad enough to apply not only to “peep shows,” but also to a smash hit like Oh! Calcutta! or an art gallery specializing in nude art; it was recently declared constitutional by a federal appeals court.

While the religious right is fueling much of the effort to ban these materials from our communities, the religious community is by no means monolithic in its views. Consider the exuberant Sister Wendy who charmed millions with her TV programs on the history of art including many nude and sexually explicit works. Consider, too, the highly touted sex education programs embraced by religious people and organizations, including American Baptists and the Unitarian Universalists. Morality is not the province of the far right, and repression of information about sex and sexuality and of images of nudity in art is not universally accepted as correct by all religions.


Public health experts repeatedly confirm the value of comprehensive sex education, which ironically appears to decrease minor’s interest in pornography. High school students with access to condoms, and knowledge about how to use them, do not engage in more sex, but use protection more often when they do. Again and again, we learn that gay and lesbian youth need information and role models to survive physically and emotionally. Denying young people timely access to the information they will need as adults is both cruel and counter-productive.

By relaxing the standards for judging censorship where minors and sex are involved, the courts have invited some of the disarray now apparent in sex education, community access to art, and minors’ access to information about sex, health and the body. Whether the Supreme Court will take the opportunity presented by NEA v. Finley and its focus on “general standards of decency” to clarify the definition of “indecency,” and by extension what might be considered “harmful to minors,” is anyone’s guess. Until the courts begin to scrutinize the question of “harm” more closely, students may miss out on an important part of the education they need to prepare for life; artists and art lovers will continue to experience the chill of uncertainty; and the entire community will remain vulnerable to those who charge that protection of minors requires a fig leaf on Michaelangelo’s David, a bikini on Matisse’s Blue Nude, sex education courses that don’t talk about sex, and a closet large enough to hold the entire gay and lesbian community.


1Prepared by Marilyn C. Mazur, NCAC cooperating attorney
2Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476, 484 (1957).
3413 U.S. 15 (1973).
4Marjorie Heins, Sex, Sin, and Blasphemy: A Guide To America’s Censorship Wars (NY: New Press, 1993).
5390 U.S. 629 (1968), quoting from Bookcase, Inc. v. Broderick, 18 N.Y.2d 71, 75 (1966).
6Marjorie Heins, Indecency: The Ongoing American Debate Over Sex, Children, Free Speech, and Dirty Words, Paper Number 7, Paper Series on Art, Culture and Society, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts (1997).
7458 U.S. 747 (1982). The statute upheld in Ferber criminalized the distribution of material depicting sexual conduct by children under 16 and defined sexual conduct as actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual conduct, beastiality, masturbation, sado-masochistic abuse, and lewd exhibition of the genitals.
8Osborne v. Ohio, 495 U.S. 103 (1990).
9See U.S. v. Hilton, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5007 (D. Me. 1998), reversed 1999 WL 44725 (1st Cir., Jan 27, 1999)(No. 98-1513) and Free Speech Coalition v. Reno, 25 Media L. Rep. 2305 (N.D. Cal., 1997)(appeal pending, No. 97-16536)(9th Cir.)
10438 U.S. 726 (1978). The definition of “indecency” may be further clarified this term in NEA v. Finley, which challenged the requirement in 20 U.S.C. 954(d) that the National Endowment for the Arts consider “general standards of decency and respect for the diverse beliefs of the American public” in awarding federally funded grants to artists.
11Reno v. ACLU, 117 S. Ct. 2329,2344-48 (1997).
12ACLU v. Reno, (E.D. Pa.)(Civ. Action No. 98-5591)(temporary restraining order issued 11/20/98; preliminary injunction issued 2/1/99).
13Excerpt from “No Second Chance,” a video produced for use in Sex Respect, an abstinence education curriculum. Quoted in Teaching Fear: The Religious Right’s Campaign Against Sexuality Education (People For the American Way, 1998)
14Ron Stodghill II, “Where Did You Learn That?” Time Magazine (June 15, 1998).
15“Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the United States,” Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) Fact Sheet, 1998). By the end of 1995, more than 2300 teens had been diagnosed with AIDS.Id.
1642 U.S.C. 710, et seq. (1996).
17Coleman v. Caddo Parish School Board, 635 So. 2d 1238 (La.App. 1994).
18See Gheta, et al. v. Nassau Community College, et al. (E.D.N.Y., 95 CV 1849). In an order issued on January 21, 1999, the district court rejected these claims and granted the college’s motion for summary judgment.
19Case v. Unified School Distict No. 233, 908 F. Supp. 864 (D. Kan 1995).