New weapons for the sex police

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The latest federal antiporn law bans possession of photos of naked people younger than 18. Owning certain back issues of Christopher Street, Fag Rag, or The Village Voice is now a felony. Are we in store for a brave new world of sexual repression?

In 1933, a mob of Nazi storm troopers and Hitler Youth raided and torched the Berlin archive of Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, the well-known German sex researcher and homosexual activist. Much of what was salvaged was later bundled off to the Kinsey Institute in the United States. Surely in a land of secure constitutional freedoms and political reason, the archive's custodians reckoned, the collection would remain safe. Ironically, the latest federal antipornography law, signed on November 29th by George Bush, puts the Kinsey Institute's vast erotica collection in legal jeopardy. In daring to document all the flavors of desire, the Institute violates a new law that makes it a felony to possess sexual images of persons younger than 18 years. [...]

In such circumstances, analogies to the rise of fascism are not a rhetorical stretch. The changes have been so quick and dramatic that their implications have not sunk into our community's consciousness. Only false comfort can be had pretending these laws will not be used to attack, isolate, and silence those who irritate an increasingly repressive state.

source: Article 'New Weapons for the Sex Police' by Bill Andriette; This article also appeared in 'The Guide', a national gay monthly, and in 'Xtra', the Toronto gay weekly; Nambla Bulletin, Vol. 12, n. 2; March 1991