It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a ...

Next month, Coweta County will hold one of the biggest First Amendment cases in recent history. The decision will have far-reaching impacts throughout the nation.

Either that, or we'll be fodder for late night shows and the supermarket tabloids.

Yep, our county is all set for an obscenity hearing involving Starship, which sells 'gifts and novelties for couples.' In May, the store was cited for allegedly violating the county's obscenity ordinance.

Without using all the legal terms, stores cannot sell, distribute or market any device 'used primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs.' Okay, so we got a little legalistic in our usage. We could have just said 'fun.'

However, stores can sell these devices for a medical, scientific, educational, legislative, judicial or law enforcement purpose.

We understand and even we get the medical, scientific or educational reasonings. We're not sure about the elected officials, judges and police angle. Oh well. So without all the legal mumbo jumbo, it boils down to whether these are educational devices or toys.

This whole issue came about because several local residents complained about just what was being sold and under what pretense. The county's Code Enforcement Department investigated and issued the citation. We understand the code department had to investigate, but why would people who oppose the store's very existence bother to go in?

The store and its license were approved. While it is near one of the busiest intersections in the county, it's located down a hill out of direct sight. And it does not advertise with the dancing sign guys like various pizza joints, income tax services and gold buying businesses. If you weren't looking for it, you'd never see it.

Everyone knows what the store sells. If you don't like what Starship sells, then don't do business with them. It's like a bar, if you don't drink or oppose alcohol, don't patronize the establishment. One would think the county has more important issues than whether a store is selling educational/medical devices or sex toys. And that's what it boils down to, which we think will make for some interesting legal banter.

Maybe, to resolve all this, customers must sign a form pledging to only use the devices for medical/educational purposes.

But that's up to the courts now. Let's just hope the judge can keep decorum and the county doesn't present too many pieces of 'evidence.'



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