It is funny how the news media describes things, Manassas sex shop ordinance moving through chain, but “sex shop” sort of fits. Since the story came out February 2nd, I suppose I am a bit behind in passing on the news. However, in this case I am moving at about the same pace as the legislation.

MANASSAS, Va. – If all goes according to plan, Manassas City Council could have a new ordinance defining the acceptable activities and locations of sex shops by March, according to one council member.

The final language of the ordinance has “been drafted and discussed by the Land Use Committee,” said Councilman Jonathan Way, who is on the committee, “and it’s been sent back to the city attorney [for fine-tuning] … We’re making sure we’re dotting all the ‘i’s’ and crossing all the ‘t’s’ instead of rushing it through.” (continued here)

Times have changed. There was a time when relatively ordinary citizens could serve in government, and they could pass legislation without hiring “experts” review it. They could tell if a law was constitutional just by reading the Constitution. Even though they did not see the need to spell it out, they understood the difference between prurient speech and political speech. Without worrying excessively over the matter, they simply did not grant sex shops the same respect and legal protections we give to other businesses engaged in reputable commerce.

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