Maggie Gallagher

"Therefore, the only possible rational basis for the statute is a moral objection to sexual acts considered deviant or downright 'disgusting'?" they wrote. "The personal morals of the majority, whether based on religion or traditions, cannot be used as a reason to deprive a person of their personal liberties."

Sexual desire was once held to be a powerful force capable of creation or destruction, that civilized norms needed to channel.

Sexual desire was once considered to have a natural object, a purpose, a point -- something more than the pleasure principle to give it coherence and meaning.

Internet porn has created increasingly inward-directed fantasy worlds for men, and allowed them to find one another, and to take courage in community.

I had suspected that we were some years away from having courts take these arguments seriously.

But sadly, the arguments are now being made.

In the '70s, a father I once knew turned off the Phil Donahue show on another subject, saying only, "About some things, civilized people do not speak."

I wish.


Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.