INDECENCY

Allow me to weigh in. Indecency has been defined for years. It is "a patently offensive description of sexual or excretory organs or functions." It is not a question of community standards. It is a question of "patently offensive." The idea that any thoughtful discussion of sexuality would be considered patently offensive is a straw man that is always raised by libertarians but that should never be seriously argued, because there are never, ever any prosecutions of such, and it just makes libertarians look silly and paranoid. Your other commentator said that indecency is the seven dirty words that George Carlin (Electronic Frontier Foundation) identified. No. Even in the case of FCC v. Pacifica Foundation in which the Supreme Court said that the FCC could permissibly allow a complaint against the airing of the monologue of the 7 dirty words to remain in the station file, the Court said that the monologue would not be patently offensive under other circumstances or contexts (such as a play or a movie where people voluntarily pay to enter), only in the one in which it actually was aired, that is, during the afternoon when children might be listening.

Robert Cassler is an intellectual property attorney in Alexandria, Virginia and author of the play Second in the Realm, published in 1997 by Performance.