Nonprocreative Sex

The American Evangelical Response to Griswold vs. Connecticut The United States’ Supreme Court 1965 ruling in Griswold v. Connecticut stands in ever bolder relief as a profound break in American and Western history.  True, a quiet revolution in American behavior had begun during the war years, 1917-1918, as the old moral older was deeply shaken and contraceptive use spread widely.  Over the next several decades, Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control League of America also won reform of many of the state “mini-Comstock” laws[1], usually allowing doctors to give birth control advice and to provide the necessary devices to patients.  Relative to contraceptives, the Federal Comstock law fell through a Federal Appeals Court decision in 1936. However, the strict Connecticut law—criminalizing even the use of contraceptives—still stood into the 1960s.  And while not rigorously enforced, it continued to have some effect.  A recent investigation found that use of the birth control pill in 1965 was significantly (about 25 percent) lower in those states banning the sale of contraceptives, when compared to the nation as a whole.[2] Importantly, when overturning the Connecticut measure, the U.S. Supreme Court moved far beyond normal legal reasoning.  Instead, it claimed to discover for the first time “penumbras” around and “emanations” emerging from the Bill of Rights, legal spirits which created “zones of privacy” hitherto undetected by Federal judges.  Cynically, given what would soon follow, the Court appealed to “the sacred precincts of marital bedrooms,” to “the notions of privacy surrounding the marriage relationships,” and to this bond’s “sacred” nature to justify its decision.[3] In truth, Griswold can be read in retrospect as a fundamental challenge to Western Civilization’s unwritten Sexual Constitution.  As “same-sex marriage” advocate Evan Wolfson has correctly stated, “The
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