Home > News > Federal Court: No Constitutional Right to Engage in Consensual BDSM • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

NEWS STORY

Federal Court: No Constitutional Right to Engage in Consensual BDSM

Federal Court: No Constitutional Right to Engage in Consensual BDSM
Get XBIZ News
Mar 8, 2016 1:20 PM PST    Text size: 

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A federal court recently ruled that there is no constitutional right to practice consensual BDSM sex.

The case at hand centers on plaintiff John Doe, a student who was expelled from George Mason University for allegedly having sex with a woman without her consent by refusing to stop a BDSM sexual act when his sexual partner uttered their safe word — “red.”

Doe sued the university when administrators expelled him after he was probed by the school’s Sexual Misconduct Board, which held a 10-hour hearing on the matter.

Jane Roe, Doe’s BDSM partner, claimed a “substantial procedural irregularity” had occurred since his first exoneration— “in Roe’s view, plaintiff confessed” after he later replied to a conversation with Roe via a taped telephone conversation made by school detectives.

According to court documents, Roe asked him “why [he] never stopped when [she] used the safe word.” Doe replied that he “felt like [she] could handle it.” 

In his lawsuit against the school, Doe contended that George Mason University administrators “disregarded” the context of his relationship with Roe and instead acted like BDSM sex was “per se sexual misconduct.”

Doe argued that the university administrators’ decision to not understand the context of the relationship between Roe and him stood in violation of the U.S. Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down laws against consensual same-sex intimate activity between adults.

Last month, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III dismissed the case through summary judgment, ruling that the university had violated Doe’s right to due process by not handling the appeals process properly.

However, Ellis in his ruling, said there is no constitutional right for consenting adults to engage in BDSM.

“Engaging in BDSM sexual activity is clearly not protected” under the U.S. Constitution, Ellis said. “[T]here is no basis to conclude that tying up a willing submissive sex partner and subjecting him or her to whipping, choking, or other forms of domination is deeply rooted in the nation’s history and traditions or implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.”

Because such activity “poses certain inherent risks to personal safety,” the court said, governments could claim a legitimate interest in regulating it for “the protection of vulnerable persons” who have chosen to enter BDSM relationships.

Ellis in his decision said that, “consistent with the logic of Lawrence, plaintiff has no constitutionally protected and judicially enforceable fundamental liberty interest under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to engage in BDSM sexual activity.”

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !

BUSINESS ANALYSIS

Adult Retailers Predict Consumer Trends for 2017

When adult e-commerce was exploding in popularity in the 2000s, some tech writers predicted that brick-and-mortar adult stores would be meeting their demise. But those obituaries were premature. E-commerce,... More »

2017 Outlook: Viewpoints of Top Industry Trends

Executives from the leading businesses of the online adult entertainment industry recently weighed in the question, “What do you see as the likely top trends that will influence the industry?”... More »

2017 Outlook: Legal Matters Around the Corner

The adult entertainment business’ legal community recently weighed in the top issues that companies and the industry, as a whole, should be concerned about. XBIZ asked industry attorneys to discuss... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Access the latest issues of the industry's leading trade publications in digital form. View online or download for offline viewing.

UPCOMING EVENTS

The European Summit

Mar 04 - Mar 07
Barcelona-Sitges, Spain

The TEA Show

Mar 05 - Mar 06
Hollywood, CA

Phoenix Forum 2017

Mar 23 - Mar 26
Tempe, Arizona

EXXXOTICA Denver

Mar 31 - Apr 02
Denver, CO.
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!