Review: Stone's "Sex and the Constitution" is "Lively and Fair-Minded"

'Sex and the Constitution: Sex, Religion, and the Law from America's Origins to the Twenty-First Century' by Geoffrey Stone
David Wecht
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
July 4, 2017

This book offers a detailed accounting of how our laws have evolved across time in several areas of sexuality: sex and religion, sex and free speech, marriage, contraception, pornography, abortion, and homosexuality. Mr. Stone's research is comprehensive and detailed, his writing lively and fair-minded. The work is readable for lawyers and non-lawyers alike.

Mr. Stone synthesizes in one volume a story that is both fascinating and maddening. It's plain that American attitudes on sex have always been fraught. They've been at once priggish and libertine, at once puritanical and ribald. That the conversations continue -- and the litigation keeps coming -- is a tribute to the American spirit and the remarkable creativity and foresight of our Constitution. This book brings us all the way up to the controversies of our day (including gay marriage) and offers tantalizing glimpses of some of the legal battles that lie ahead.

"As we strive to fulfill the obligations of citizenship in the society our Framers envisioned," concludes Mr. Stone, "we must have the courage and the integrity to challenge the accepted wisdom, and we must fully embrace our moral, legal, and constitutional responsibility to respect the rights of others. This was, after all, what the founders of our nation counted on us to do."

Faculty: 
Geoffrey R. Stone