As if there weren’t more pressing matters at hand in Georgian policymaking, the newly-elected Georgian Dream Coalition initiated a draft bill to limit “minors’ access and exposure to sex paraphernalia.” The bill proposes to ban the sale and advertising of items of a sexual nature in stores that sell children’s apparel and toys. It would also prohibit the sale of such goods in schools and other institutions serving youth under 18, as well as stores located near such facilities.
Divided as usual, parliament has not yet reached a cross-party consensus on what kinds of goods actually can be considered sexual. Thus far, porn and sex toys have been added to the hit list, but Georgia’s leaders remain conflicted as to condoms. Some parliamentarians proposed to make a distinction between condoms that serve the sole function of preventing sexually transmitted diseases or unwanted pregnancy, and those that also enhance sexual experience–bringing some hilariously adult-themed debates to Georgia’s parliamentary floor:
A condom can have not only a protective function, but also be meant to receive pleasure if is enhanced by certain technical means (Levan Berdzenishvili, Georgian Dream)
There are two kinds of condoms; one is meant for protection, another for satisfying sexual urges…One will be sold and another will not be sold. It is very easy. (Koba Davitashvili, Georgian Dream)
We do not mean to ban fictional literature, or magazines and newspapers of a general profile, for example, we can’t ban Zaza Burchuladze [contemporary writer whose works often include sexual themes] using this law.
People get aroused by very different things…what kind of props people use during sex games is a very personal thing… and the state should not be regulating this. (Zurab Japaridze, UNM)
One lawyer also pointed out that the proposed bill (with a cutoff age of 18) contradicts the current ruling that 16 is the minimum legal age for sex in Georgia–all legally sexually active people should have equal access to sex-related accouterments. And while UNM pushed Georgian Dream to develop a definitive list of which items and types of condoms should be restricted, representative Davitashvili is apparently following in the footsteps of Jacobellis v Ohio, and stated that “it is obvious when you see a sex toy.”