Sex in Bathroom Stalls, Privacy Expectations and the ACLU

And the Punch Line Is …

aclu-agenda-stalls.jpg Will the ACLU’s bathroom-sex agenda stall?

By Brenda Zurita

Reprinted with permission from CWA’s Beverly LaHaye Institute, Jan. 16, 2008

Due to the current Hollywood writer’s strike, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has jumped in to fill the gap existing in late-night monologues and sit-coms. If only that were true there might be a joke in there somewhere.

Alas, the title refers to a brief filed by the ACLU in the Larry Craig case in Minnesota. Yes, the senator of the “wide stance” fame has a new defense argument, courtesy of the ACLU.

The Associated Press reported that the ACLU is arguing there is an expectation of privacy when people have sex in public bathrooms.

Hmmm, when I enter a public bathroom I have the expectation of toilet paper being in the stall, not a sex encounter. And privacy in a public bathroom is at a minimum. The gap around the door frame and the open space between the dividers and the floor and ceiling provide only a modicum of coverage. Not exactly a rendezvous spot for randy patrons expecting privacy. It does however make an excellent place for exhibitionists to meet.

Imagine taking your child to a public restroom and hearing two people engaging in a sex act six inches away. Again, due to the construction of the average public restroom stall, there is little that is private. Having an expectation of privacy there is laughable. And what about the expectation of people using the restroom for what is was intended and not being subjected to sex acts?

But let’s just say the ACLU is correct and the expectation of privacy for having sex in a public bathroom is tenable. The next time a “wide stancer” needs to stretch his legs, should he do so in the Minnesota Supreme Court’s restrooms? Public school restroom stalls? Public library restroom stalls? Community center restroom stalls? Government building restroom stalls? (This is not to be confused with Congressional offices, the Oval Office or some of the national monuments in Washington, all of which may or may not have stories to tell from their public restroom perspective but do have a few vignettes about sexcapades outside their stall walls.)

If we throw morals, decency and common sense out the window with this argument of expectation of privacy in a public restroom while engaging in sex, what are the implications?

Given the law passed in Maryland allowing men to use women’s restrooms if they consider themselves a woman trapped in a man’s body and allowing women to use men’s restrooms if they consider themselves a man trapped in a woman’s body, what is to stop a rapist or pedophile from entering a restroom and abusing a boy or girl in a restroom stall? Would a man have to claim he is a woman in a man’s body to use the women’s room and if so, what is the proof he’s not just a wily rapist or pedophile? And who will be monitoring this? If there is an expectation of privacy then all users of public restrooms would have to assume the sex going on in the next stall is consensual and cannot be reported as it would invade their privacy. Where are the lines drawn?

The subject of bathroom breaks seems to have broken from reality. As moms everywhere will tell you, make sure you go before you leave home because if the ACLU is successful, you won’t want to know what is going on in the stall next to you.

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