Tuesday June 2, 2009

The Judge Who Ruled On A 1995 Obscenity Case Involving MY COMRADE Magazine Was Supreme Court Nominee SONIA SOTOMAYOR!!!

This is too wild!  

What do Sonia Sotomayor—President Obama’s pick for Supreme Court Justice—and My Comrade—the gay humor magazine that I’ve published on-and-off for the past 20 years (and the namesake of this website)—have in common?

In 1996 she ruled on an obscenity case involving My Comrade!  (Thanks to Adam Baran of Butt Magazine for informing me—I never knew who the judge was!)

Here’s the background:

For the Winter 1990 issue of My Comrade, I interviewed Christopher Farrell, a spokesperson for the super controversial organization the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA).



(Silly me, I spelled his last name wrong in the caption... and, uh, throughout the article.) 



A short while later, Farrell landed in jail for having sex with underage boys.  (He practiced what he preached!)  

By 1995, he was out of the slammer, but was accused of violating his parole for possessing pornography.

The porno in question included—gasp!—an issue of My Comrade magazine!  (Not the issue he had appeared in, but an earlier one from 1989—our special “Gay Sex” issue.)



Farrell fought the charge and the case landed in front of New York circuit judge Sotomayor, who found the defendant… Guilty!

But it was his possession of gritty Scum magazine, not My Comrade, that got Farrell into trouble. My Comrade, declared Sotomayor, was “less obviously prurient in nature.”

Her nitty-gritty assessment:

"My Comrade is satirical; although it deals with sex, it appears intended more to amuse than to arouse.  It contains a few depictions of nude men, but they are usually in a satirical context, as with the drawing of a furry (but obviously male) naked creature accompanying the article entitled "I Had Gay Sex — With Bigfoot!"  Erect penises are visible in two photographs in the book, but in each case the photograph is part of a collage in which the sexual images are juxtaposed with other non-sexual images, and the caption identifies local art galleries in which the artist's work has been displayed.  The intent of these images seems more artistic than prurient.  The rest of the magazine, containing articles like "Why I Love Disco" and "Underground in the Land of the Breeders!," is a lighthearted treatment of issues relating to sex and sexuality."

Don’t you just love the idea of Sonia Sotomayor—or any judge—perusing “I Had Gay Sex—With Bigfoot” (written by the late great Steve Lott)?!



Thank goodness Sotomayor is savvy enough to recognize gay camp.  Though if she had classified My Comrade as pornography, I would have considered it a badge of honor.


Like scores of other progressive thinkers, I strongly believe pornography is a valid and admirable art form that should be readily available to all adults (including convicted "sex offenders" who are provided a harmless outlet for their sexual urges).


Sonia, when you become a Supreme, please do us all a huge favor and strike down our country’s inane anti-sex laws.  Freedom for pornography now!

Gracias, mami!



UPDATE - 6/6/09

Thanks to all those who blogged about this earth-shattering story, including...


Ashton Cruz Zoo


Boy Culture


Butt Magazine


Erik Hanson


Leonard Link


Michael Musto





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