Playboy founder Hugh Hefner is calling out “repressed conservatives” like Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Rush Limbaugh by name for waging a “war against sex.”
In an editorial published in the May edition of Playboy magazine, Hefner charges that “a new generation of repressed conservatives are pounding on America’s bedroom door, their knock the beating of a war drum that sounds their intentions to again regulate our sex lives.”
“Rick Santorum promised to defund birth control on the ground that contraception is ‘a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be,’” Hefner writes, according to a copy of the editorial provided to Raw Story by Playboy.
“Ron Paul was no better, believing that the birth control pill did not cause immorality but immorality creates the problem of wanting to use the pill,” he continues. “Mitt Romney vowed to see a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and to overturn Roe v. Wade. He later promised to eliminate Planned Parenthood.”
“While wooing the conservative vote, these candidate revealed the ways a GOP-led government would decide whom we can have sex and for what reasons — singled, married straight or gay.”
The Playboy founder notes that in 1965, the Supreme Court had already overturned a Connecticut law that prohibited the use of contraceptives.
In the mid-1960s, Hefner began writing editorials on the “Playboy Philosophy” and established the Playboy Foundation to oppose laws, policies and cases where “our legislators, our judges and officers of law enforcement are allowed to enter our most private inner sanctuaries — our bedrooms — and dictate the activity that takes place there.”
“All these years later I hear echoes of this same ignorance espoused by a new crop of self-appointed arbiters who are determined to oversee our morality,” he warns in the May issue. “I heard it when Santorum backer Forster Friess said, ‘Back in my days, [women] used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives,’ implying that if a woman held an aspirin between their legs, they wouldn’t open them. I heard about it when I learned about anti-abortion legislation in Kansas that would protect doctors who conceal vital medical information from pregnant women. And I heard it when Rush Limbaugh called a Georgetown University law student a ‘slut’ and a ‘prostitute’ after she testified on Capitol Hill about allowing employers to avoid providing contraception for religious reasons.”
The issues today sound eerily similar to a 1966 debate between conservative author William F. Buckley and Hefner on the public affairs show Firing Line.
“You are seeking in effect to annul the traditional code about what is proper sexual behavior,” Buckley charged at the time.
“The [Playboy] Forum in combination with the Playboy Foundation changed the landscape in terms of a lot of social-sexual values,” Hefner explains in the 2009 documentaryHugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel. “We managed to change many hurtful laws and actually got some people out of prison. … We also played a major part in changing the laws related to abortion and birth control and a lot of things that are today thought of women’s issues.”
But in his latest editorial, Hefner points out that conservatives now want to turn back the clock.
“I want to believe that what we are hearing is the death knell of a desperate minority clinging to a fading ideology, but I’m worried this could be the start of something more: an organized attack on our most basic human freedom,” he writes. “If these zealots have their way, our hard-won sexual liberation — women’s rights, reproductive rights and rights to privacy — lie in peril.”
“Decades ago, we fought back against these moral charlatans because your sex life, your fantasies and desires, your plans to have or not have a family — none of that is anyone else’s business, especially not the government’s. Welcome to the new sexual revolution.”
Watch the video below from Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel.
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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