Online Free Speech - Client, Adam Glickman

October 20, 2006
ACLU Defends Free
Speech Online >>

Adam Glickman started Condomania, the nation's first condom store and a leading online seller of condoms and distributor of safer-sex related materials.

Sixteen years ago, I opened Condomania, America's first condom store, with the mission to educate people and change the way they thought about condoms. In 1996, we became one of the first sites on the Internet selling safer sex products, and one of the leading sites providing comprehensive, frank educational information about various issues surrounding sexual health. The Internet literally opened the door to our stores for people worldwide to benefit from our expertise.

Condomania is proud of its outstanding reputation in the public health world, the national media and among the general public. Notably, the Centers for Disease Control regularly refers individuals to Condomania for information about condoms and related safer sex issues. While many parents educate their children about sexual health, millions more do not. And while some progressive schools provide unbiased, non-political knowledge on sexual health to their students, many more do not. Condomania regularly provides information to anyone who needs it, no questions asked.

The potential impact of COPA, in the midst of a public health crisis, cannot be understated. Since Congress passed COPA in October 1998, there have been more than eight million unintended teenage pregnancies in the United States; the United States has twice the teen pregnancy rate of any other industrialized nation. In the same time period there have been 120 million new cases of STDs, including an estimated 320,000 cases of HIV.

Requiring age verification will not only prevent young people – including many desperate for candid, honest information they can understand – from accessing our site, but it would inevitably deter others who are old enough. Whether due to the hassles of registering, or the fear that our site contained “inappropriate” information, the impact on Condomania's business would be severe. COPA would result in tarnishing a valued brand, built up over years of hard work, by grouping us with pornographers.

Like all parents, I seek constantly to protect my young children from harm. But I disagree strenuously with COPA's definition of “material that is harmful to minors.” Restricting the ability of anyone, especially young people, to access information that can save their lives is not consistent with the stated objective of COPA to “protect[] the physical and psychological well-being of minors.” I am quite proud of the information offers, and the difference we have been able to make these past 16 years. And that is why I am proud to participate in this important litigation.

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