James Madison's classic attack on the Sedition Act shows how free speech protection is vital to the functioning of democracy. His argument reaches toward, but does not fully defend, a right to pornography. Jeffrey Sherman's work, which shows that gay pornography played a significant role in the genesis of the gay rights movement, completes the Madisonian argument. The more general lesson is that speech consisting of claims about what goods are worth pursuing—such as pornography, which implicitly contains claims about what sexual goods are worth pursuing—should always be understood to be part of protected public discourses.

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