Thatcher considered banning dildos to protect ‘public decency’

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The late Baroness Thatcher considered banning sex toys when she was Prime Minster, to protect “public decency”.

Thatcher, who died last April, planned to use an anti-pornography law to ban the sex toys.

According to documents from the National Archives released today, Thatcher met at least twice with anti-obscenity campaigner Mary Whitehouse.

One memo to Thatcher from then Home Secretary Leon Brittan, he said there was a “strong case” to legislate to ban sex toys under the law.

“Some of the items in circulation are most objectionable, including some which can cause physical injury,” the note, from 1986, read.

“There is a strong case for bringing sex aids fully within the scope of the ‘deprave and corrupt’ test in the 1959 [Obscene Publications] Act. However, certain conceptual difficulties in extending an act designed only to deal with pornography would need to be overcome.”

The Act was used to ban Lady Chatterley’s Lover in 1960. It banned the DH Lawrence novel through defining “obscene” items as those which were “such as to tend to deprave and corrupt.”

Thatcher was one of only a handful of Tory MPs who voted to decriminalise homosexuality in the 1960s, but it was also under her government that Section 28 was introduced.