Abilene: Where Porn Fought the Law and Porn Won

After a chain of adult toy stores opened on I-70 in Kansas, locals fought back — but a budget-strapped state government has decided it's a lost cause

David Eulitt for Time

Near the controversial store, antiporn activists erected a billboard of their own.

Not so long ago, a family driving across Kansas on well-traveled I-70 would encounter nothing racier than a pecan log and nothing more hyped than the "world's largest prairie dog." Then porn came to the highway. The surprising thing is that officials in the Bible Belt state are taking the invasion lying down.

Let's start with the porn shop. Lion's Den is an Ohio-based chain of adult toy stores often found at tired freeway interchanges in empty parts of the country. In 2003, one of them arrived in the fabled cowboy town of Abilene. A pornucopia of videos,...

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