The authoritarian right loves to legislate what others may or may not do, especially when it comes to sex. Utah is passing a resolution declaring porn to be a public health crisis. USA Today reports:
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert will sign a resolution declaring pornography a “public health crisis” at the Utah state capitol today.
The resolution was introduced by Republican state Senator Todd Weiler in January 2015, to battle the “pornography epidemic harming” the state and the country.
The resolution, which was passed last month, calls for increased “education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level,” to combat pornography. Anti-pornography group, the Utah Coalition Against Pornography posted on Facebook that the resolution signing marks a “time to celebrate and recognize this historic moment.”
Weiler maintains that the resolution is not a ban on porn or an attack on masturbation, but the first steps toward creating a plan to protect children and families from it.
“Due to advances in technology and the universal availability of the Internet, young children are exposed to what used to be referred to as hard core, but is now considered mainstream, pornography at an alarming rate,” according to the bill.
Ian Kerner, a psychotherapist and sex expert, says the anti-pornography movement is rooted in a long history of stigmatizing sex and masturbation.
“So much of the anti-porn movement is based on a sense of alarmism,” Kerner said, adding that the anti-pornography movement has blurred the line between child and adult access to pornography. “In this country, we really bundle together children and teens with consenting adults, and the issues are not the same for children and teens as they are for consenting adults.”
In contrast, the American College of Physicians recently called on doctors to do more regarding a real public health crisis which is ignored by many conservatives–climate change.
Larry Flynt is responding by sending a free issue of Hustler to every member of the Utah state legislature, although I’m not sure why he would want to reward those people (other than for the free publicity). He also issued this statement:
“[T]he Utah Legislature is obviously confused about what constitutes a public health crisis, so I’ll send them our latest issue and they can see for themselves that we’re no danger to the public, only to the repressed,” Mr. Flynt said in a statement.
“In 1969 President Lyndon Johnson and the President’s Commission on Obscenity and Pornography found that no evidence exists that exposure to explicit sexual materials cause any kind of criminal behavior,” the 73-year-old self-declared smut peddler said. “This report has been gathering dust for over 40 years, and Utah is only dragging out this issue now to satisfy religious zealots.”
The porn website XHamster.com responded in the opposite manner compared to Flynt in protest over the passage of the recent “religious liberties” law in North Carolina. They protested by blocking access to the site from computers located in North Carolina. That probably hurt even more than Bruce Springsteen canceling a concert in North Carolina.