The Utah House of Representatives made a groundbreaking step forward for the anti-pornography movement last night at 10:50pm as it unanimously voted to pass a nationally covered resolution to declare pornography a ‘public health crisis’ in the state.
The resolution, drafted by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), was passed by the House legislature and officially recognizes pornography as a threat to the health and well-being of Utah residents.
“This is a serious issue,” said Senator Todd Weiler, who has made headlines nationwide with his passionate support of the bill. “This is not just some hair-brained resolution, but outlines scientific research about the damage that pornography does.”
Weiler has cited much of the research that Fight the New Drug promotes, showing the escalating and hardcore nature of mainstream pornography in our society. The resolution also cites research that shows pornography lowers self-worth, leads to unhealthy views of sex and relationships, increases the odds of infidelity, and is a major cause of divorce.
What the resolution means
Keep in mind, this is a resolution not a bill. Contrary to many people’s initial thoughts when hearing about this piece of legislation, the resolution has never proposed to ban or restrict pornography in any way, but to simply recognize it as an issue that needs resources for education and awareness on its harmful effects. Rather than taking away adults’ rights to view porn, the resolution puts the state of Utah in a better position to promote the science and research that show porn’s negative effects on individuals, relationships, and society. The goal of the resolution is to limit the spread of this national porn epidemic we are experiencing, similar to when our country controlled access to tobacco and advertising for it, when evidence began showing it was harmful.
“My goal in passing this resolution is to start a national movement to do the same thing [our country did with tobacco] with pornography—not to ban it, but to protect our children from it,” Weiler said. One of the proposed directions is to see the government work with internet providers to allow pornography only on an opt-in basis. That way, customers who purchase internet service can decide whether or not to allow their internet package to include access to porn sites. With this built-in filter option available, parents who don’t want pornography in their home won’t have to worry near as much about their child being exposed.
“Within a few clicks, they can see some of the most vile and disgusting images that the mind can imagine,” Weiler said. “For us to pretend that this has no impact on our values and on our society and culture and the brain development of our adolescents is very naïve.” He added that passing the resolution sends “a strong signal that this is something we should pay attention to.” The governor of Utah has promised to sign the resolution in the coming weeks to make it official.
What has defined Fight the New Drug from the beginning is that we have been non-religious and non-legislative from day one. Even as college students, we founded this movement on two principles: First, we would not be religiously affiliated and second, we would not have a political or legislative agenda. Basically, our purpose is not to restrict adults’ rights to view legal forms of pornography. Our mission has always been to decrease the demand for porn by helping people understand the facts about how harmful it is. We’ve always believed that if people truly understood the harms of pornography, they would choose not to support it.
In regard to this resolution in the state of Utah, we have been supportive from the beginning because it represents everything that we have been doing since we started: shining a light on the issue of pornography and helping society to understand the science and research showing its negative effects on all aspects of our daily lives. With the passing of this bill, Utah has set a precedent of education and awareness that will hopefully be followed by other states. As other states start to recognize porn as a public health issue and begin promoting programs to educate on the issue, we will be saving generations of kids from their first exposure to pornography and will also be protecting our relationships and the society we live in.
The news out of Utah is further proof that this movement is making a difference. Top hotel chains have agreed to stop offering in-room porn and sexually objectifying magazines are now being covered in grocery stores. Consider this: there will be 2,000,000 fewer hotel rooms offering porn by the end of this year. If we continue to fight this new drug, we may soon see the day when viewing or selling porn is intolerable in our society just as smoking cigarettes on an airplane or in restaurants is currently.
Click here to read the full resolution.
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