The Republican Party has changed its platform to say that laws against pornography and obscenity “need to be vigorously enforced,” a move that won praise from decency advocates.
“Without enforcement of federal obscenity laws, pornographers have had a green light to target our children and families,” Patrick Trueman, president of Morality in Media, said Aug. 27.
The Republican Party’s previous platform wording opposed only child pornography.
Trueman said that the distribution of obscene or hardcore pornography on the internet violates federal law. It also bars pornography on hotel televisions, on cable television and in retail shops.
The existing obscenity laws were passed by Congress and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Family Research Council said Aug. 28 that the Justice Department had put a hold on pending pornography cases when President Obama took office. In 2010, the Obama administration closed the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force, a special Justice Department unit created under the Bush administration.
In January Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney issued a written statement calling for the “strict enforcement” of obscenity laws and the promotion of parental software controls to protect children from internet pornography.
He said it is “imperative that we cultivate the promotion of fundamental family values.”
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins put the anti-pornography language in the platform as a delegate to the Republican National Convention.
Tom McClusky, senior vice president for FRC Action, told The Christian Post that he does not believe a similar position could be placed in the Democratic Party platform, despite the numbers of socially conservative Democrats. He thought such a proposal would likely meet the same fate as attempts to modify the Democratic platform to advance pro-life issues and marriage as a union of a man and a woman.
A 2009 Family Research Council review of studies on the effects of pornography characterized it as “a quiet family killer.” Regular pornography users show increased infidelity and depression. Divorce lawyers report that over half of divorces involve one party with an “obsessive interest” in pornographic websites.
Men who regularly view pornography have a higher tolerance for abnormal sexuality including rape, sexual aggression and promiscuity, the review said.
Adolescents exposed to sexually explicit content are twice as likely to initiate sexual intercourse, affecting their ability to form stable marriages later in life.
Trueman said that most U.S. children have access to pornography “as soon as they learn how to use a computer.”
“The average age of first exposure to obscene internet pornography is now 11,” he said.
Morality in Media in 2010 launched a coalition against illegal pornography to secure the enforcement of federal laws against adult pornography. The coalition has 127 national, state and local groups as members.