opinion

John Stagliano Issues Statement on Pornography Harms, Moralists That Want to Restrict Your First Ame

Diane Duke

Legendary Adult Director & Free Speech Advocate John Stagliano

This letter was sent out via PRNewswire today:

Today, noted adult film pioneer and first amendment activist John Stagliano decried the recent attacks on personal liberties by self-styled moral crusaders who are taking their own liberties with the truth about pornography’s impact on society.

This week, the group “Pornography Harms” continued its campaign to ban free speech and adult entertainment through a letter circulated around Capitol Hill with the goal of spurring elected officials into enacting the group’s dangerous agenda. The letter cites worn-out and debunked claims that viewing adult entertainment increases violence towards women and leads to more violent sexual behavior.

Recent statistics show those claims simply are not true. A study from a Clemson University economist showed that violent and sexual crimes have actually decreased as Internet usages have increased. The study’s author found that states whose Internet access expanded the fastest saw rapes and sexual crimes decline the most.

Stagliano said: “We are tired of being slandered. It is apparent that if people are left free to consume pornography, if they so choose, the world is a healthier, less violent place.”

In 2008, the Department of Justice’s Obscenity Prosecution Task Force brought charges against Stagliano in a trial which gained national attention over its free speech implications. In July of 2010, the trial ended in a Judicial Acquittal after the Judge ruled there wasn’t sufficient evidence presented by the prosecution to convict. Groups such as Pornography Harms have lobbied government agencies and elected officials to continue to stifle first amendment/free speech rights through similar prosecutions.

The recent Pornography Harms letter urges readers to donate to Morality in Media, an organization with a long history of First Amendment suppression tactics and alignment with other censorship driven groups. They have frequently used similar outlandish claims and factual distortions as part of their extremist agenda, such as claiming there’s a link between gay marriage and mass killings. If these anti-speech activists are initially successful with their censorship agenda, they won’t stop until they have turned all broadcasts and publications in line with their narrow worldview.

Stagliano concluded, “The only real violence involved is prosecuting someone like me with an obscenity law, a law that you can’t know in advance when you are breaking it.”

About John Stagliano:

John Stagliano is an American entrepreneur, producer, director, and writer who founded and owns the Evil Angel film studio. He received critical acclaim for his self produced Las Vegas stage show “Fashionistas” and is well known for his contributions and work with the non-partisan libertarian public policy advocate think tank The Reason Foundation. John is widely recognized as having revolutionized the adult film industry. In addition to the many awards for his work, John has been the recipient of numerous awards for his lifelong First Amendment protection efforts, including the Free Speech Coalition Man of the Year and The Reason Foundation’s Flame of Freedom Award.

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