Watchdog Group Asks VP Candidates for Obscenity Enforcement Stance

Slav Kandyba
NEW YORK — The head of a faith-oriented media watchdog group has sent a letter to the Democratic and Republican vice president candidates seeking their stance on the enforcement of federal obscenity laws.

In his letter to U.S. Sen. Joe Biden and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Robert Peters, president of New York-based Morality in Media, pointed out that although many “pressing issues” face the nation, pornography negatively affects women and children and should be prosecuted.

Peters is asking the vice presidential contenders to weigh in on the issue because U.S. Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain have been “closed-mouth about obscenity law enforcement.

“The American people deserve to know where the presidential candidates stand on this vital issue,” Peters wrote in his letter.

Peters takes the position that because there are federal laws that prohibit distribution of obscene materials in interstate commerce, they should be enforced. “In recent decades Congress has also strengthened these laws on several occasions, including an amendment in 1996 to clarify that use of an interactive computer service to transport obscene materials is prohibited,” he wrote.

“It is our hope that the next president will do all in his constitutional power to ensue that the Justice Department vigorously enforces obscenity laws,” he wrote.

Citing the results of a national opinion poll commissioned by Morality in Media and conducted by Harris Interactive in April 2008, 75 percent of adult Americans will support him if he does, Peters wrote.