Antiporn Activist Decries Lack of Obscenity Enforcement

Q Boyer
NEW YORK — Speaking during the 20th annual White Ribbon Against Pornography Week, Morality in Media president Robert Peters took the opportunity to rail against the country’s leadership for its lack of enforcement of obscenity crimes.

Stating that the nation is facing a “moral crisis” that has given rise to “teen promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases (including AIDS), abortions, children born to single mothers, divorces, sexual abuse of children, sexual harassment, rape, and trafficking in women and children,” Peters asserted that the increasing distribution and availability of pornography is largely to blame for those societal problems.

“It is clear that the explosive increase in the availability of hardcore pornography is helping to fuel this moral crisis,” Peters said. “It is also clear that ignoring the growing hardcore pornography problem (the Clinton administration’s response) and refusing to take necessary steps to effectively curb the problem (the Bush administration’s response) have not solved the problem.”

Peters added that this “ongoing government failure should be a matter of concern to every presidential candidate.”

“While enforcement of obscenity laws is not the whole answer to the pornography problem, vigorous enforcement will put pornographers out of business, encourage others to get or stay out of the business, and encourage those who remain to be more cautious in how they do business,” Peters said.

Peters further asserted that a more aggressive campaign against obscenity would benefit counter-terrorism efforts, claiming that a crackdown on pornography would “improve our national image in the war against religiously based terrorism.”

Employing the technique of equating all hardcore pornography with “obscenity,” Peters contended that the Supreme Court “has held repeatedly that the 1st Amendment does not protect obscene materials.”

“The court also said there are ‘legitimate governmental interests’ at stake in stemming the tide of obscenity, ‘even assuming it is feasible’ to effectively shield children from pornography,” Peters said. “These interests include protecting the ‘community environment’ and the ‘social interest in order and morality,’ protecting ‘public safety’ and ‘family life,’ and maintaining ‘a decent society.’”

Peters gave the government low marks for its efforts to shield children from obscene materials, citing a study from the Crimes Against Children's Resource Center claiming that “the percentage of Internet users ages 10 to 17 exposed to unwanted pornography in the previous year increased from 25 percent in 2000 to 34 percent in 2005.”