Christians, Conservatives Blast .XXX

Matt O'Conner
NEW YORK — Adult website owners and morality proponents don’t tend to agree on much, but there seems to be a swelling sentiment in both camps against the creation of a .XXX sponsored Top-Level Domain.

Leaders from such right-wing lobbying groups as Morality in Media, Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council — organizations that for years have all been thorns in the side of the adult entertainment industry — are speaking out against .XXX.

But while adult industry professionals have been skeptical of the proposed domain on the grounds that it would hurt business if the government uses .XXX to force adult sites into an online ghetto, conservative pundits fear that .XXX will be a boon for an already thriving industry.

“This idea has been kicked around for several years, and the only possible winners are in the porn industry,” CWA head Jan LaRue said. “The porn site operators have the best of both worlds. They can double their pleasure, double their fun by locating on this domain and remain on any of the other domains on which they’re registered.”

FRC senior legal council Patrick Trueman agreed. “The new domain would do more harm than good. They [adult webmasters] will populate the .XXX domain and perhaps double the number of porn sites available on the web,” Trueman said.

Morality in Media President Robert Peters, meanwhile, said he fears that the use of .XXX will legitimize the adult web and end up providing adult sites with de facto protection from obscenity prosecutions.

Peters’ prediction seemed to be a popular talking point among conservative groups, as FRC’s Trueman expanded on the notion by saying, “Creating a virtual red-light district may also discourage law enforcement from bringing obscenity cases on the notion that the problem is solved.”

LaRue similarly glommed onto the idea that .XXX would lend the same legitimacy to adult sites that zoning ordinances do for stores in the physical world, but added, “People who equate this with zoning brick-and-mortar sexually oriented businesses are clueless about cyberspace and how it operates.”