Vice Report Eviscerates UK MP's Anti-Porn Propaganda Report

Vice Report Eviscerates UK MP's Anti-Porn Propaganda Report

LONDON — Vice this week published an article criticizing a report by the U.K.’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Commercial Sexual Exploitation (APPG-CSE), which repeated anti-porn myths and recommended a state crackdown on sexual expression online.

As XBIZ reported, the content and phrasing of APPG-CSE’s report “Pornography regulation: The case for Parliamentary reform” is identical to the talking points of religiously inspired anti-porn lobbies and crusading groups such as NCOSE and Exodus Cry in the U.S.

Vice’s Sophia Smith Galer noted that the report encouraged parliament to treat all pornography “as commercial sexual exploitation in law and policy,” even though the small group of politicians behind it, led by pro-censorship MP Dame Diana Johnson (Labour, Kingston upon Hull North) only consulted “leading figures in the U.S. Christian anti-porn lobby but no sex workers.”

The U.K. Parliament's official website describes all-party parliamentary groups such as APPG-CSE as “informal cross-party groups that have no official status within Parliament. They are run by and for Members of the Commons and Lords, though many choose to involve individuals and organizations from outside Parliament in their administration and activities.”

Unlike the U.S., the U.K. has no written constitution or explicit freedom of speech protections similar to the First Amendment.

The Shadow of Prominent U.S. Anti-Porn Crusaders

Dr. Carolina Are, an innovation fellow at the Centre for Digital Citizens at Northumbria University and an expert on online discrimination against sex workers, told Vice, “It’s concerning to see that quite a lot of the witnesses that have taken part in the inquiry, and as a result the report, are the people with known anti-porn views and to balance that out it doesn’t seem that the committee has actually invited sex workers to speak and who make a living with this kind of work.”

Johnson’s group, Vice noted, “heard from prominent figures in anti-porn advocacy, such as Dr Gail Dines, and figures associated with the Christian-backed anti-porn lobby in the U.S.” such as Laila Mickelwait.

Mickelwait’s Traffickinghub was described by Vice as “a campaign run by Exodus Cry, a US-based Christian non-profit that calls for the abolition of the sex industry in the name of protecting trafficking victims.”

Most egregiously, APPG-CSE’s report was notably influenced by NCOSE VP Haley McNamara. NCOSE “has been a powerful force in persuading 17 US states to write resolutions calling porn a ‘public health crisis,’” Vice’s Smith Galer explained. “The organization has also campaigned against same-sex marriage and comprehensive sex education in the US previously, and used to work under the name Morality in Media, after it was founded by a group of clergymen.”

Dr Fiona Vera-Gray, the deputy director of London Metropolitan University’s Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit, told Vic,e “The ways in which the debate being framed in terms of ‘all porn is bad’ or on the other side ‘all porn is good’ just works to shut women who use porn or make porn down. It actually makes it harder for us to have the conversations we need about where there is agreement and what can be done. It’s a thorny, messy area and we need to get better at representing that complexity.”

Associate Professor Joshua Grubbs at Bowling Green State University added that none of the research cited in the pro-censorship report is fully conclusive, and that the inquiry “clearly (and seemingly intentionally) ignored research contradicting what appears to be their predetermined conclusions.”

British Christian Groups Actively Lobbying Parliament

Smith Galer’s article also highlighted the degree to which British Christian advocacy groups have been active in lobbying Parliament on the issue of pornography in the past year.

Anti-abortion lobby Christian Action Research and Education and CEASE UK, Vice reported, “hosted an event on ‘the harms of porn’ for MPs in Westminster with Tim Farron MP and the Naked Truth Project, an initiative run by a church in the north of England which says they work ‘to open eyes & free lives from the damaging impact of porn.’”

CEASE UK’s campaigns are explicitly aligned with Mickelwait’s crusades and “porn addiction” propaganda by the Utah-based organization Fight the New Drug.

To read “All Porn Is Exploitation, UK Inquiry Concludes Without Speaking to Any Sex Workers,” visit Vice.com.

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