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    Utah Set to Declare Pornography a ‘Public Health Crisis’

    Utah Senator That Declared Porn a ‘Public Health Crisis’ Wants Sites Sued

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    After declaring pornography to be a “public health crisis,” a Utah legislator now wants laws in place to allow individuals to sue companies that host pornographic sites online.

    Republican Senator Todd Weiler explained that he’s "trying to kind of track the same path that was taken against tobacco 70 years ago…It's not government coming in and saying what you can and can't watch. It's just basically a message to the pornography industry that if someone in Utah can prove damages from the product, that they may be held liable financially," according to KSL

    A bill sponsored by Weiler that passed in April declared that the state government, "recognizes that pornography is a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms." Utah is the only state to make such a declaration.

    After signing the resolution, governor Gary Herbert told the Salt Lake Tribune, "We realize this is a bold assertion and there are some out there who will disagree with us…We're here to say it is, in fact, the full-fledged truth."

    Utah county sheriff Jim Tracy remarked, "I want to assure the good citizens of Utah that the brave men and women of law enforcement will be out in full force, tracking down porn offenders, and bringing them to justice," adding, "I can promise you this, those who we find breaking any porn laws will be seeing jail bars. This new law is about protecting our children and that is exactly what we plan to do." 

    Weiler celebrated the bill, saying he was "mocked and scorned" for his efforts. With the new proposal, the Senator told local news, "I'm concerned that the average age of first exposure to hardcore sex videos on the internet is now the age of 11."

    The Senator believes that lawsuits will slowly gain steam, though he acknowledges that the first 30 or so cases will likely be unsuccessful. Weiler also authored a separate bill to help public libraries purge the ability to access online pornographic material from their Wi-Fi networks.

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    Internet, public health, ban, Pornography, Todd Weiler, Utah
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