Civil Liberties

Morality in Media Says the New Republican Party Platform Encourages Prosecution of "Obscene" Adult Pornography


Last month, The Daily Caller reported some whispers from former Department of Justice official and current president of Morality in Media Patrick Trueman, who said that a Mitt Romney presidency would be one that "vigorously" enforced obscenity laws and would prosecute purveyors of "obscene" adult pornography.

Now, according to a Morality in Media press release, the 2012 Republican Party platform — a portion of the draft of which was recently leaked —has been changed to reflect a new commitment to fighting not just child pornography, but also technically illegal adult pornography. Morality in Media is, unsurprisingly, a big fan of this kind of crackdown.

Their press release claims:

"Distribution of obscene or hardcore pornography on the Internet is a violation of current federal law," explained Trueman.  "Yet, most children in America have free access to obscene pornography as soon as they learn how to use a computer.  The average age of first exposure to obscene Internet pornography is now eleven," Trueman said. 

The new language replaces previous platform wording, which only opposed child pornography.  It will now read,  "Current laws on all forms of pornography and obscenity need to be vigorously enforced."  Trueman noted that current federal obscenity laws not only prohibit distribution of hardcore pornography on the Internet but also on hotel/motel TV, on cable/satellite TV, and in retail shops.

"We are most grateful to Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council who led the effort to get the tough new language into the platform," said Trueman.  "Without enforcement of federal obscenity laws, pornographers have had a green light to target our children and families," he added. 

The rest of it is a tearjerker saga about the untreated porn "pandemic" in America.  No mention is made of how the GOP, or Morality in Media, or the Family Research Council intends to solve this tragedy. The logical assumption is that they will do so either by a torrent of federal crackdowns, or some sort of actual policing of the Internet, in the spirit of the eventually struck-down 1996 Communications Decency Act. Considering their website's list of "past accomplishments" and the above wording from Trueman, the group is clearly, blatantly pro-censorship, so they're probably keen on both solutions to this moral panic. 

If true, this is bad news for any small government fans who were hoping to bite the bullet, choke back the bile, and vote Republican, in the endearingly naive hope that the GOP will be the small government fans that they pretend to be on occasion.

Watch Reason TV's video on the silliness and subjectivity of the word "obscenity":