October 9, 2003

Passage of House Concurrent Resolution 298 will help dispel false notions about obscenity law enforcement


NEW YORK (9 October 2003) – Robert W. Peters, President of Morality in Media, made the following statement in support of House Concurrent Resolution 298, introduced today by Rep. John Sullivan (R-Oklahoma) and 36 co-sponsors, which “expresses the sense of Congress that Federal obscenity laws should be vigorously enforced throughout the United States”:

“Americans concerned about the proliferation of obscenity, especially on the Internet, were heartened by news in August and September that Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh and San Antonio had indicted two large-scale commercial distributors of hardcore pornography. The war against obscenity, however, has just begun, and obscenity defenders are already working hard to promote obscenity as something as acceptable as apple pie or, failing that, as something that must be tolerated if we are to preserve our cherished American way of life.

“Passage of House Concurrent Resolution 298 will help dispel the false notion that the explosion of obscenity is proof that this vile material does not violate contemporary community standards of decency. In the past 15 years, Congress has twice strengthened obscenity laws, and Presidents Reagan and Clinton signed these additions into law. In the 2000 campaign, both Democratic and Republican Party presidential candidates issued statements supporting enforcement of obscenity laws. In national opinion polls, conducted in 1997 and 2002, large majorities of adults also said they supported ‘vigorous’ enforcement of federal obscenity laws.

“Passage of the Resolution will help dispel the false notion that obscenity is protected by the First Amendment. The First Amendment does not protect obscene materials–the United States Supreme Court has declared that a matter of settled law. And the Founding Fathers of our nation never intended the First Amendment to protect obscenity.

“Passage will help dispel the false notion that U.S. Attorneys who vigorously enforce obscenity laws are diverting valuable resources away from the war against terrorism. In the first place, if the laws are vigorously enforced, the resulting fines and forfeitures will pay for the efforts. In the second place, if we are to preserve Western Civilization, we must fight not only for our national security but also for our right to live and raise children in a safe and decent society.”

Author: MIM   10/09/2003

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