Senators passed a resolution in a 35-4 vote after virtually no debate. The resolution, which has no legal effect, comes a year after the House approved a similar measure.
“Pornography exploits and humiliates those being used and it dehumanizes the user at the same time,” said Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee.
Shawnee is the censorious fanatic who, in 2015, sought to criminalize “harmful” books and punish sex-ed teachers and librarians. Last year, the ACLU wrote a letter to the senator after she unconstitutionally blocked a constituent from posting her opinion on Shawnee’s official state senate Facebook page. She is also a fierce opponent of abortion.
The Utah Senate attributed its measure to a report by anti-porn group National Center on Sexual Exploitation, formerly known as Morality in Media and PornHarms, claiming that pornography leads to adolescents viewing women as sex objects, supports violence against women and promotes unprotected, dangerous sex. But the NCSE got its own damning evidence from a review of literature ? not a peer-reviewed study ? that clearly states it “failed to indicate conclusive results” and found no causal relationship between porn and problems like those mentioned.
It may also be worthy of note that one of NCSE/MIM’s leading anti-porn speakers for many years, Donny Pauling, turned out to be a serial child molester and is now in prison in California.
No other Kansas senators spoke in support or opposition of the porn resolution, though a number of senators co-sponsored it and a handful voted against the measure.
“Seriously? We’ll see how excited they are about public health when it comes to guns,” Sen. Barbara Bollier, R-Mission Hills, said after the vote.
The resolution states, incorrectly, that pornography is potentially biologically addictive and is linked to lessened desire. It also cited dissatisfaction in marriage and infidelity, and said its effects are “extremely difficult for the afflicted individual to address alone.”
The resolution goes on to claim that exposure to porn often serves as sex education for children and teenagers and shapes their sexual understanding, before going on to draws a false connection between porn and sex trafficking.
Opponents raised concerns about freedom of expression and privacy. Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, said he holds the First Amendment sacrosanct.
“Even though just a resolution, the danger in this language being affirmed by the majority in this chamber…I fear it could lead to unintended consequences in many ways,” Haley said.
The resolution also claims that porn “has contributed to a rise in the occurrence of erectile dysfunction in young men.”
Similar language appeared in the House’s resolution. Joshua Broghammer, a physician, urogenital surgeon and KU Medical School associate professor, informed The Wichita Eagle at the time that most medical research and his own practice experience show no solid link between porn and ED.