Culture

Utah Declares Pornography To Be A ‘Public Health Hazard’ In New Legislation

utah-no-lovin
Shutterstock

On Tuesday, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert will sign two pieces of legislation at 10 a.m. local time. Both of them (a bill and a resolution) are aimed towards curbing pornography, which shall henceforth be shunned as a destroyer of public health. Yes, this reads like satire, but there’s plenty of controlling legislation going down in the United States, and the leaders of Utah are playing their role. Actually, this news is a mixed bag, but here are the two new pieces of paper that will receive the Herbert signature.

The first bit of legislation, a “Resolution on the Public Health Crisis,” does not ban pornography, but takes steps to categorize it as a hazard that leads to greater evils. That is, the Utah legislature believes that porn “treats women as objects and commodities for the viewer’s use, [and] it teaches girls they are to be used and teaches boys to be users.” There’s lots of language about how porn encourages violence against women and normalizes rape. Porn is also seen as an epidemic and “a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms.” The resolution hopes to end a perceived harm towards the citizens of Utah, but who knows if anyone will obey this trivial legislation.

However, the second new law is much more important and could work a benefit, as it takes the form of H.B. 155 and will govern the reporting of child pornography. This piece of legislation is less ambiguous and requires computer technicians to report anything they see in the line of duty that involves child pornography. A “willful failure” to report these findings will be a misdemeanor that can be punished by up to six months in prison plus a hefty fine. The bill also provides immunity for any tech who “reports in good faith,” and internet service providers cannot be held liable as long as they report the presence of child pornography upon discovery.

×