Resolution Calling Porn a “Public Health Crisis” Moves to Senate Floor

Senator Todd Weiler (Republican - Woods Cross)
Senator Todd Weiler (Republican – Woods Cross)

Citizens gathered at the Senate Health and Human Services Committee Friday to voice their opposition to pornography and support of a resolution declaring it a public health crisis.

And the feeling was unanimous – not a single soul spoke against the measure. Lawmakers agreed with the audience, unanimously passing out SCR 9 Concurrent Resolution on the Public Health Crisis.

Sponsored by Senator Todd Weiler (Republican – Woods Cross), the legislator says he brought the issue forth to stimulate a conversation about what he believes is a threat to society. “I personally believe that pornography is addictive and I personally believe that it’s harmful.”

As for whether he wants to outlaw pornography, Weiler assured everyone that is not his intention. “I’m not trying to ban anything. I’m trying to bring education to an important topic that is destroying relationships, destroying families, and undermining many of the important fabrics of our society.”

Weiler also emphasized that his position is rooted in science. “This isn’t just some right-wing idea. This is actually based on real research and real science. Like everything, including global warming, not all scientists will agree but there is plenty of science that supports the concepts in this resolution.”

Dr. Jenny Brown, a member of the Utah Coalition Against Pornography board, said that children need to be protected from pornography and is excited that Utah will be leading on the issue.

“We’re not afraid to look at the pornography industry and say ‘you know what, it’s time that our children’s rights are acknowledged and it’s not a right to harm another person,” said Brown.

Dr. Brian Willoughby, an assistant professor at Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life, said that research has shown porn usage is increasing and is causing a host of societal issues. “Taking a proactive stance now is an important step towards preventing many of the problems pornography may cause down the road,” Willoughby told the committee.

Pamela Atkinson, chairwoman of the Utah Coalition Against Pornography, was on hand to testify as well. She is “absolutely horrified at what a scourge it is in our country and in our state.”

Gayle Ruzicka, president of the Utah Eagle Forum, praised the “With this kind of statement that will now go out, then the people will join and we can add to that and the people of Utah. Sometimes people say that a resolution doesn’t do much. This is an action resolution because it sends an incredible message.”

Coryn Carver, a recovering porn addict, urged legislators to act. “This is destroying our families. It’s destroying individuals.”

SCR 9 now heads to the full Senate.

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