Anti-porn resolution unanimously clears Utah Senate committee

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SALT LAKE CITY — A resolution declaring pornography a “public health crisis” cleared a Senate committee unanimously and is now headed for the Senate floor.

Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, presented Senate Concurrent Resolution 9 to the Health and Human Services Committee on Friday. The non-binding resolution declares porn a problem, and urges lawmakers to do more to combat the “health hazard.”

“I personally believe that pornography is addictive and I personally believe it’s harmful,” Weiler told the committee. “And the resolution and the research it’s based on happens to correspond with my beliefs.”

Weiler presented testimony from doctors, marriage and family therapists and recovering porn addicts who all said it was harmful. Some pointed to studies, others pointed to real-life examples of what it has done to them. Weiler said research shows children as young as 11 have viewed porn; a BYU researcher stated that 90% of young men within the past year reported viewing some form of pornography.

“I am not trying to ban anything,” Weiler said of his resolution, which has drawn international attention. He’s made appearances on cable news channels in recent days and articles have been written about the resolution (some calling it a bill) around the globe.

When pressed by Sen. Brian Shiozawa, R-Salt Lake City, as to what policy decisions he would like to see made, Weiler said he would ultimately see the United States follow the United Kingdom’s “opt in” status when it comes to adult websites.

“Anyone brave enough that they want to speak against this resolution?” Sen. Allen Christensen, R-Ogden, asked the room.

No one spoke against it.