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Florida Republicans are trying to declare porn a public health crisis

The bill says the porn problem merits “education, prevention, research, and policy change to protect the citizens of this state.”

by Josh Marcus
Jan 19 2018, 1:30pm

Florida Republicans want to elevate porn to the same level as the opioid crisis and Hurricane Irma.

A Republican state representative from Florida who once liked a porn video on Twitter is leading a group of lawmakers to officially declare porn a “public health crisis.” The resolution, currently making its way through the state’s House of Representatives, doesn’t change policy, though. The language just declares porn a problem that merits “education, prevention, research, and policy change to protect the citizens of this state.”

With the resolution, the Florida GOP is simply following in the footsteps of its national party, which already declared porn a public health crisis in 2016. X-rated content, however, continues to be a crisis for the White House, which is battling allegations that President Trump’s lawyers paid former porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about an affair the two had. That’s not to mention the president’s cameos in several softcore porn videos.

Still, that hasn’t stopped Florida Republicans from finger-pointing.

"Whether it is the link to human trafficking, the link to increased domestic violence, or the changes it causes in one's mental and emotional state, it is a discussion we need to have as leaders, however uncomfortable it may be," Ross Spano, who introduced the bill, told the Christian Post in November. He’s also running for state attorney general.

Speaking of uncomfortable, Spano once liked a porn video on Twitter from an account called “Goddess Lesbian.” The representative chalked it up to an unintentional error. Ironically, the clip was from Reality Kings, the same porn site that put out the video Republican Sen. Ted Cruz liked on Twitter last year.

Spano and another of the resolution’s co-sponsors did not respond to a request for comment.

Anti-pornography advocates applauded the resolution, which attributes numerous problems to porn, ranging from sex trafficking and addiction to “deviant” sexual behaviors, familial deterioration, and even infidelity. But research hasn’t proven many of the claims one way or the other. Although Pamela Anderson and a rabbi have made up their minds about its dangers, the Centers for Disease Control doesn’t have an established position on porn as a public health issue.

If Spano has his way, Florida would join a growing list of states that have already sounded the alarm.

Utah’s House of Representatives in 2016 became the first legislative body in the U.S. to declare porn a public health crisis. Since then, various groups of lawmakers in at least four other states — Arkansas, Tennessee, South Dakota, and Virginia — have passed similar policies, while others, like Pennsylvania and Kansas, have tried to do the same.

Cover image: Porn actresses take a break at the Venus erotic fair in Berlin, October 15, 2015. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch