GOP platform calls for crackdown on ‘all forms’ of pornography

Steven Nelson Associate Editor
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The Republican Party’s platform committee declared war on pornography ahead of this week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla.

In a Monday morning press release, advocacy group Morality in Media revealed that “new language replaces previous platform wording, which only opposed child pornography.”

According to MIM, the new wording will read, “Current laws on all forms of pornography and obscenity need to be vigorously enforced.”

The party platform was drafted by a 112-member committee and will be unveiled early this week.

Existing obscenity laws “not only prohibit distribution of hardcore pornography on the Internet but also on hotel/motel TV, on cable/satellite TV, and in retail shops,” said MIM President Patrick Trueman.

“Distribution of obscene or hardcore pornography on the Internet is a violation of current federal law,” said Trueman, a former anti-porn prosecutor in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.

Earlier this year, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum attracted raised eyebrows when he promised a “vigorous” crackdown against “the scourge of pornography.” Santorum posted the promise on his presidential campaign’s website.

Mitt Romney, who will officially be nominated as the Republican presidential candidate in Tampa this week, also promised the group a “vigorous” crackdown during the Republican primaries, Trueman told The Daily Caller in July.

Romney, however, has not discussed his position at length in public, and his campaign ignored requests for comment seeking elaboration on his position.

Curiously enough, in addition to promising a crackdown on porn, the party’s platform also calls for “Internet freedom,” TheDC reported last week.

The addition to the porn plank came from Tony Perkins, the Family Research Council president and a GOP delegate from Louisiana, according to MIM.

Other socially conservative positions within this year’s party platform include opposition to abortion, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

In March, The Atlantic chronicled the history of pornography in the GOP platform, noting that it was first mentioned in 1984.

In 1992, the party platform called for “allowing victims of pornography to seek damages from those who make or sell it” and declared, “The time has come for a national crusade against pornography.”

After Bill Clinton won the 1992 election, his administration reined in the number of porn prosecutions, and they remained uncommon throughout the George W. Bush administration.

By 2008, The Atlantic reported, the anti-porn zeal had mellowed and the party’s platform merely addressed child pornography. Under President Barack Obama, Trueman told TheDC in July, the DOJ has initiated no new obscenity prosecutions.

“We are most grateful to Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council who led the effort to get the tough new language into the platform,” said Trueman. “Without enforcement of federal obscenity laws, pornographers have had a green light to target our children and families.”

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