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The Utah Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to show that it considers pornography to be a public health crisis.
It voted 24-0 to approve SCR9, and sent it to the House.
"This is a serious issue," said Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, sponsor of the resolution making that declaration. "This is not just some hair-brained resolution," but outlines scientific research about damage that pornography does.
Weiler said recent research has shown porn is increasing, lowers self worth, leads to unhealthy views of sex and relationships, increases the odds of infidelity and is a major cause of divorce, among other problems.
He said he is not trying to ban porn, but to better control access to it much as America controlled access to tobacco, and advertising for it, when evidence showed it was harmful.
"My goal in passing this resolution is to start a national movement to do the same thing with pornography not to ban it, but to protect our children from it," Weiler said. For example, he would like to see the government work with Internet providers to allow pornography only on an opt-in basis.
"Within a few clicks, they can see some of the most vile and disgusting images that the mind can imagine. For us to pretend that this has no impact on our values and on our society and culture and the brain development of our adolescents is very naïve," he said.
He added that passing the resolution sends "a strong signal that this is something we should pay attention to."
Weiler was the only senator to talk about the resolution as it came up for debate over two days.