International spotlight shines on “porn epidemic” measure

By Caitlin Thomas  SALT LAKE CITY  — A Utah lawmaker’s proposed resolution on the definition of pornography made in this year’s legislative session has received national and international media attention.

Todd Weiler

FILE – In this March 5, 2015, file photo, Todd Weiler, a Republican senator from Woods Cross, speaks during a committee hearing, in Salt Lake City. Weiler wants to declare pornography a public health crisis, echoing an argument being made around the U.S. by conservative religious groups as porn becomes more accessible on smartphones and tablets. Utah lawmakers are scheduled to discuss the resolution Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

Sen. Todd Weiler, R- Salt Lake, introduced SCR9 in the legislature that declared pornography a public health crisis in Utah. It called for education, prevention, research, and policy changes to address what Weiler calls “an epidemic.”

“Everything in the resolution is supported by science and research. It’s not just a kooky thing that some politician from Mormon Utah came up with. It’s bigger than that,” Weiler said.

SCR9 quickly caught the public’s attention and Weiler was immediately put under great public scrutiny. Media outlets from across the nation including the New York Daily News, The Daily Mail, The London Telegraph and many other sources began reacting to the resolution. Some were critical of Weiler’s attempts and others were supportive.

The talk show “The View” addressed the issue. Actress Candace Cameron Bure spoke up in defense of Weiler saying that “I think this is fantastic, I’m so happy to hear it. I agree with his statements.” She then goes on to talk about her first experience with pornography and agrees that it is addictive. The women on the show continued to put Weiler’s statements in a positive light. (To view the clip go to: https://ksl.com/?sid=38378976&nid=148&fm=most_popular&s_cid=article_popular-10   )

Other media outlets placed a negative connotation on Weiler’s words and continued to refer back to the fact that he was a “Mormon” or used words such as “ultra conservative” to descrive Weiler.  Many people who don’t view pornography as harmful have spoken out against this resolution. Dr. Carl Shubs, a psychologist in Beverly Hills, California who specializes in issues of sexuality, said calling pornography a public health crisis is “way off on so many levels.”

In response, Terry Crews, a former NFL player, posted a video to his Facebook talking about his battle with pornography addiction. He refers to it as his “dirty little secret.” He explains how the rise of internet use has made pornography more available to kids at a younger age than in the past. He explains that pornography addiction is real and pleas for those watching to get help if needed. (To view the clip click here-  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKGmMe5rLNk )

So whether good or bad, Weiler has received national attention for his efforts in the Utah Legislature. SCR9 is has been put in for the 2nd reading in the Utah Senate.

 

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