NewsLocal News

Actions

Porn warning label bill passes out of Utah House committee

Posted: 6:21 PM, Feb 11, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-11 20:21:47-05
UK wants to restrict access to online porn

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill to require warning labels on pornographic materials has cleared a House committee.

House Bill 243, sponsored by Rep. Brady Brammer, R-Highland, passed 9-2 out of the House Judiciary Committee. It now goes to the full House for a vote.

There was a lot of discussion about the bill, which requires porn publishers to display a warning that it has harmful effects. For digital videos, it's a 15-second clip. For publications, it must be visible. Both would be required to make it searchable so internet filter systems can pick it up and block the content.

"Even the most aggressive filters fall short. Moreover, it is limited by device," Rep. Brammer said.

The bill builds on Utah's previous declaration that porn is a "public health crisis." But House Minority Leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, questioned if that was based on data or just a "political statement."

In response to concerns, the bill has been modified to go from a "harmful to minors" standard to a basic obscenity standard. The ACLU of Utah still expressed concerns, but the Utah Eagle Forum praised the bill.

"Anything you can do to help and protect children from this plague that is ruining lives," Utah Eagle Forum president Gayle Ruzicka told the committee.

Republicans on the committee also supported the bill. Many spoke about the harms of pornography.

"I think it's time to start protecting our children," said Rep. Jon Hawkins, R-Pleasant Grove.

The bill now goes to the full House for debate.