Pornography has spread like a plague across the nation. It has moved from the margins of our culture to the mainstream, undermining marriages, families, and communities. Worst of all, it has stolen a time of innocence from our children.
Some pornography, specifically "obscenity" and "child pornography," is illegal and not protected by the First Amendment. Shamefully, the overwhelming majority of this illegal hardcore pornography on the Internet is produced in the United States. Decades ago Congress passed federal laws against child pornography and obscenity and those laws have been found to be constitutional. They are too seldom enforced, however. Family Research Council (FRC) calls for the vigorous enforcement of all pornography laws.
Even the pornography that enjoys constitutional protection as "free speech" can be regulated. Laws may regulate the time, place, and manner of distribution and may restrict it from children. We do not have adequate laws to protect children from this kind of material online, and FRC will continue to work toward stronger laws to protect children.
Whether legal or not, pornography alters both sexual attitudes and behavior, undermining marriage, which in turn undermines the stability of the entire community. Because it is a threat to marriages, the family, and society at large, consuming pornography cannot be seen as a private choice without public consequence.