The sponsor of a recently passed Utah resolution declaring that “pornography is creating a public health crisis” appeared on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program yesterday to defend the measure, which the governor signed on Tuesday, and allege that the availability of pornography is violating his “First Amendment right to not view it.”
State Sen. Todd Weiler, a Republican, urged libraries and McDonalds restaurants with WiFi to block pornography websites, claiming that he has heard anecdotally that children go to McDonalds to view pornographic websites: “I said to McDonalds, ‘You’re a family restaurant and you market to children, why would you want to be a purveyor of pornography?’”
“You know, the librarians will put their hands over their hearts and talk about the First Amendment and yet if these libraries and these McDonalds were giving cigarettes to our children, we’d all be up in arms, we’d be picketing them,” he said. “But somehow it’s okay if they deliver pornography to them.”
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council and the host of the program, compared the availability of pornographic websites at such locations to “second-hand smoke,” saying that children and families can end up watching porn from other people’s computers and “the public has a right not to be confronted with this.”
“That’s what I think is often lost in the First Amendment discussion,” Weiler said, “because someone may have the First Amendment right, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, to view pornography, but what about my First Amendment right to not view it?”
Weiler went on to hail British Prime Minister David Cameron for his government-led push to block pornographic websites in the U.K., mentioning that he asked Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to introduce a similar plan in the U.S.