Utah leaders call pornography a public health crisis

Utah leaders call pornography a public health crisis (Photo: KUTV)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Utah legislators and anti-pornography advocates say pornography is more than a religious issue.

A host of speakers including Gov. Gary Herbert spoke Tuesday during a ceremonial signing of a state resolution declaring pornography a public health crisis. They said it warps children's minds, damages mental health, undermines marriages and contributes to sexual violence.

Herbert compared porn to drugs and alcohol, warning that "there's a particular psychological and physiological detriment that comes from addiction to pornography."

The non-binding declaration in the predominantly Mormon state of Utah doesn't ban anything, but echoes concerns raised by many conservative religious groups as porn becomes more accessible on smartphones and tablets.

The Free Speech Coalition, an adult entertainment trade group, called it an "old-fashioned" morals bill that is driven by ignorance and opposition to sex education.

But the declaration's sponsor, state Sen. Todd Weiler (WYE'-ler), said "no boy or girl needs to see those images to learn how families are created."

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