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« on: October 13, 2004, 02:45:21 PM »

Kerry Campaign Keeping Quiet on Obscenity Issue

by Bill Fancher and Jenni Parker
October 12, 2004

(AgapePress) - The adult entertainment industry and pornographers have endorsed John Kerry as their candidate for the presidency, and one pro-family advocate has gone to some lengths to find out why.

Bob Peters, president of the organization Morality in Media (MIM), has undertaken the task of researching the presidential candidates to determine where each stands on the issue of indecency. He says he was inspired in part by an ad, from which he learned that "the so-called adult entertainment industry is supporting the Kerry campaign, and trying to get their customers to go out and vote for Kerry."

Intrigued by this information, Peters searched John Kerry's website for a position paper or statement relating to decency standards. He notes, "There weren't any documents with the word obscenity in them. One document included the word pornography, but it happened to be a document that was blasting President Bush because he had appointed a judge to the federal courts who was against pornography."

On the other hand, President George W. Bush's campaign has been fairly vocal on the issue, Peters points out. On Bush's website, he says he found several papers that detail a strong anti-pornography platform. And although he admits Bush's record on obscenity law enforcement has been mixed, the head of MIM notes that the past two years have seen numerous prosecutions throughout the U.S. against commercial distributors of hard-core porn, and many sources report that several more obscenity investigations are under way.

What concerns Peters, however, is the question of what John Kerry is likely to do about enforcing obscenity laws if he is elected. Last week the morality advocate voiced some of his concerns in a response to an article in the October 5 New York Times, "Strip Club's Cover Charge Is Voter Registration Card," which described the "political activism" of the adult entertainment industry on Kerry's behalf.

In his commentary, Peters said he wonders whether Kerry, if elected would "continue the progress (however slow) that has been made in the war against obscenity" or would instead "fulfill the expectations of the pornography industry that seems convinced that he, like Bill Clinton, will be soft on obscenity?"

It appears Kerry has chosen not to take a strong stance against the porn industry or obscenity in the media and entertainment, and MIM's president suspects Kerry's move to distance himself from the issue may in some ways be paying off for the Democratic candidate.

"For whatever reasons, at least to date, [Kerry's] campaign has chosen to remain silent on the subject of federal obscenity law enforcement," Peters says. "I think that certainly is at least helping to fuel the effort, that the adult entertainment industry -- i.e., the strip joints and the hard-core pornographers -- are out there trying to get people to vote for him."

For the past few months Morality in Media has been asking its members to write both presidential candidates, asking each to make his position clear on enforcement of federal obscenity laws.

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