Pickets protesting the sale of what they say is hard-core pornography appeared Thursday morning in front of a North Salt Lake convenience store.
Protest organizer Lowell Oswald, Bountiful, a retired educator, said he and Bountiful attorney Del Rowe organized the protest after investigating the sale of magazines by the Circle K chain of convenience stores.In addition to selling Playboy and Penthouse magazines, Oswald said the stores are selling other magazines that make those two publications appear mild.
A telephone survey of 32 Circle K stores in the Salt Lake Valley showed two in Murray and two in Bountiful that don't carry the publications because of strong local ordinances, Oswald said. But he said they refer callers to the other stores in their chain in other cities that do sell them.
Copies of some of the magazines have been turned over to local, county and state prosecutors to see if they violate the state's anti-pornography law, said Oswald.
convenience stores, 7-Eleven, stopping sales of the magazines in Utah, Oswald said. A telephone survey of those stores conducted at the same time as the survey of the Circle K Food Stores showed the 7-Eleven outlets have held to their policy of not selling the publications, Oswald said.
Oswald said his group, which planned to picket the store all day, is concerned that the publications are getting into the hands of youths.
His picket sign charged the store with "poisoning the minds" of youths.
In addition to picketing and seeking legal action, Oswald said his group will try to meet with Circle K corporate officials to get the stores to voluntarily stop selling the magazines.
Store manager Ken Ekstrom said company policy is not to comment on the picketing. Ekstrom said as manager, he has no say in what items the store sells. Those decisions are made at higher corporate levels, he said.
Ekstrom, who has managed the North Salt Lake store for three months, said Thursday's protest did not seem to discourage customers.