Utah's Parent Teacher Association joined with 37 state legislators Friday to support parents and families that don't want unsolicited pornography in their homes.

In an application of amici curiae, regarding the lawsuit brought by the pornography industry against Utah's Child Protection Registry, the PTA asks the court to allow it to submit the friend-of-the-court brief supporting parental choice. The lawsuit, originally filed in November 2005 by the California-based Free Speech Coalition, states the Internet registry is unconstitutional and restricts commercial expression.

However, PTA leaders believe the free registry is a significant tool to keep inappropriate messages out of homes where children reside.

"Parents and teachers across the state are committed to stop this attempt by the adult industry to invade our homes and schools," said Utah's PTA President Carmen Snow.

The Utah Attorney General's office, which represents the state in the lawsuit, says parents should have the right to decide what comes into their homes. In recent action, the corporation contracted to manage the online registry filed a motion stating the Free Speech Coalition does not have grounds to sue the state.

The act went into effect July 2005, allowing parents of minors to enroll their child's e-mail account on a list to keep it off lists that spammers use. Legislators, who endorsed the act in 2004, signed on to show support.

"Our Legislature has a proud record of supporting parents and families," said House Speaker Greg Curtis, R-Sandy. "The state of Utah will stand strong against the companies sending out this outrageous material to unwilling recipients."

The American Center for Law and Justice, a constitutional law firm in Washington, D.C., volunteered to author the court brief for the PTA. In addition to the 37 signatures of state senators and representatives, 40 members of Utah's PTA leadership have signed the brief. More signatures are expected before the final brief is filed later this month.


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