Judge overturns key piece of Utah anti-pornography law

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • awsomeron Waianae, HI
    May 19, 2012 10:04 p.m.

    Now I assume that the nice little girl in the picture, in the white room (no child I know keeps their room remotely that clean) has just been sent her first image and she is in shock and awe.

    You want us to think that the image has been sent by an Adult, and you want to punish the adult. You want for there to be laws against that sort of thing and to a point you are right and fair.

    It is up to the parents to inform and teach, the child to exercise self control my kids where good at this did not watch R rated movies or TV that was not cleared for their age. They controlled themselves far more then I or their mom would have controlled them. We are freedom of expression people in regards to written, printed,and spoken matter. Good kids yes. Others in the family not so much but all are decent citizens, have good jobs or raise family's.

    I feel that if the Freedom Of Speech and Expression go then soon the people come for the Religious Material. Then they just come. So I like to protect one and all.

  • Miss Piggie Salt Lake City, UT
    May 19, 2012 9:46 p.m.

    @whistle219: "Miss Piggie, porn is not free speech, the courts have already weighted in on this."

    What courts? The US Supreme Court? Please cite a reference. The US Supreme Court is the final authority.

    If porn is not free speech how is it that magazines such as Playboy and Hustler exist? And what about porn on the internet? Why is it still in existence, has not been shut down, and the purveyors arrested? I'll tell you why... because it comes under the purview of free speech guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.

    And by the way, what is porn? Definition please. Is the naked statue of David by Italian artist Michelangelo in public view, porn? What about the lady wearing a midi or a low cut dress that you can find in any clothing store advertisement.

  • Mr. Bean Salt Lake City, UT
    May 19, 2012 9:10 p.m.

    @Mike Richards: "Government cannot protect us from our base desires."

    Nor should the government be addressing the issue of porn (of any kind). The US Constitution trumps any law that can be crafted for any reason... be it religion, morality, protection, etc. Called 'freedom of speech.'

    "Government cannot protect our children from adults who see nothing wrong with aberrant sex..."

    If sex is aberrant, it is only becasue some folks have declared it such.

    "... and who see nothing wrong with promoting and distributing pornography under the guise of 'free speech.'

    a careful check of the US Constitution will show that 'free speech' is not to be restricted in any way, shape, or form. And that includes pictures.

    "When the media is full of stories about people who demand the right to do whatever they want sexually, does anyone think that society is willing to live at a level that would protect the innocence of youth?"

    And just what are you protecting the 'innocent youth' from?

  • whistle219 princeton, IN
    May 19, 2012 9:02 p.m.

    Miss Piggie, porn is not free speech, the courts have already weighted in on this

  • Miss Piggie Salt Lake City, UT
    May 19, 2012 8:50 p.m.

    @cjb: "Laws need to be crafted in a way not to burden innocent people."

    Laws need to crafted in such a way as to not violate freedom of speech rights guaranteed by the US Constitution. Speech rights specified in the Constitution do not allow any body of law-makers to restrict any speech... which also includes pictures and images no matter how vivid or graphic and without regard of age of the viewer or viewee.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 19, 2012 7:25 p.m.

    Government cannot protect us from our base desires.

    Government cannot protect our children from adults who see nothing wrong with aberrant sex, and who see nothing wrong with promoting and distributing pornography under the guise of "free speech". A free people must desire to govern themselves. When the media is full stories about people who demand the right to do whatever they want sexually, does anyone think that society is willing to live at a level that would protect the innocence of youth?

    It could be a wonderful world if we governered ourselves properly, thinking not of appetites and base desires, but of the common good; but, until grown ups "grow up", children will suffer.

  • SLMG Murtoa Australia, Victoria
    May 19, 2012 4:55 p.m.

    This Judge did the right thing.

    It does not make one bit a difference what laws are passed, as long as anything put on the inernet is on computers you will be able to see it. Once it is in cyberspace it is there forever, be it good or bad.

    We are the ones responsible for our children and our selves when it comes to what is accessed on our computers, there should be no excuses for our own failure to be vigilant.

  • Anon 808 Waianae, HI
    May 19, 2012 3:58 p.m.

    We used to have Playboys and Friends with Playboys. So I don't see the difference.The main thing to avoid was getting caught, and sometimes that experience did not turn out to be as bad as it was assumed to be.

    If our Mags where taken we just got others.

    If your Standard Works where taken would you not go and get another set.

    You get what you want and today your kids access what they want. The only difference is the speed and the Cost. We had to mostly pay for our Playboys or get one that was passed down which some of us would rather not do. Porn on the Internet is mostly free, if its just pictures and looking a this or that.

    The time to get existed is when you Phone Bill or Credit Card is being charged. Mags used to come in Brown Wrapers and only the Postman knew. Today Site Charges come named something nice and only you and the source know what you paid for.

    You have a hard time filtering out Health Sites and Nature Sites, as the key words are acceptable to most filters. Its up to Trust.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    May 19, 2012 3:12 p.m.

    It is beyond me to understand or accept human beings who feed on the filth and degradation of pronography. It has destroyed numerous marriages, relationships and human beings. It is of the Devil and there is no good in it. It denogrates goodness, innocence and should never be allowed to be viewed by innocent people. I truly feel sorry for those people who feel they need that type of smut in their lives and take it upon themselves to make this material available for others. Someday they will be held accountable.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 19, 2012 12:22 p.m.

    @ Laura M. Warburton: The DesNews website is a site owned and operated by the DesNews - when you access it, you agree to abide by their rules of conduct. You are not forced to use the DesNews and, if you choose to do so, agree to follow their terms is not a violation of your rights.

    And - perhaps most importantly - the DesNews is not the Government and their terms are not laws - they cannot throw you in jail or otherwise prosecute you for violating them.

    You compare this to drugs - so let's make an accurate comparison: Some people choose to improperly use prescription medication. If this law were a drug law, it would have made it illegal for doctors to prescribe medication at all because someone might use it inappropriately.

    This law still protects minors from predators - while allowing Target to continue to advertise bras.

  • Butch70 Spokane, WA
    May 19, 2012 9:36 a.m.

    We do not have children in our home. Think we see somebody with good reason to drop part of anti pornogrify law.

  • Mormoncowboy Provo, Ut
    May 19, 2012 9:01 a.m.

    First and foremost, the internet is hard to regulate in the first place. Putting that issue aside, if pornography were defined a little more clearly, then a law that has always made sense to me is that pornography sites must be required to be pay sites. That would probably solve most problems with children inadvertently accessing pornography. I'm not too concerned about the potential of my children accidentally stumbling on "art". I am however very concerned about them being exposed to the kind of pornography that nobody debates is pornography. If that stuff required a payment in order to access, it would reduce a lot of these problems.

  • Laura M. Warburton Huntsville, UT
    May 19, 2012 8:36 a.m.

    I wonder what would happen if I posted a naked picture of a willing adult here? I wonder what would happen if I even used explicit language right now? I wonder why this group of 1st amendment defenders haven't sued news agencies for monitoring comments?
    What would happen when a man walks into a courtroom, announces loudlyhe is going to hold up a poster of a naked erotic woman? He's given ample notice for parents and adults to leave the room.

    When as a society did we miss the lessons in consequences? Laws are meant to protect the whole. Pornography is one of the most highly addictive activities on the planet. The cost of its use is extreme. It's worse than heroin, documented. So, why isn't heroin and drug lords protected as well?

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    May 19, 2012 6:47 a.m.

    In this connected age, with personally managed web browsers, the idea that parents are in control of what children can access via the web is delusional. It is good that they try, but with kids having browsers, and friends with browsers, we need to do what we can to control porn via the law.

  • TA1 Alexandria, VA
    May 19, 2012 6:29 a.m.

    While it is unfortunate for children to encounter things like pornography - it is the parents obligation (and authority) to guide their children and set the bounds for what they do and see. We should not be codifying in law what is an obligation of the leaders of the family. Too much has already gone to the state that should have remained within the family. By abrogating our responsibility to set a correct example we risk - having the state set those standards (whatever the state may choose to do and we may have precious little control over that).

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    May 19, 2012 6:16 a.m.

    Well chalk up another failure for our state's self-appointed Constitutional expert Carl Wimmer.

  • toshi1066 OGDEN, UT
    May 19, 2012 6:05 a.m.

    I'm impressed Judge! Thank you very much. I don't need my ISP to raise my son, I can do that just fine by myself.

  • 101Ways Taylorsville, UT
    May 19, 2012 5:14 a.m.

    I don't believe in laws to protect and serve lazy people. And this law was a deception to promote persecution and to prosecute people for natural human behaviors. Any one that has been convicted for a crime because of this unconstitutional law should be released and set free.

    This wise judge sees the light beyond what this state represents. Utah is a state of hate and persecution by law enforcment and news media and education using mind modification mass hysteria process of Marxist and Socialist societies.

    Who ever has or owns a computer is responsible and accountable for what is on it and what it can access.

    Those who loved the law will just have to learn some new technology, how their computers and programs work and what to do with them. They will have to learn how to limit their childrens access to sites of subject matter outside the home, its called parenting.

    This state loves to brag about how advanced and educated it is with technology but they don't know how to use it, or how it works beyond flipping a switch. Dead and lazy brain cells are not and excuse to be ignorant.

  • awsomeron Waianae, HI
    May 19, 2012 2:59 a.m.

    About as it should be. The Right of Adults to access information is greater then your right to keep it away from certain demographics. This goes for anything not just Porn, Health Information, Basic information on how body parts, function and work. Get sick, can be repaired, and the cause and affect plus possible consequence of certain behavior from what ever position that you wish to present it.

    If you tell someone not to look at or access porn and you do not show or explain to them what Porn is and how Evil and Awful with such life changing consequences that await them should they access or be exposed to Porn either from there own access or from a friend showing them.Then they will never know that they did anything wrong.

    They of course must be informed of what they did and the evil there of in order to feel the remorse they need to feel and to repent of their misdeed. You on the other hand must lovingly show them the way.

    Sometimes Wisely the Freedoms of Adults are for Adults only. Good Laws protect people sometimes even from themselves. Protection does not mean Repression from anything.

  • awsomeron Waianae, HI
    May 19, 2012 2:27 a.m.

    I think that this is about the way it should be.

    Vague Laws can be used against some groups of people and not against others who commit the same offense. Vague laws can be applied different ways to different people.

    If a child seeks or stumbles upon what you would consider Porn ( different people consider different things to be porn). it is up to the parent to gently and lovingly correct them and teach them that like Drinking Smoking and Voting, you have to reach a certain age to do it.

    You can also Teach that it is Wrong from a Religious standpoint.Plus any thing else you might like to Teach.

    The key words here are gently and lovingly correct them. Care in how you react goes a long way to them stopping the behavior or in doing the behavior behind your back knowing that if they get caught they will get a big reaction out of you. You may be geared to react badly or in shock and horror if you encounter Porn. That reaction is pointless and is totally judgmental and learned behavior. Its like telling your kid not to play with the illegitimate neighbor kid.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    May 19, 2012 2:23 a.m.

    A website might have a link to another site and buried in that site might be offending material. Did this law make the
    first website liable? If so this law was unreasonable and deserved to be struck down. Laws need to be crafted
    in a way not to burden innocent people. Unfortunately you can't count on prosecutors having common sense or even
    decency. Some will take on a case just to make a name for themself.

  • Miss Piggie Salt Lake City, UT
    May 19, 2012 12:38 a.m.

    @Kalindra: "At some point we have to hold parents accountable for what their children do and see - this law does not protect predators - and by overturning the part that was overturned, the Judge makes sure the rights of the rest of us are protected."

    You got that right. What needs protecting is the guarantees of the First Amendment to the US Constitution re freedom of speech... which includes freedom to 'view' as a form of speech. The provisions of the US Constitution trumps all laws that might emanate from either the several states or the federal government. If any legal action on this issue were to reach the Supreme Court the Justices would have no choice but to rule in favor of the viewers... regardless of the content.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 18, 2012 11:00 p.m.

    @ Civil: Children may be getting exposed to porn online at a very young age, but it is still the responsibility of the parent to protect them from it.

    The Barnes and Noble website is considered a "generally accessible" website - under this law, they would not be able to have romance novel images because some kid might see them. "Ulysses" is considered erotic. Books on anatomy or drawing human anatomy could not be advertised.

    This law was very vague and targeted a wide range of individuals and businesses. It is even possible that DesNews would have been liable for violating it.

    At some point we have to hold parents accountable for what their children do and see - this law does not protect predators - and by overturning the part that was overturned, the Judge makes sure the rights of the rest of us are protected.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    May 18, 2012 10:17 p.m.

    Who is doing these photos? HInt--the guy who does your family portrait can capture how beautiful your family is---but he might not be the best choice for delicate subjects. This is like doing a story on Mad Cow Disease and showing a cute cow with a frowny face.

  • Civil Salt Lake City, UT
    May 18, 2012 9:58 p.m.


    Naive, flippant comment, my friend.

    The average age at which a child is exposed to pornography is 11. Often it is unintentional.

    There are 747,000 registered sex offenders in the U.S. That is roughly one-in-400 Americans. Shocked or disturbed or worried yet?

    Pornography isn't just a problem, it is a crisis. Protecting YOUR children requires protecting EVERYONE'S children.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    May 18, 2012 8:05 p.m.

    This judge seems like someone I may not care for.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 18, 2012 6:30 p.m.

    I guess we'll have to stick with parenting.

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    May 18, 2012 5:58 p.m.

    Some stories ought not to be accompanied by photo illustrations.