Florida Bill Aims to Classify Porn as ‘Public Health Crisis’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—A Florida lawmaker who once tried to eliminate funding for a local contemporary art museum when it displayed an image of a nude pregnant woman by a well-known artist is co-sponsoring a bill in the state’s legislature to officially declare porn a “public health crisis.” If the bill, House Resolution 157, passes, Florida would become to classify adult entertainment as a threat to public health.

The resolution was of the Florida state house this week.

Utah, South Dakota and Virginia have passed similar anti-porn resolutions. Though the bills create no new laws regulating porn, they could allow state governments to make “policy changes” and create “prevention” measures to alleviate what the lawmakers behind the measures claim is the imminent health dangers posed by porn.

As AVN.com reported earlier, those measures could include making deals with internet service providers to block online porn, once repeal of net neutrality rules takes effect sometime in 2018.

In Florida, the “resolution recognizing the public health crisis created by pornography” is co-sponsored by State Representative Clay Yarborough who, when he was City Council president in Jacksonville, more than $230,000 in public funds for the city’s Museum of Contemporary Art, over an exhibit by photographer that depicted its subjects at moments of major life transitions.

One photograph in the exhibit portrayed a pregnant woman, reclining nude on a love-seat style chair. Yarborough contended that the image was pornographic, which promoted Strassheim to respond, “Maybe he hasn’t seen enough porn.”

Yarborough in 2008 also attempted to remove the local Jacksonville alternative newspaper, and other public spaces because the paper contained ads depicting what he called “scantily clad women” and had once run an article about “Florida’s bondage underground.”

The current “public health” anti-porn resolution is also sponsored by Dover State Representative Ross Spano, who “ is potentially biologically addictive, resulting in the user consuming increasingly more shocking material to satisfy the addiction.” Spano’s bill also describes porn as the “main source of education regarding human sexuality" for children and teenagers and as a result, is the cause of "low self-esteem, an eating disorder and a desire to engage in dangerous sexual behavior."

Spano also claims that the bill aids the effort to curtail sex trafficking in Florida.

“After having several conversations with people involved in the fight against human trafficking over the past several years, it is becoming more apparent that there is a direct link between the use of pornography and the demand for paid sex," he newspaper.

In an bizarre twist to the story, however, scanned Spano’s Twitter account and found that either Spano or whoever operates the account for him had “liked” a tweet from the account Goddess Lesbian— from a video titled Expert Oral Sex 17, explicitly depicting two women engaged in the activity mentioned in the title, as well as other lesbian sex acts.

Spano told the paper that the “like” from his account on the lesbian porn video was “not my doing.”

Photo of Florida State House by