PLATFORM DRAFT: Republicans Call Porn a ‘Public Health Crisis’ That’s ‘Destroying Lives’

Yahoo News by Liz Goodwin Senior National Affairs Reporter
July 11, 2016

Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Republican delegates unanimously adopted an amendment to their draft platform Monday morning that called pornography “a public health crisis” and a “public menace” that is destroying lives.

The language went further in its condemnation of porn than the 2012 GOP platform, which condemned child pornography and encouraged the enforcement of obscenity and pornography laws.

“Pornography, with his harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions. We encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to children’s safety and wellbeing,” the amendment stated.

Mary Forrester, a delegate from North Carolina, offered the amendment during the Republican National Convention subcommittee meeting on healthcare, education and crime. The full body votes on the platform changes Monday and Tuesday.

Before the amendment, the platform’s section on porn read that the Internet must not become “a safe haven” for sex offenders. The section encouraged the “energetic prosecution of child pornography.”

In an interview with Yahoo News after the meeting, Forrester said she worked on the amendment with the conservative Christian group Concerned Women for America. She said she was worried young people became addicted to porn. “It’s such an insidious epidemic and there are no rules for our children,” Forrester said. “It seems to be for young people, they do not have the discernment and so they become addicted before they have the maturity to understand the consequences.”

The condemnation of porn was just one of the ways the GOP platform became more socially conservative during the subcommittee meeting. The draft platform blasted the “dangerous” Obama administration directive to schools to allow transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity. It also called on the Supreme Court to overturn its decision last year finding a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. The platform also declared that marriage is between a man and a woman.

A group of delegates, led by GOP donor Paul Singer adviser Annie Dickerson, fought to temper the platform’s language on LGBT rights, but failed.

Donald Trump has maintained distance from the LGBT rights battle going on in his own party, and has showed little interest in getting embroiled in the social conservative issues that have dominated the GOP in the past. Nevertheless, Trump has also reportedly signaled that he’ll accept the GOP party platform, which about a hundred delegates are amending Monday and Tuesday in several conference rooms in Cleveland ahead of next week’s full convention.

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