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Commentary: Jan LaRue Retires

Concerned Women for America's top lawyer calls it quits

Commentary: Jan LaRue Retires

The ongoing discussion about adult entertainment just got a little less shrill on Wednesday, as Jan LaRue, Chief Counsel and Legal Studies Director at the theocon-oriented Concerned Women for America, announced her retirement.

AVN remembers LaRue well; at least as far back as when she was Senior Director of Legal Studies for the equally religiously conservative Family Research Council. LaRue was a frequent speaker at anti-adult conferences, including 2000's National Pro-Family Conference on Pornography, Sexually-Oriented Businesses and Material Harmful To Minors, 2005's Victims of Pornography Summit, and various U.S. House and Senate hearings on various things adult-related.

According to a Family Research Council bulletin released Wednesday, LaRue will be moving to Texas, though it's unclear how involved she will be in attempting to squelch free sexual expression there.

Of course, there won't be any shortage of issues with which she can get involved in the Lone Star State.

Recently, for instance, Texas state Rep. Warren Chisum (do we really need to tell you which party he belongs to?) has introduced a bill that would require the 1,700 school districts throughout the state to offer Bible-based history and literature classes – quoth Chisum, "We're not going to preach the Bible, we're going to teach the Bible!" – and then there's the "unbiased" study of the alleged secondary effects of adult-oriented boutiques for which the Texas City Attorneys Association is attempting to raise money, which "could be important to cities like Richardson that are caught in legal battles with adult-oriented stores," according to the Dallas Morning News.

In honor of LaRue's decision to retire, however, we thought we'd present a selection of quotes and attributions from her, just to remind the adult community what it will be missing:

"Pornography, a pervasive international problem, has exploded in the U.S. over the past two years. Jan LaRue of Concerned Women for America says that is partly because the porn industry is taking advantage of the 9-11 terrorist attacks to expand its productivity... LaRue feels the people who produce, promote, and profit from pornography are themselves carrying out a sort of terrorist attack on America. The pro-family activist says the porn industry poses a grave threat to the nation and its future. 'In our estimation, this is a form of domestic terrorism because it is taking our culture into the sewer, and millions of children along with it,' she says." — AgapePress News Summary, 10/29/03

"I've met people that live around these kinds of businesses. Let me tell you about one I met in Garden Grove, California. Garden Grove is in Orange County, California, and it has seven of these SOBs within a mile, mile-and-a-half of each other on one boulevard. I met a family that lives directly behind one of the businesses. There's just a little alley in-between them, and there was a five-year-old girl going outside, into her front yard; comes into the house carrying a used hypodermic needle and a used condom and said, 'Mommy, what is this?' Now, I submit to you that no five-year-old, no child should have that kind of experience. And the parents showing me hardcore video box covers with explicit sex acts on the cover, and people go into these businesses and purchase these materials or rent them and rip the cover off and throw them into the neighboring residential yards around these kinds of businesses. Men sit on the curb in front of these businesses, masturbating in the middle of the afternoon. Garden Grove Boulevard is the boulevard of male prostitutes and Beach Boulevard, which are both major thoroughfares in southern California — it's the boulevard for female prostitutes. Why are they there? Because there are seven of these businesses strung together on that boulevard." – LaRue, speaking at the National Pro-Family Conference, 4/14/00 [Emphasis added]

"The ACLU is making an argument that the Internet is this mystical, unregulable [sic] medium where traditional obscenity and harmful-to-minor laws can't apply, and they're absolutely wrong. The community standards have never been limited to a geographic area. The Supreme Court says it applies in cyberspace." – LaRue, misconstruing the first Supreme Court opinion on COPA, 5/16/02

"Every day that [the porn industry] goes without a serious crackdown is just encouraging the perverts in this country to exploit the issue, and certainly the pornography companies that are making hundreds of millions of dollars off the material are going to continue to 'make hay while the sun shines.'" – LaRue on the need for more obscenity prosecutions, 10/8/03

"During the time we were having these weekly meetings, there was one woman on the committee who happened to be very liberal, and she just didn't see the need for all these regulations, and wasn't this all a First Amendment issue? Well, she came in to the next meeting, and boy, was she hot! It seems that one of the patrons of the [adult] business right near her home, about 2 o'clock in the afternoon, he made a purchase in one of the businesses; happened to be one of those blow-up dolls? How can I put this delicately? He parked in a residential neighborhood near her home, buck naked, trying to have a meaningful encounter with this doll. She became a conservative overnight. You know how they say a conservative is a liberal who's been mugged? Well, she got mugged by this guy, and suddenly, she was on my side." – LaRue, describing her participation in an "ad hoc citizens group" attempting to regulate adult businesses in Santa Barbara County, CA, 4/14/00

"We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man's knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer... The majority's predetermined outcome exposes an activist court willing to adopt a ridiculous rationale in order to create a new 'constitutional right.'" – LaRue on Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's original abortion rights decision, 11/22/05

"In addition to the many other serious problems caused by the proliferation of obscenity in our country, its accessibility via the Internet is turning America's public libraries into virtual 'peep shows' open to children and funded by taxpayers. This, also, is primarily due to the Justice Department's refusal to enforce an entire section of the federal criminal code that prohibits trafficking in obscene materials.  It must be called to account and held responsible." LaRue, testifying before the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade and Consumer Protection, 5/23/00

"The consequences to kids couldn't count less to an industry driven by insatiable greed and depraved indifference." – LaRue, writing in Human Events, 4/06

"Good people with good intentions are desperate enough 'to do something,' even if it's virtually ineffective. When we have gotten Congress to enact effective laws that will help protect kids from exposure to Internet porn, the courts have usually declared them unconstitutional. It seems they're concerned that the First Amendment will self-combust if we make it a tad harder for the nation's morbidly obese porn addicts to feed an insatiable appetite. So who cares if kids get down on Hugh Hefner, Larry Flynt and Blood, Disembowelment and F****** … What Fun as long as the Dow is up? ... Why do I get the feeling that the feds don't take obscenity crimes seriously? It isn't hard to become a 'conspiracy' theorist on this one." – LaRue, 2/26/07

It's been a fun ride, Jan; we're gonna miss ya!

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