Women trafficked into pornography and the easy availability to children of adult material on the Internet were the two main themes of the first Victims of Pornography Summit which was held this morning at the Rayburn Office Building.
Several federal legislators shared their thoughts on what they perceived as the growing problem of sexually explicit material, including Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-Penn.), and Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.).
Also in attendance were such well-known figures in the pro-censorship movement as Phil Burress of Citizens for Community Values, Jan LaRue, chief counsel for Concerned Women for America, George LeMieux, the Florida deputy attorney general, Daniel Weiss of Focus on the Family, John Richter, acting head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division and Bruce Taylor, senior counsel to the Criminal Division’s Assistant Attorney General, who is working closely with the director of the newly formed Obscenity Prosecution Task Force. Penny Nance, who was representing the Kids First Coalition, moderated the event.
Among the more interesting revelations were Sen. Brownback’s announcement that he would be holding more hearings on the topic of pornography, including one exclusively devoted to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and another consisting of people allegedly trafficked into the United States to perform in adult features.
Also of interest to the adult industry was Bruce Taylor’s statement that the new 2257 regulations were currently at the U.S. government printing office undergoing final corrections and may be published in the Federal Register as early as Friday. Taylor promised to email PDF documents of the regulations to interested parties as soon as they are available. He also said that not only would the new regulations be available, but also commentary explaining why some suggestions from others, including attorneys from the adult industry and Free Speech Coalition were or were not included in the final rules.
The only “victims of pornography” who testified were Burress and LaRue of the approximately 50 people who attended the Summit, most of which were apparently members of pro-censorship organizations. None of the other attendees identified themselves to the rest of the audience as victims.