New House Bill: Show A Kid Porn, Get Sued For His/Her "Injury"
Pro-war right-wing wacko - and Presidential candidate - Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-TwilightZone) has introduced a bill in Congress, H.R. 3899, the "Parents' Empowerment Act," which would give parents/guardians the power to sue "any person who knowingly sells or distributes in interstate or foreign commerce an entertainment product containing material that is harmful to minors if ... a reasonable person would expect a substantial number of minors to be exposed to the material; and the minor as a result of exposure to that material is likely to suffer personal or emotional injury or injury to mental or moral welfare."
Of course, it's (almost) an election year, so we have to expect weird-ass bills to be introduced that probably have little chance of passing, especially if a lawyer (which Hunter is not) actually gets a look at them - but even I can see the unconstitutionalities in this one and I haven't taken a law class since my tax protest group learned legal research back in '82.
First of all, while I suppose Congress could take "legislative notice" of it, I might point out that there's no (as in NO
) scientific evidence that a normal kid is harmed in any way by seeing a couple or three people fucking unless the kid's parents have made him/her into some sort of head case through fundamentalist religious training - in which case, they're the ones who should pay damages to the kid for having spoiled the rest of his/her life. But in a move that will probably make the law inapplicable to anyone on the planet, it specifically exempts material that the parents themselves own and bring into the family home!
Then there's the question of how looking at sex creates "emotional injury" - unless what that really means is, the kid gets an erection - or "injury to mental or moral welfare." Frankly, I'd love to see a court tackle a definition of "moral welfare," since it's not defined anywhere in the law. And wouldn't'cha know, "harmful to children" only refers to sex, while all the studies that have been done (on college kids) show that it's only violent images, or violent images that have some sexual content, that create any sort of adverse effect on the test subjects; regular whitebread sex had no effect on them whatsoever.
The bill is probably based on the "work" of Dr. Gary Rose, president of the Medical Institute for Sexual Health in Austin, Tex., who claims to have done MRI studies of people's brains that show that young people can get the wrong combinations of hormones if they have, for instance, "multiple sexual partners at a young age," causing the neural pathways in their brains not to mature properly.
"So if we expose kids to pornography, if we expose kids to overt sexuality - and keep in mind that 70 percent of all of their music, movies, television mush has overt sexual overtones - we are building those pathways," Rose said in an interview with Christian, er, Cybercast News Service. "If we are building hypersexual pathways, and others get pruned out - like those for sexual responsibility and modesty - we are not going to have healthy adults."
Of course, this is junk science - but any "science" that gets to the "right" conclusion is good enough for conservatives!
And don't forget: The asshole who proposed this bill might be your next president ... unless you do something about it ... like VOTE!