Porn warning labels bill becomes Utah law amid controversy

In this Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, photo, Republican Rep. Brady Brammer, poses for a portrait at the Utah State Capitol, in Salt Lake City. Brammer, a Utah lawmaker unveiled a proposal Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, to require pornography to carry warning labels or be subject to a $2,500 penalty, though an adult-entertainment industry group warned the idea would violate the First Amendment. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Pornography will have to come with a warning label in Utah after Gov. Gary Herbert allowed the measure to become law over protest from the adult-entertainment industry.

If producers don’t include a one-sentence warning label on obscene materials about potential harm to minors, they could face a $2,500 penalty per violation. Herbert allowed the measure to become law without his signature on Wednesday.

The measure is aimed at helping people worried about the widespread availability of porn online, Republican sponsor Rep. Brady Brammer has said.

After criticism that the measure could be unconstitutional, it was aimed at porn deemed to be legally obscene. Most porn doesn’t qualify, but hardcore material declared obscene doesn’t have constitutional protections.

The Free Speech Coalition, an adult-entertainment trade group, has said the law could still unfairly force porn producers to defend themselves in court because it allows private citizens as well as the state to file complaints.

A judge would have to decide if the porn qualifies as obscene. Producers could avoid the penalty by showing that they have included the label most of the time.

Utah also declared it a public-health crisis in 2016. More than a dozen states have advanced similar resolutions since then.

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1 Comment

  • Maru christen April 4, 2020 at 12:36 pm Reply

    Wont lockdown the state cause sl of the 12000 missionaries who live here havent returned but lockdown porn? Only in utah!

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