Some have dubbed Utah the pornography viewing capital of the country. Governor Gary Herbert is fighting that stigma. He signed into law two anti-pornography bills on Tuesday morning. One bill is the Concurrent Resolution on the Public Health Crisis. This resolution declared pornography a public health hazard.
This resolution calls for more research to be done, Herbert said. Education so the individuals and families are aware of the dangers of pornography.
“We are sounding a voice of warning,” he said. “There are real health risks that are associated with viewing pornography.”
The resolution makes way for a multifaceted approach to solving this crisis, said Pamela Atkinson, the chair of the Utah Coalition Against Pornography board.
She said the state is worried about 82 percent of sex offenders who started off by viewing pornography.
“They acknowledged they got involved with simple--or soft core porn--years ago,” she said. “It's not so satisfying anymore and that’s when they move on to the hard core porn. When that is not satisfying any more, they act out on real human beings. They objectify children and young women.”
Atkinson said Utah will set the precedence for other states to follow in suit in declaring pornography an addiction, including Tennessee which passed a similar bill in their senate on Tuesday.
The second bill, HB 155, Reporting of Child Pornography was also signed on Tuesday. The law requires IT representatives to report any child pornography they encounter.