�
You are here: Home » Adult Webmaster News » Sun Finally Sets on Utah 'Porn Czar'...
Select year   and month 
 
February 01, 2018

Sun Finally Sets on Utah 'Porn Czar' Job

Utah, 18 years ago, became the first and only state to create the official office of “obscenity and pornography complaints ombudsman,” known more widely as the state “porn czar,” a position with a budget of $150,000 per year (equal to about $220,000 in 2017) to somehow put the brakes on the spread of “pornography” in local Utah communities.  But public demand for the porn czar’s intervention spread well beyond the already-dubious duty of regulating actual adult material. Utah residents bombarded the “ombudsman” with demands to “persuade supermarkets to display racy magazines at adult-eye level, intercept a Victoria’s Secret catalog from a family’s mailbox, remove R-rated videos from public libraries, forbid the display of unclothed mannequins at department stores and outlaw strip clubs.” The only person ever to hold the position, a lawyer named Paula Houston, took office in 2001—but lost the job two years later when state lawmakers looking for places to cut Utah’s budget deemed the job useless. The position remained vacant, but the law allowing the state to hire a new “porn czar” at any time was never eliminated. Now, 15 years later, state lawmakers are getting around to finishing the job. Last week, the Utah House of Representative voted to remove the “porn czar” position from the state’s books altogether. The Utah state senate must now take up the measure to rid the country of its only state-level “porn czar” once and for all. Only two years ago, Utah adopted a resolution declaring porn a “public health crisis.” And just last October, a Republican Utah legislator pushed to revive the porn ombudsman in part as a way to regulate Cosmopolitan magazine, according to state representative Tod Weiler. "I've received some complaints ... that stores are selling Cosmo at eye level to a child," Weiler said at the time. "There's no blinder rack on it, even though we have some blinder rack language in the state code." But just a few months later, Weiler himself has sponsored the House bill to dump the “porn czar” position completely. “The whole thing was a public-relations nightmare and kind of made Utah the laughingstock of the nation,”  Weiler said.  While the elimination of Utah’s dormant porn czar position, if it passes the state senate, will be largely symbolic, the job itself was not. In the brief time Houston held the office, she processed about 1,500 complaints and brought 18 anti-porn cases to the state court system.

 
�
�
�
home | register | log in | add URL | add premium URL | forums | news | advertising | contact | sitemap
copyright © 1998 - 2009 Adult Webmasters Association. All rights reserved.