An event marking Governor Bill Haslam’s signing of a resolution recognizing pornography as a public health hazard in the State of Tennessee took place on Wednesday at the State Capitol in Nashville. Senate Joint Resolution 35, sponsored by Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), acknowledges that it leads to a broad spectrum of individual and societal harms. It also acknowledges the need for education, prevention, research and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address it.
“This resolution acknowledges the problems that we face with pornography in Tennessee today,” said Senator Beavers. “It is destructive to the health and well-being of our society as a whole, particularly the children who are increasingly exposed to it.”
“I was honored to carry this vital piece of legislation on the House side,” said Rep. Weaver. “In Tennessee and all around the world, our culture is inundated with pornography that harms children and our society as a whole for generations to come. I am very pleased this resolution has passed.”
Beavers and Weaver said the resolution particularly stresses the harm pornography poses to children due to advances in technology and the universal availability of the internet which has led to young children being exposed at an alarming rate. Twenty-seven percent of millennials reported they first viewed pornography before reaching puberty. Internet safety is the 4th top ranked issue on the list of health concerns for U.S. children.
“Thank you Governor Haslam for signing the law concerning pornography and the damage it is people, families and children,” said Dianne Rogers of Brimstone Services and Cosmo Hurts Kids. “A Special thank you to Senator Mae Beavers and Representative Terri Lynn Weaver for pushing this bill and making people aware. This is a great day for Tennessee.”
Utah, South Dakota, Arkansas and Virginia have also declared the pornography industry to be a public health crisis.