Obscene Material -- Hard-Core Porn -- Is Not Constitutionally Protected Speech

[Editor's note: the following article was printed by the Maryland Coast Dispatch on March 31, 2007.]


Regarding the front page article "Adult Video Shop Plans to Open in NorthOceanCity" (March 16), someone needs to point out a glaring fact: obscene material is not constitutionally protected speech.  All it takes is a prosecutor who enforces the law.  


While the ACLU and liberal judges have managed to create a body of distorted case law in which “soft-core” porn has legal protection, the hardcore stuff found in “adult” stores does not.  Hard-core porn has nothing to do with free speech and is an extension of prostitution. It's also a favorite tool of child molesters. Ask any cop. 



Sexually-oriented businesses (SOBs) destroy neighborhoods, put families at risk, and bring in crime, prostitution and other undesirable outcomes. OceanCity can worry about appearing “prudish” or it can protect its reputation as the finest family resort on the East Coast.  It just takes some public officials with backbone.


City officials should use zoning and licensing laws to confine the creeps who want to corrupt this city with porn. They can keep them as far away as possible from schools, residential areas, churches and prime commercial zones. And if they do open, the OCPD should pick up a DVD the first day, get a ruling from the local D.A. that it meets the Miller test for obscenity, and prosecute.


Citizens can exercise their rights under the law to picket SOBs. Public shame is a powerful force.


C.S. Lewis once wrote that the agenda of society wreckers is to make pornography public and religion private. Each time the ACLU wins one of these battles by intimidating public officials into surrendering, we sink a bit closer to the Sodom and Gomorrah that they've designed for us.


Real men (and real women) need to stand up and send these scoundrels a message: Not in our city. 


(Mr. Knight is a former editor of the Maryland Coast Press, a forerunner to the Dispatch. He now serves as director of the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the MediaResearchCenter in Alexandria, Va.) www.cultureandmediainstitute.org