It has been a year since the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography issued its controversial report, but citizens at the grassroots level are maintaining the antipornography momentum.
The National Coalition Against Pornography (N-CAP) recently launched an ambitious campaign called S.T.O.P! (for Stand Together Opposing Pornography). The program is designed to help citizens urge local officials to enforce existing laws to eliminate child pornography and illegal hard-core obscenity from their communities.
The pilot S.T.O.P! campaign is taking place in Kansas City, Missouri, where N-CAP estimates 200 retail outlets are selling illegal obscenity. N-CAP President Jerry Kirk calls the S.T.O.P! effort “a mass-media blitz,” including a television special, TV and radio spots, billboards, bumper stickers, buttons, direct-mail efforts, and a petition drive. Said Kirk: “It’s a total market blitz to get across one message: Pornography destroys. It destroys children, young people, women, marriages, and families.”
He said Kansas City was chosen for the pilot project because of its “strong commitment to enforce obscenity laws and eliminate violent, degrading materials.” Earlier this year, Missouri adopted an obscenity law that many pornography foes say is among the toughest in the nation. Helping to lead the Kansas City S.T.O.P! effort is former FBI director Clarence Kelley, a native of the city.
N-CAP’s goal with S.T.O.P! is to cover the entire nation with city-by-city campaigns. Next week, the group will sponsor a consultation in Cincinnati to train denominational leaders, civic leaders, and concerned citizens from 50 cities to conduct S.T.O.P! campaigns. “Teams of leaders are springing up all over America to have [S.T.O.P!] campaigns,” Kirk said. Among those scheduled to speak at the consultation is Art Linkletter, N-CAP’S honorary chairman.
The Religious Alliance Against Pornography (RAAP), which Kirk also heads, is continuing efforts as well. Formed last year, RAAP has united leaders from more than 100 denominations to fight obscenity. Kirk said the group will sponsor a major event in March “to evaluate where we are and to plan next steps as to how we can proceed most effectively.”
Meanwhile, citizens’ groups are expecting President Reagan to introduce a legislative package called “The Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1987.” The bill, said to have been prompted by recommendations by last year’s pornography commission, would impose stricter penalties for the production and distribution of obscenity.
In addition, a senior White House official has confirmed that, largely because of public pressure, an executive order is being drafted to stop the federal government’s involvement in the distribution of pornography in places such as military bases. The official said Reagan will likely issue the order before the end of the year.
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