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Senators join fight against adult magazines in exchanges

Jun. 25, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
The Senate Armed Services Committee agrees with anti-pornography advocates that the military has overly explicit magazines on the shelves of exchanges.
The Senate Armed Services Committee agrees with anti-pornography advocates that the military has overly explicit magazines on the shelves of exchanges. (File)
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The Senate Armed Services Committee agrees with anti-pornography advocates that the military has overly explicit magazines on the shelves of exchanges.

In its report accompanying the 2014 defense authorization bill, the committee says it has been “made aware” that despite a prohibition against the sale or rental of sexually explicit material on Defense Department property, such magazines are for sale on installations.

“The committee is concerned about the impact this material may have on the health and wellness of military service members and their families,” says the report, released Monday.

It directs military officials to notify Congress about what steps will be taken to comply with the prohibition. A report is required 180 days after the annual defense policy bill becomes law.

The services are already cracking down on adult magazines, videos and other materials in workspaces, common areas and even barracks and dormitories.

Committee member Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., raised the issue during hearings on sexual assault in the ranks. Holding up a photo provided by Morality in Media of magazines for sale at an Air Force exchange, Sessions said, “We live in a culture that’s awash in sexual activity. If it’s not sold on base, it’s right off base.”

Morality in Media, a faith-based anti-pornography organization, wrote to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in early June asking for a crackdown on the magazines for sale, accusing the Defense Department of refusing to implement the 1996 law banning magazines or videos that “dominantly depict nudity in a lascivious way.”

“Now our military is reaping what it has sown, the sexual exploitation and assault of thousands in uniform, particularly women, each year,” said the letter, signed by Patrick Trueman, president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit group, and Dawn Hawkins, its executive director.

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