Proposed bill would open door to suing pornographers

Salt Lake City, Utah- (ABC4 Utah) – A state senator is taking aim at the pornography industry with two bills he plans to introduce in the upcoming session.

In 2016, the state declared pornography a public health crisis.

Now, the sponsor of that resolution, Senator, Todd Weiler is taking another step.

"I've looked at a lot of different options, some of which were not technologically or legally feasible," said Weiler, (R) Woods Cross.

He settled on two bills.

One, would allow people who feel like they have been damaged or harmed by pornography to file a lawsuit.

"I believe, and I believe that the research will eventually back up that pornography is addictive and it is harmful," said Weiler.

The burden of proof would be on the plaintiff.

They could make their case using expert witnesses and other means.

If pornographers meet two requirements they would not be subject to litigation.

"If a company had a warning, kind of like the warning on a pack of cigarettes, and if a company is taking reasonable measures to prevent children from accessing their content on their website," said Weiler.

Weiler says the average age of first exposure to hardcore pornography is 11 years old.

He says that's what he wants to stop.

"I'm much more focused on protecting children than anything else. I think adults are capable of making their own decisions," said Weiler.

Weiler's colleague, Senator, Jim Dabakis is against the idea.

"If they really cared about a serious health care crisis, they would have accepted full Medicaid expansion. What this is about, is the nanny state. I will vote proudly for freedom and against this," said Dabakis.

Weiler's second bill will build on a current law and require all libraries to filter wireless internet connections.

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