Pentagon Asked to Ban Soft-Porn Magazines

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A decade ago, Congress banned the sale of sexually explicit material on military bases. Now the Pentagon is being asked to extend to ban to soft-porn publication such as “Pentouse” and “Playmates in Bed.”

The request comes after dozens of anti-porn groups have complained to Congress. “They’re saying ‘we’re not selling stuff that’s sexually explicit’…and we say it’s pornography,” USA Today quoted the American Family Association’s Donald Wildmon as saying.

For their part, the Pentagon’s lawyer’s argue that “for a magazine to be found lewd and lascivious, a certain percentage of the content would have to fall under that category,” and the soft-porn magazines don’t meet that percentage. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., who sponsored the 1996 law, says the military is skirting Congress’s intent. “If soldiers want to read that stuff, they can walk down the street and buy it somewhere else.”

The Military Honor and Decency Act of 1996 bars stores on military bases from selling “sexually explicit material.” It defines that as film or printed matter “the dominant theme of which depicts or describes nudity” or sexual activities “in a lascivious way.”

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