Resolution On Possession Of Child Pornography

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WHEREAS, Southern Baptists have strongly opposed the pornography industry’s efforts to debase the morals of our nation; and

WHEREAS, The Supreme Court has recently ruled in Osborne v. Ohio (1990) that private possession of child pornography is not protected by the First Amendment and can be made illegal by the states; and

WHEREAS, The Osborne case strengthens earlier decisions of the Court which have held that production, distribution, and selling of child pornography is not protected by the First Amendment (New York v. Ferber, 1982); and

WHEREAS, Regulations of pornographic material which is deemed to be harmful to minors has been upheld by the Supreme Court (Ginsberg v. New York, 1968); and

WHEREAS, Child pornography is an essential ingredient to child molestation and the possession of child pornography fuels the production and distribution market; and

WHEREAS, The following states do not have laws similar to Ohio’s statute prohibiting the private possession of child pornography: Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That we, the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, June 12-14, 1990, call on Southern Baptists in states where the mere private possession of child pornography is not illegal to contact their state legislators and urge that such legislation be enacted; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we ask the Christian Life Commission and all appropriate Southern Baptist entities to call upon the U.S. Congress to amend federal child pornography statutes which apply to federal land and facilities in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Osborne v. Ohio; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, That we encourage all Southern Baptists to insist that law enforcement officials and prosecutors at the federal, state, and local levels vigorously enforce and prosecute child pornography and other pornography statutes to the fullest extent of the law.



New Orleans, Louisiana

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