New York Gives Nod to Porn in Public Libraries

Apr 25, 2011 9:00 AM PST

NEW YORK — New Yorkers can watch porn in public libraries thanks to the city’s policy that embraces the protection of free speech under the First Amendment.

According to reports, library officials gave the official OK to viewing hardcore adult material — as long as it’s legal — while visiting the 200-plus library branches.

"In deference to the First Amendment protecting freedom of speech, the New York Public Library cannot prevent adult patrons from accessing adult content that is legal," said New York Public Library spokeswoman Angela Montefinise.

But the anti-porn zealots including religious leaders and even some librarians are not happy.

"What they're doing is publicly funding an appetite for the most debased fare available. It's not like a Playboy centerfold anymore — it's far worse," said Catholic League President Bill Donohue.

Daisy Nazario, a 60-year old Brooklyn Central Library patron said she was “grossed out” when she heard the groans of pleasure coming from the area next to hers where a senior citizen was watching a threesome on his computer.

The elderly porn fan was using library-provided extensions on the sides of his computer to block the view of his screen but Nazario said, "I could still hear the voices. It is very disrespectful to the children."

But Brooklyn Public Library spokeswoman Malika Granville said, "Customers can watch whatever they want on the computer.”

All libraries that take federal funding must install filters on publicly used computers, but under U.S. law they’re only required to block illegal obscenity and child porn and New York City officials said they comply to the letter.

To ban all porn, each locality must enact its own policy, a move that would likely spark legal challenges.

Even if porn filters were installed, any customer over 17 could simply turn them off.

The city policy states, "The library cannot and does not guarantee that the filtering software will block all obscenity, child pornography or materials that are harmful to minors.”

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