Steven Hirsch Blasts Rick Santorum's Porn Stance

Mar 20, 2012 9:30 AM PST

LOS ANGELESSteven Hirsch, founder and co-chairman of Vivid Entertainment, on Tuesday said that an anti-pornography argument by Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum is "ridiculous" and based on false data.

Santorum has called for vigorous enforcement of current anti-obscenity laws, arguing it causes brain damage, ruins marriages, leads to prostitution and sex trafficking, and "contributes to misogyny and violence against women."

"This is ridiculous and just plain wrong," Hirsch said. "None of his arguments holds up to scrutiny. For example the FBI, National Crime Victimization Survey, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other highly credible organizations have all reported a dramatic drop in rapes, teen pregnancies and sex crimes since 1991, when porn first became widely available on the Internet.

"The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) reported that between 1991 and 2009 the occurrence of rape in the U.S. dropped 86 percent, just one of many surveys that indicate sexual violence is declining rather than increasing as Mr. Santorum argues."

Hirsch continued, "I find it ironic that Mr. Santorum and some of the other Republican candidates claim to favor less government... except when it comes to issues like pornography, where they want Government to dictate what people can and cannot watch. Trying to ban an entertainment form that the U.S. Supreme Court has deemed to be protected is a hopeless task since no one can honestly make blanket judgments on what is obscene.

"People today are more comfortable than ever with adult content," Mr. Hirsch added. "If they choose to watch adult movies, it's their personal decision. We vehemently oppose laws regarding sexual conduct between consenting adults."

The industry exec concluded, "Thankfully we live in America and have a rational justice system. If by some chance Mr. Santorum were elected president and chose to increase prosecutions, we are confident that our industry would prevail. We believe that juries respect both free speech and freedom of expression. It's easy for a political candidate to attack our industry, but as everyone knows, pandering and policy are very different matters altogether."

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