Penthouse Shames Utah for Declaring Porn a Health Crisis

Aug 4, 2016 2:05 PM PST

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Utah's symbolic resolution to label porn a “public health crisis” has earned its Republican governor who signed off on it cover headlines in the latest Penthouse magazine.

The latest edition of the magazine is labeled "The Shameless Issue," and its main front-cover headline says, “Utah’s Governor Wants to Handle Your Penis.”

The cover, which doesn’t include Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s mug, has model Noelle Monique in front of a draped American flag.

For the issue, Penthouse tapped Andy Campbell, a reporter with Huffington Post, to write on Utah and its Mormon Church, also known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), and its partisan influence on local and national politics.

This spring, Herbert signed off on the state’s SCR9, sponsored by state Sen. Todd Weiler. The resolution didn't enact any legal measures limiting pornography, but declared porn a pressing societal problem worthy of further study.

Weiler’s SCR9 suggests that Utah should treat pornography like it does tobacco, restricting access to children and issuing warnings about potentially harmful effects.

But Penthouse’s CEO Kelly Holland, who green lighted "The Shameless Issue,” said the resolution goes past the rails of modern-day society and past the separation of church and state.

“I’m assuming Utah embraces what they do — stigmatize masturbation at an institutional government level,” Holland told XBIZ. “We’re simply calling foul on the practice.”

Holland called the resolution “exactly the type of manipulative and dangerous rhetoric we expect from people who steamroll over the line dividing church and state — an LDS propaganda machine that believes masturbation should be a sex crime, every member of the LGBT community should be rehabilitated, and you’re better off dying as a rape victim than surviving as one.”

Penthouse magazine's editor, Raphie Aronowitz, admitted the cover story was aimed to agitate the Mormon Church and Utah.

"We wanted to show these guys that they are imposing their views on us, and bringing their values to our doorstep is just as irritating as us doing the same do them," Aronowitz told ABC News.

In reaction to the cover and articles on Utah, Herbert spokesman Jon Cox told the Salt Lake City Tribune: "If a magazine like Penthouse is taking you to task, that's always a good sign that you're on the right side of history.”

“The fact that the [adult entertainment] industry feels so threatened by a non-binding resolution meant to raise awareness of this problem shows you just how desperate they must be," Cox said.

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