Florida’s House of Representatives passed a resolution Tuesday declaring pornography a public health risk.
The resolution called for education, research, and policy changes to protect Florida citizens — especially teenagers — from pornography, according to the Associated Press.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Ross Spano, said that research has “found a correlation between pornography use and mental and physical illnesses, difficulty forming and maintaining intimate relationships, unhealthy brain development and cognitive function, and deviant, problematic or dangerous sexual behavior,” at a hearing last month before the House’s Health & Human Services Committee.
The vote followed an earlier session in which Florida legislators declined to hold hearings on a bill banning high-capacity magazines and assault rifles such as the one used last week by suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz to kill 17 students and teachers at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, a Democrat, questioned why the House chose not to prioritize the measure tackling gun violence. “Has anyone ever been killed as a result of the health implications of pornography?” he asked Spano, according to the New York Times.
“He was saying porn as a health risk was more important to address here in the Florida Legislature than the epidemic of gun violence,” Smith told the AP. “I’m not aware there’s a base of voters who are losing sleep every night over the epidemic of pornography as a public health crisis.”
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