FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2023
Contact: Laura Macklem
NC VALUES SUPPORTS BILLS PROTECTING MINORS FROM OBSCENITY AND PROVIDING RESTITUTION FOR VICTIMS
NC Values Coalition Executive Director Tami Fitzgerald praised the passage of both HB 8 and SB 579:
“North Carolina has made significant steps to protect minors from pornography and other obscene material with passage of HB 8 and SB 579, and we encourage Governor Cooper to sign these bipartisan bills which received almost unanimous support. Children are easy targets for sexual predators, and this legislation allows victims to seek legal and financial restitution from those pushing porn to children and will serve as a deterrent.
“Senator Amy Galey introduced her amendment to HB 8, Pornography Age Verification Enforcement Act, which requires commercial pornography websites to verify the user is 18 years of age or older before allowing access to the site. The bill prohibits commercial entities from publishing or distributing obscenity to minors online, protecting young minds from violent, explicit images which could result in internet addiction, normalization of sexual harm and aggression towards women. Similar legislation in Louisiana has resulted in a reduction in Pornhub’s site traffic by 80%, and in Utah, Mississippi, and Virginia Pornhub has stopped their business entirely because of laws similar to HB 8.
“Prevent Harm to Children, SB 579 sponsored by Senator Buck Newton and promoted by Representative Jeff Zenger, will also strengthen protections for children by increasing criminal penalties for disseminating obscenity to minors, affording victims restitution for the full amount of the victim’s losses, including medical services, physical and occupational therapy or rehabilitation, transportation, temporary housing, and child care expenses, loss of income, and attorney’s fees.
“Senators Galey and Newton, and Representative Zenger have led the charge to protect our children from sexual predators. Their bold actions will save millions of children across our state from obscenity and pornography, as well as providing full restitution for victims. NC Values appreciates all the lawmakers who supported both HB 8 and SB 579, and we will continue to help further legislation to protect children from pornography and obscenity, which lead to sexual grooming and a lifetime of addiction.”