London, Ontario city council censors censorship letter

Okay, that’s not exactly what happened, but the headline was too good to waste.

In actual fact, the city council of London, Ontario — currently in the process of deciding whether or not city locals have the right to get themselves off in public, taxpayer-funded libraries, via unfiltered access to pornography on library computers (or using library wi-fi to download it to personal computers) — opted to censor a communication from three non-profit organizations in the city committed to introducing a policy banning the leasing of city-owned or -operated property to events pertaining to the sex industry and another policy that would entail city libraries putting filters for pornographic content on their public computers.

Presently, there are no restrictions.

As Jenn Q. Public lamented when this very issue was being discussed in New York City, “Your right to get off in the library ends where my right to a sperm-free keyboard begins.”

Megan Walker, head of the London Abused Women’s Center is partnering with the Christian organization, Men Against Sexual Trafficking, and Stop Porn Culture submitted a letter (included in full, uncensored, at the bottom of this post, and also available here) to city council and London’s Community and Neighbourhoods Committee in advance of their Tuesday presentation outlining what they deem to be the major problems with “Gonzo” pornography, the kind generally found on the Internet.

The letter was met with a response from the City Clerk’s office saying, “Due to the explicit nature of the content of this communication, only a portion of the communication has been included on the published Agenda.”

Walker’s concerns center around the misrepresentation of sex through pornography, and its tendency to depict women enjoying being humiliated, tortured, abused (verbally, physically and sexually), as well as the rather disturbing relational dynamic depicted between men and women in pornographic movies. According to the city clerk’s office, you’re allowed to watch said humiliation, torture and abuse, you just aren’t allowed to describe it in a letter for public dissemination.

Walker said, “So, it’s okay to show pornography in the library and it’s okay to have porn-sponsored events in public venues, but it’s not okay for me to present accurate information about the porn industry in an educational presentation?”

Despite many heated discussions on the subject that I’ve had with fellow social conservatives, I don’t support the banning of pornography. It’s a slippery slope, yes, but I don’t agree with censorship of films of consensual sex, regardless of what the man calls the woman in the video, the type of activity displayed, and whether or not participants were compensated or decided to upload a drunken tryst from the night prior.

I do, however, believe that individuals shouldn’t expect a right to view such content in a taxpayer-funded space. Especially since, as Walker points out, people have been convicted for accessing child pornography using library Internet resources. If you want to watch porn, shell out for a magazine, or at least for Internet access, but do not use my tax dollars to get it.

Stop Porn Culture

Andrew Lawton is Landmark Report's founder and publisher and a North American radio and television personality. In addition to hosting The Andrew Lawton Show on AM980 in London, Ontario, he is also a contributor on Canada's Sun News Network. Andrew, the King of Canadian Social Media, tweets as @AndrewLawton.

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