(LifeSiteNews) - A couple of years back, I participated in an hourlong debate on one of the biggest radio stations in London, Ontario, on the subject "Is porn good for society?" I was arguing that pornography is poisonous, and a queer studies professor was taking the opposite view. Over the course of the hour, she began to steadily agree with me that pornography's impacts were pernicious. Porn fueled rape culture; taught a perverse view of sex; it shaped young, impressionable minds with violent and degrading sexual content.
Toward the end of the debate, I asked her how she could agree with me on nearly every point - but still defended the idea that porn was good for society.
Her answer was revealing. As a queer person, she said, she had needed pornography when she was young to explore her sexuality. To put it bluntly, many young people identifying as LGBT need porn to figure out how to put their sexual views into practice. Porn functions as a "how-to" manual. Thus, this professor was willing to cede that the vast majority of porn was poisonous. But she maintained that in the case of young, non-straight people trying to figure things out - porn was necessary, and even good. This conversation sprang to mind when Pink News, a radical LGBT outlet, published an article titled "Tory bid to revive failed ‘porn-block' ban could put LGBT+ users at risk, critics warn."
The U.K. government has been trying - and failing - to implement policies keeping porn away from minors for some time. After various setbacks, the Tories are relaunching a previous plan with the revived Online Safety Bill (scheduled to be tabled in March) that will require porn websites to verify user ages with key details such as credit cards or passports to ensure that minors cannot access these sites.
This will apply to all major porn sites as well as other pornographic outlets such as OnlyFans. The plan is obviously full of holes - porn is so ubiquitous that kids seeking it will certainly find it - but it is nonetheless a very small step in the right direction.
Porn companies who fail to follow the new law could face massive fines of up to "10 percent of the company's annual turnover and even block them from operating in Britain via blacklists issued to the country's ISPs."
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Support has stated that a range of age verification methods are being explored. "Parents deserve peace of mind that their children are protected online from seeing things no child should see," digital minister Chris Philp stated. "We are now strengthening the online safety bill so it applies to all porn sites to ensure we achieve our aim of making the internet a safer place."
In short: Stay away from the kids.
Predictably, porn stars object to this. Jason Domino, a porn actor, told Pink News that the "true nature of the bill is about [not] only censorship, but about the government wanting to have leverage against organizations."
Presumably, the Tory government isn't looking for the opinions of porn stars as to how to keep their product away from children any more than the Marlboro Man had any good advice about keeping kids away from cigarettes. Domino even played the age-old trick of warning that if kids couldn't get porn, they'd head over to the Dark Web, a porn version of the "they'll just use back alleys!" argument.
But the real problem the folks at Pink News have with this legislation is the same reason the queer studies prof didn't want porn to be banned - because it serves as an LGBT how-to manual for kids:
"There are very few steps into normalising LGBT+ sexuality, relationships and understanding about the body," [Domino] continued. "There is nothing about increasing the protections there.
"The queer community has a heritage of things being illegal, and so often sexual content has been more ‘get away with what you can' because there haven't been the spaces for people to do it in a way that is supported and nurtured, for people who don't know what they like can feel safe. There's none of that being suggested."
Digital pornography, more than any activists, campaigns, or political strategies, was what mainstreamed alternative sexual lifestyles. Millions upon millions of people saw sexual acts they once regarded with revulsion or with moral disapproval, and it reshaped their views. As porn being socially ubiquitous, support for same-sex "marriage" and sexual liberation climbed.
LGBT activists know that pornography is one of their most powerful tools. Porn can introduce children and teens to alternative sex acts; it can reshape their minds to find such acts arousing; it can entrench and exacerbate existing attractions or create new ones. A key reason we see the numbers of children and teens identifying as LGBT skyrocketing is because they are introduced to these concepts as young and younger ages. Porn is the how-to manual.
The LGBT movement and the porn industry are fundamentally allied. LGBT activists recognize that pornography is more than just sexually explicit content - it is sexual propaganda, and it is an incredibly effective destroyer of morals. The porn industry has worked magnificently for them, and they will now fight for it with everything they've got.
Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B'nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.
He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.
Jonathon's first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.