Shame in the USA
Friday, February 2, 1996 by Dave Winer.
More info is coming in...
The act has passed both houses of the US Congress.
President Clinton has said he will sign it.
The bill may also restrict discussion of abortion on the Internet.
Rory J. O'Connor, firstname.lastname@example.org, Washington correspondent for the "San Jose Mercury-News", confirms this:
"Technically, the language was sucked into the bill when Hyde added a technical amendment that was supposed to cover obscenity on the Internet. But he and pro-choice Rep. Nita Lowey, D-NY, engaged in a scripted exchange on the House floor (called a colloquy) in which Hyde said he didn't mean it and she said, thanks, I understand.
"That exhange gives a court something to use in a case involving the language (a "sense of Congress") that satisfied all but the most ardent critics of the bill. That happened at about 2:30, well before the final vote."
From Lori Fena, email@example.com, Executive Director of the "Electronic Frontier Foundation":
"Thanks for highlighting the dark side of the telecom bill, I think you'll be amazed at how much of the press coverage in the next few days will just focus on how pleased the economic dereg winners are, and how the religious right feels like this is a 'home run.'"
Thanks Rory and Lori!
A few comments...
Many people believe this law is unconstitutional. Seems that way to me. I'm not a lawyer, but I am a US citizen, raised with the basic right to say what I want to say, with certain limits that make sense.
This law seems to cross into areas that are protected by the US Constitution.
I grew up in a country where it was none of the government's business if I want to write or read about sexuality.
As I've said in earlier DaveNet pieces, when I was growing up, my family subscribed to magazines that included sexual imagery. I don't feel it harmed me in any way, quite the opposite! Sexuality is one of the most beautiful things about humanity. To outlaw something so important will create a national wound and an international crisis.
This is also a major step backwards thru evolution. It will create incomplete children who become unhealthy adults.
Further, to limit discussion of abortion, one of the most gut-wrenching social issues, is totally unthinkable. It's possible to respect anti-abortion advocates, even if you believe they're wrong as I do, but to attempt to make it illegal to disagree with them reeks of totalitarianism. This is not something a reasonable person can support, even if they're opposed to abortion.
Who would have ever thought this could happen in the United States?
And other countries will follow our lead.
Shame on us!
It's an election year.
Dig we must!
PS: Check out A Society of Parents, 3/31/95.