Pentagon’s Playboy distribution on military bases blasted by US religious groups

November 14th, 2007 - 8:34 am ICT by admin  
After dozens of anti-pornography groups complained to US Defense Secretary Robert Gates over the sale of magazines and videos, a Pentagon board reviewed the contents of Penthouse and Playboy and decided that they were not sexually explicit.

The review board was asked to determine whether hundreds of pornographic publications breached the Military Honour and Decency Act of 1996, which bars shops on military bases from selling “sexually explicit material”.

The board decided that because the majority of each title’s contents dealt with advertising and non-pornographic material, then “based on the totality of each magazine’s content, they were not sexually explicit”.

According to Times Online, the Pentagon thus allowed the sale of titles, including Celebrity Skin, Penthouse, Playboy, Playboy’s College Girls, Playboy’s Lingerie and Nude.

It banned from military shops several videos, including Girls’ Night In and Blonde and Beyond. The Pentagon said that about 67 per cent of the 473 titles reviewed had been banned.

Pat Trueman, the head of the Alliance Defence Fund, said that he, along with other family values groups, was overseeing an e-mail campaign to two million Americans asking them to lobby their congressmen against the Pentagon decision.

The 1996 Act defines sexually explicit film or printed matter as “the dominant theme of which depicts or describes nudity” or sexual activities “in a lascivious way”.

The Act was challenged under the US Constitution’s free-speech provisions, but was upheld by an appeals court in 2002.

The American Civil Liberties Union takes a different view from Trueman. One member said it was absurd that the US asked soldiers to risk their lives to defend the Constitution, but there were bans on what they could read. (ANI)

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