By Dorothy Moon, IDGOP Chairwoman
January 18, 2024
Earlier this week, a lot of people testified that children should be exposed to obscene and pornographic materials.
Well, they didn’t exactly say it that way, but it was all the same. By testifying against House Bill 384, they were taking a stand against attempts to keep obviously harmful material out of the hands of children and teenagers.
Thankfully, every Republican on the committee voted to send it to the floor, where I’ve no doubt it will pass.
I am so proud of Republicans like Rep. Jaron Crane of Nampa, who not only sponsored this bill, but sponsored H314 last year which made it all the way to the governor’s desk before being vetoed. We are making progress. I remember when the first attempt to keep objectionable materials away from children was called “crazy” and didn’t even get a vote in the Senate.
The Idaho Republican Platform calls children “an inheritance of the Lord.” That means that the job of elected representatives is to protect children’s innocence, rather than destroy it. Fifty years ago, you didn’t have to worry about your children stumbling upon hardcore porn in schools and libraries, because everyone agreed that things like that were not meant for kids. Heck, back then those things were confined to dingy old stores in a bad part of town and anyone going there rightfully felt ashamed!
How things have changed. Today, people are writing and publishing things aimed at children that would have gotten them arrested just a few years ago. It’s perverse and pervasive, you can’t get away from it, and some very misguided people in our schools and libraries are facilitating this filth.
They want you to believe this is about literacy, about freedom of speech, and about catering to underprivileged groups. That’s all bunk. This is about exposing young children to ideas and imagery that will stay with them forever.
Nina Beesley, Chairwoman of District 3 and our Republican Worker of the Year, said it perfectly in her testimony on this bill:
“I want to remind this committee that we’re talking about the sexual exploitation of minors through sexually explicit obscene materials that are in libraries and schools in Idaho. Research shows that wherever sexually explicit obscene materials are available, rape, murder, and child molestation increase. This means the risk goes up that I, one of my five children, one of your children could be raped, murdered, or molested.”
She was right. Our children are the future, and protecting childhood innocence is the foundation of a free, safe, and prosperous society. I thank the Republicans on the House State Affairs Committee for standing up for our children, and I urge the rest of the Legislature to do the same.