Watch out, soldiers! The same kind folks that brought you the (almost complete) ban on abortions at military hospitals and medical facilities (or, rather, brought the female members of the military and soldiers' wives/ daughters that ban) are now after your porn — or, what's left of porn that the military allows to be sold at post exchanges. The, um, dirty details, after the jump!
So, in 1996 Congress banned the sale of sexually explicit material (defined as having "as a dominant theme the depiction or description of nudity, including sexual or excretory activities or organs, in a lascivious way") in military exchanges, which are basically the major retail outlets on military bases. The Supreme Court upheld the ban in 1998, but, to a degree, the board that determines what qualifies as Pentagon approved smut — and I'll bet there's a waiting list for that assignment — has been pretty liberal in its interpretation of the law. In effect, as long as your have some articles and some non-naked people, you're in! For instance, since Penthouse revamped its format to include more words, they're back for sale at a base near you.
This, obviously, does not sit well with this country's moral guardians, who are urging you to contact your elected Representatives to make them pass a law to ban all porn in military exchanges (or, at least get the Pentagon to enforce the law the way they want). In fact, Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) says that it's a contributing factor to the hostile work environment in the military for women — because he's all about the women's issues, y'all.
By the way, these are some of the same people who have been making sure almost since Roe v. Wade that female soldiers cannot get abortions on the government's dime, unless they can pass the health of the mother/rape/ incest hurdle. In fact, now they're also pushing to kill a provision of the defense appropriations bill that would require all military pharmacies stock the morning after pill, because it's not like sexual assault is a problem in the military or anything. Not that there's anything that women who disagreed with them could do about that or anything.
Law Bans Sexually Explicit Material From Military Stores [American Forces Press Service]
Anti-porn groups decry exchange sale policy [Navy Times]
Defense Dept. accused of ignoring law prohibiting porn sales on military installations [OneNewsNow]
Military's porn ban questioned [USA Today]