Is pornography a public health risk?
Eighteen lawmakers believe so. A new resolution got overwhelmingly approved by the House Health & Human Services Committee on Thursday. The vote was 18-1.
The resolution was sponsored by Republican Rep. Ross Spano, who is also a candidate for attorney general. According to Spano, research shows a correlation between pornography use and mental and physical illnesses, dangerous sexual behavior, difficulty forming and maintaining intimate relationships and more.
But Joe Redner who owns several local businesses, including the Mons Venus strip club in Tampa, doesn't agree with the resolution and wants to see the studies that it references.
"We went through this conversation in the 1970s and 80s and it's been proven it is just not true, over and over again," Redner said, "The fact of the matter is, in the years that pornography was put on the internet back in 1999, sex crimes have dropped 30 to 40 percent."
The one lawmaker who voted against the resolution, Republican Rep. Cary Pigman, who is also a doctor, said he voted against it because there are more important public health risks to address like diabetes, obesity and Zika.
The resolution's conclusion states: "That the State of Florida recognizes the public health crisis created by pornography and acknowledges the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change to protect the citizens of this state."
A similar Senate resolution has yet to be heard in a committee.