America's biggest health crisis? Not gun violence but porn and gays, GOP says

The Republican party platform is veering to the right as GOP delegates descend on Cleveland to produce the party's principles document. Several positions about same-sex marriage and scientifically debunked "gay conversion therapy" passed preliminary votes today.

The GOP platform committee's subcommittee on healthcare, education, and crime today voted in several such measures.

One of them is the ridiculous declaration that internet pornography is a "public health crisis." Not the mass shootings and random acts of lethal gun violence that have proliferated so widely, they've become "new normal" to us all. Nope. Not guns.


"Pornography, with his harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions. We encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to children's safety and wellbeing," the amendment states.

An amendment from noted gay-hater Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council supported so-called "conversion therapy" for children who identify as LGBT. Such sham therapy has been linked to damage including death (by suicide) for the poor souls forced to go through this homophobic junk science.

Mary Forrester, the North Carolina delegate who introduced the pornography amendment after working on it with a Christian group, Concerned Women for America, told Yahoo News she was worried about young people becoming addicted to porn on the internet.

"It's such an insidious epidemic and there are no rules for our children," Ms Forrester said. "They do not have the discernment and so they become addicted before they have the maturity to understand the consequences."

Before Ms. Forrester's amendment, the party platform mostly focused on condemning child pornography, urging for its its "energetic prosecution" and saying the internet must not be "a safe haven" for sex offenders.

Jason Linkins at Huffington Post:

[O]ne public health crisis that has made headlines, and that does have a lot of Americans feeling sick and scared and helpless, is gun violence ― especially in the form of mass shootings, which have surged even as overall gun violence has declined.

How do we reconcile the rise in mass shootings with the larger, more encouraging downturn in gun violence? And would it be possible, perhaps, to address mass shootings from a health policy perspective? Might that possibly be an avenue worth exploring if it means we could prevent even one more life from being brutally abbreviated?

That would seem like an area ripe for public health research. Unfortunately, government agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are legally barred from doing it, thanks to this thing called the Dickey Amendment.

The National Rifle Association aggressively lobbied to shut down public health research on gun violence. The NRA, with its millions of dollars in bribes to lawmakers, won.

More: NY Mag, Time, The Independent.