Senate directs military to stop selling sexually-explicit magazines at base exchanges

Posted at 12:15 AM, Jul 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-03 00:15:34-04

NORFOLK, Va.(WTKR/Laurie Simmons) – Walk into the local NEX or AAFES, and you’ll see them on the magazine stands: Playboy, Curves, and Maxim – just some of the titles available for purchase.

So what’s the big deal? Dirty magazines never hurt anybody, right? Not according to one anti-porn advocacy group.

“Men are coming back from deployments addicted to pornography.”

Casey Capozzoli is the Deputy Executive Director for Morality in Media, which runs the website “Porn Harms.” Her organization is now going after the Pentagon for selling dirty magazines to sailors, soldiers, marines and airmen in base exchanges around the world.

Apparently some military wives have been complaining to the group about easy availability of what they consider to be porn.

“It changes marriages and it breaks them up,” said Capozzoli. “It’s almost like your husband is cheating on you.”

Morality in Media is even making a connection between those Playboys and the military’s rising numbers of sexual assault.

“Pornography is sexually exploitative, the military has a sexual exploitation problem, and this is contributing to that,” said Capozzoli.

Aside from moral issues, the group has a strong argument – because technically, selling sexually explicit material on base is against the law.

The Military Honor and Decency Act was passed in 1996, but this group says the Pentagon has chosen not to enforce it for years.

After trying to petition Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel with no results, Morality in Media decided to try their luck in Congress.

They hit gold when they got a picture into the hands of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions right before an Armed Services Committee hearing.

“These are pictures given to me of magazines being sold at an Air Force Exchange, our culture is awash in sexual activity,” said Senator Sessions.

That picture of rows of dirty magazines was snapped at Lackland Air Force Base, where more than 40 instructors are accused of having inappropriate relations with female basic trainees.

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