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Last updated on: 2/22/2010 1:30:00 PM PST
Does the ACLU Support Child Pornography?



PRO (yes)

Ralph de Toledano, former Editor of Newsweek, wrote in his July 1, 2002 article titled "What the ACLU Doesn't Want You to Know," published by Insight on the News:

"The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is at it still, fighting to protect child pornographers from a Congress that wants to prevent them from taking over the Internet. This is no surprise since - presumably in defense of the First, Fifth and 14th amendments - the ACLU long has stood side by side with a pornography industry run by organized crime. This coincides with the ACLU's indefatigable efforts to exile God and outlaw religion on public property in the United States."

July 1, 2002 - Ralph de Toledano 



F. Lagard Smith, JD, Christian author, wrote in his 1996 book ACLU: The Devil's Advocate:

"The most powerful free speech watchdog [ACLU] in the world is using its money and resources to make sure that NAMBLA [North American Man/Boy Love Association] is not driven out of business. Is this an outrage or what?...

When the ACLU chooses which cases to take, it has a responsibility to the people who are paying dues to it. The thing is, no decent human being should be helping NAMBLA, and I know many ACLU members who are absolutely mortified that this organization has stained itself with this case...

Using the First Amendment as a cover for the subversion of our laws violates the public safety. Spinning the NAMBLA-ACLU deal as a 'rights' issue is a disgrace."

1996 - F. LaGard Smith, JD 



Caleb Colley, MLA, Christian writer and media producer, wrote the following information in his 2008 article "The ACLU Struggles with Child Pornography," published by Apologetics Press on its website:

"The ACLU regularly defends pornographers, molesters, and the homosexual agenda, in court cases... It comes as little surprise, therefore, that an ACLU leader was arrested and convicted for possession of child pornography... Charles Rust-Tierney, former president of the Virginia chapter of the ACLU, allegedly 'used his email address and credit card to subscribe to and access a child pornography website.'

On May 10, 2007, Rust-Tierney was indicted by a federal grand jury... According to the criminal complaint... Rust-Tierney admitted that he 'downloaded videos and images from child pornography websites,' and these videos depict graphic, grotesque sexual misdeeds. Many of the children depicted in the images were under 12 years of age. Rust-Tierney, a former Arlington County youth sports coach, pleaded guilty in June to downloading hundreds of pornographic images of children as young as four years old... He viewed this material on a computer in his 11-year-old son's bedroom... On Sep. 7, he was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for buying child pornography that prosecutors labeled 'sadistic and masochistic...'

it is helpful to take note when erroneous ideas or imbalanced ideals lead to horrific, real-life outcomes. Clearly some communication must be illegal, filtered, and should not be promoted."

2008 - Caleb Colley, MLA 



CON (no)

The ACLU of Delaware wrote the following information in its "Ten Tough Questions About ACLU," posted on its ACLU Delaware website (accessed Feb. 18, 2010):

"The ACLU does not support pornography or child porn. However, we do oppose virtually all forms of censorship. Possessing certain books or films, even pornographic ones, should not make one a criminal. Once society starts censoring 'bad or offensive' ideas, it becomes very difficult to draw the line. As the saying goes, 'one man's art is another man's pornography.' As for child pornography, the ACLU supports the right of the government to prosecute the makers of child pornography for exploiting minors."

Feb. 18, 2010 - American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) 



Ira Glasser, MS, former Executive Director of the ACLU, was quoted in the Oct. 10, 1998 Time magazine article "Spotlight on the ACLU," as having said the following:

"Anyone who uses a child in pornography is violating the law and should be prosecuted, period."

Oct. 10, 1998 - Ira Glasser , MS 



The ACLU wrote in its May 8, 2002 "Letter to Reps. Smith and Scott on H.R. 4623, the 'Child Obscenity and Pornography Prevention Act of 2002,'" posted on its website, www.aclu.org:

"H.R. 4623 ['Child Obscenity and Pornography Prevention Act of 2002'] seeks to ban 'virtual child pornography,' and prohibit pandering of images as child pornography even if the images are not obscene or child pornography. It creates a whole new category of prohibited speech, prohibits using sexually explicit materials to facilitate offenses against minors, creates extraterritorial jurisdiction, and creates a database of minors who have been exploited in the creation of child pornography.

The ACLU opposes child pornography that uses real children in its depictions. Material, however, which is produced without using real children, and is not otherwise obscene, is protected under the First Amendment."

[Editor's Note: H.R. 4623 - The Child Obscenity and Pornography Prevention Act of 2002 was referred in Oct. 2002 to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. It died in committee without becoming a law.]

May 8, 2002 - American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)