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Md. Senate Defeats U-Md Funding-Porn Movie Link

An attempt by Sen. Andrew P. Harris (R-Baltimore County) to make capital funding to universities contingent on the development of policies on screening pornography was thwarted this morning.

During debate on the state's capital budget, Harris introduced an amendment that would not allow public universities to receive funds until they produce a policy "that addresses the serious social and health concerns associated with the presentation of pornographic films at the institution."

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) ruled the amendment out of order, saying it was primarily about pornography and did not belong in the capital budget. After heated debate, the Senate voted 35 to 12 to uphold the ruling.

The action was the latest installment of a drama that has unfolded since Harris threatened last week to deny $424 million in operating funds to the University of Maryland if administrators allowed the screening of a pornographic film at the student union. On Monday, after Harris withdrew his first amendment, students showed portions of the film.

Yesterday, House and Senate negotiators agreed to add a provision to the operating budget that requires reports from universities on screen pornography by Sept. 1. That measure does not have any funding implications, however.

Harris said this morning that he had developed his stronger amendment after consultations with university officials. Under his proposal, reports would be due by July 1, the start of the fiscal year, when the budget takes effect.

"This is their wording, not mine," he said. "It came after two days of negotiations with them."

Sen. E.J. Pipkin (R-Queen Anne's) sharply questioned why the Senate was debating this issue at a time when constituents are struggling economically and having a hard time paying their bills.

"When the people say, 'Don't you have something better to do?' I think we do," Pipkin said.

Harris defeated Pipkin last year in a Republican primary in the First Congressional District.

By Anne Bartlett  |  April 8, 2009; 11:16 AM ET
Categories:  General Assembly , John Wagner  
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Comments

College students are adults and not "kids", meaning they must be called women, men, or students without exceptions. I declare a mostly partial victory against the tyranny of the intolerant legislator and his intolerant supporters. Free speech for the students has been protected, which is a neccesity, however the legislature partially gave into tyranny by requiring reports when porn movies are shown. It can't be forgotten that college students are adults, without exception, and is why they must be treated as adults.

Posted by: LibertyForAll | April 8, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Cheers to Mike Miller! He has wisely ended this nonsense and again has come to the aid and defense of UMCollege Park. Why should the state budget be effected by the actions of a roomful of students? One action has nothing to do with the other.

Now will the state of MD please take down the commercial that Peter Franchot the Maryland Comptroller produced showing a man wetting his pants( I'm not kidding) its disgusting !!

Posted by: whoseyrmama | April 8, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

we might as well kill a couple of babies to keep the dimocraps happy.......no sense in having any morality with the dims around......fudge packing and carpet munching for everyone.......never mind the founding fathers would have flogged people who comitted these crimes. The famous President even has a sex act named after what he did to an intern in the oval office: A Monica. The white man's inclusivity sure has come to haunt him.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | April 8, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

The students at the University of Maryland were defiant of the University decision to cancel a hard-core porn movie in the University campus using the argument of academic freedom and freedom of speech. The University did not condemn the measure until after Senator Andrew Harris, of Baltimore County, introduced a bill to withhold State funding form any public university that allows the screening of triple X-films.

Regardless of your position on the issue the reality is that Maryland’s legislature acted because tax payer’s dollars are used to build, manage and operate the facilities hosting such movies. The rationale for such action was morality issues associated with this type of movies.

Somehow, the State of Maryland’s legislature felt compelled to safeguard the dignity of University campus students but fails to safeguard Maryland’s children from pornography and their predators. For the last 10 years, Maryland’ legislators have bypassed the opportunity to act on a bill that would make a felony the possession of child pornography in the State. Regardless of the many studies that link child pornography with human traffic, sex slaves and sexual predators, Maryland remains a safe heaven for all those who enjoy children exploitation. Maryland is one of the four states in the Nation where possession of child pornography is not a felony. Therefore, Maryland is a safe haven for those that exploit children and/or enjoy the product of such exploitation. Many concerned citizens, civic and religious groups have lobbied in Annapolis, to no avail, for laws that will make possession of child pornography a felony.

The attempt of an action against the University raises a more fundamental question: why is there a double standard? Maryland legislators are concerned with the use of tax payer’s dollars in a showing of an adult pornographic movie but for years have failed to take action against the child pornography industry and its sponsors neglecting our children. This double standard must end. It is time that the possession of child pornography in Maryland is deemed a felony because it is a crime against Maryland’s most vulnerable residents, our children.

Posted by: justiceseeker | April 8, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

charlietuna666, you do your party proud. What's the matter - stormfront's website currently down or something?

Posted by: washpost18 | April 8, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Blah, Blah, Blah.
Porn or no porn.
That is not what the issue should be here. If you don't like porn, DON'T WATCH IT.
The real issue should be the fact that an elected official, rather than taking care of State business, has undertaken this venue to foster their PERSONAL AGENDA. I hope all voters realize this when he runs for reelection and undertake their personal agenda to vote him out of office

Posted by: induck | April 8, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

justiceseeker, your comment regarding the fact that the legislature has a right to decide how funds are spent is, of course, completely correct. It is questionable why this is such a hot issue for the Hon. Republican from Baltimore County, but they certainly have the right to do so.

However, no legislative body will be consistent. It is composed of a bunch of different people, all of whom are pushing different views at different times. While I agree your cause celebre has merit, arguing that the legislature should be self-consistent is foolish.

Posted by: JeffRandom | April 9, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

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