Should city government sell porn? A review of underlying law

print

By David Tulis

The sale of pornography by Chattanooga city government  is a matter of concern because pornography is an ideology that makes war on contentment. The human condition most obviously in view is sexual contentment — with one’s wife or husband, or with one’s state as an unmarried man or woman. Porn incites a desire for sexual license, a dream of smashing the human order God created starting with our first parents, Adam and Eve.

Pornography smashes contentment and declares that God-ordained human connections such as marriage or celibacy are foolish enough to be ignored most off-handedly. Porn denies that a man should treat every woman not his wife as a sister, to be honored and protected. It insists that he has license for whatever pleases him, and that no commitment matters, that honor is folly, that self-government is poverty and that purity matters only if one can reach the very bottom of his own fantasies. Porn is enslaving, alters relationships, alters people physiologically intime.

AN ADMINISTRATIVE notice like that below is not to make an argument. It simply sets forth the relevant law in any controversy. It establishes a groundwork that denies to state actors two great defenses. We see these defenses most frequently in instances of police abuse when hair trigger killings and assaults and unconstitutional impositions are defended on grounds of good faith or qualified immunity.

On these ground a state actor can insist he acted innocently, without intending harm, because he acts without full knowledge of law. The law imposes his duty and limits his authority. If he can demur, saying his acts were innocently done in ignorance, he is acquitted. Administrative notice is an important method by which common people can deny such immunities and bring a firmer basis upon which the people protect their rights and privileges vis a vis aggressive and lawless commercial government.

[I give you fair warning; beware the moral hazard of clicking this link: EPB Porn listing First 5 pages]

City government’s sale of pornography is not new to members of city council. I brought up the matter in 2012. On Jan. 13 I wrote a letter to city council members and submitted the following review of state law.

The law is in favor of marriage and presumes what is essentially a biblical worldview making virtue and vice distinct, and requiring the city to act within its power to reflect the one and oppose the other.

Administrative notice

1. Chattanooga municipal government through its wholly owned division, Electric Power Board, sells adult titles online.

2. Adult titles depict sexual acts and are produced, marketed and viewed with a prurient interest.

3. From constitution to city charter, Tennessee public policy is in favor of marriage.

4. The city charter has from the general assembly enumerated powers that include the exercise of police power to suppress commercial sexual activity.

Title 2 (17) *** Theatrical and other exhibitions; suppression of bawdy houses, gambling equipment, etc. To license, tax and regulate theatrical or other exhibitions, moving picture shows, amusements and to prohibit and suppress gambling houses, disorderly houses, bawdy houses, obscene pictures and literature; the sale, manufacture or transportation of intoxicating liquors in violation of the laws of the state or ordinances of the city, and to confiscate and destroy gambling equipment, stills and intoxicating liquors when manufactured, possessed or transported in violation of the federal or state laws or ordinances of the city. [italics added]

5. The charter allows for suppression of riotous and disorderly people and for breaches of the peace.

Title 2 (23) Disorderly persons; breaches of the peace. To provide for the arrest, imprisonment and punishment of riotous and disorderly persons within the city, and for the punishment of all breaches of the peace, noise, disturbance or disorderly assemblies.

6. The charter allows the city to protect children.

Title 2 (30) Protection of children. To provide for the protection of children.

7. The charter authorizes the city to suppress businesses and acts that damage public health.

Title 2 (52) Acts, businesses, etc., detrimental to public health, safety, etc. To define, prohibit, suppress, prevent and regulate all acts, practices, conduct, business, occupation, callings, trades, uses of property, and all other things whatsoever detrimental to the health, morals, comfort, safety, convenience or welfare of the inhabitants of the city, and to exercise general police powers under the provisions of this Act and the general law. [italics added]

8. Sexually transmitted disease is against public policy, and the city has police power to suppress its causes and spread.

Title 2 (58) Venereal disease. To pass an ordinance to prevent the spread of venereal diseases within said city and to quarantine all persons arrested for prostitution or vagrancy found to be infected with any venereal disease arrested within said city and to provide means and methods for examination of all such persons and means and methods of treating all persons so infected.

9. State law states the family as “essential to social and economic order and the common good. It is called “the fundamental building block of our society.” Tennessee Code Ann. § 36-3-113, enacted in 1996, states:

(a) Tennessee’s marriage licensing laws reinforce, carry forward, and make explicit the long-standing public policy of this state to recognize the family as essential to social and economic order and the common good and as the fundamental building block of our society. To that end, it is further the public policy of this state that the historical institution and legal contract solemnizing the relationship of one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be the only legally recognized marital contract in this state in order to provide the unique and exclusive rights and privileges to marriage. (b) The legal union in matrimony of only one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be the only recognized marriage in this state. (c) Any policy, law or judicial interpretation that purports to define marriage as anything other than the historical institution and legal contract between one (1) man and one (1) woman is contrary to the public policy of Tennessee. (d) If another state or foreign jurisdiction issues a license for persons to marry, which marriages are prohibited in this state, any such marriage shall be void and unenforceable in this state.

10. In 2006, Tennessee voters adopted an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage:

The historical institution and legal contract solemnizing the relationship of one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be the only legally recognized marital contract in this state. Any policy or law or judicial interpretation, purporting to define marriage as anything other than the historical institution and legal contract between one (1) man and one (1) woman, is contrary to the public policy of this state and shall be void and unenforceable in Tennessee. If another state or foreign jurisdiction issues a license for persons to marry and if such marriage is prohibited in this state by the provisions of this section, then the marriage shall be void and unenforceable in this state. Tenn. Const. art. XI, § 18.

Godliness is in the details

EPB and the honey drip; city fathers’ selling porn spreads discontent

EPB’s luscious ‘eminent domain’ upon the field of marriage

City pulls F$124,000 with ‘Bang My Wife Please,’ ‘Lesbian Teen Tryouts’

EPB porn listing, the first 5 of 39 pages giving movie titles, Jan. 1 to June 30, 2014

EPB’s porn problem, as seen by the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Leave a Reply