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House backs TV anti-indecency measure

The House has voted 57-13 in favor of HJM 2, a non-binding memorial calling on the Federal Communications Commission to crack down on indecency on television. Rep. Darrell Bolz, R-Caldwell, said an individual from Canyon County has been pushing for several years for the Legislature to pass a law on the matter, but he conferred with the Idaho Attorney General’s office and determined that a non-binding memorial would be more appropriate. “This is not making any new regulation whatsoever,” Bolz told the House. “All we are asking for is the FCC follow the standards that are already in force that they have at the current time.” He added, “We all realize that the moral standards of society have started to decay quite a bit. … I think it’s important that we take a stand and let people know where we stand in terms of the moral fabric of this country.”

The measure calls on the FCC to “resume enforcement of traditional American standards of decency and prohibit the implied portrayal of or discussion of sexual intercourse on television when it pertains to unmarried persons in fictitious programs, reality shows and advertisements, including jocular references topremarital sex, characters lying in bed together and characters disrobing orundressing.”

Rep. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise, debated against the measure. “This is essentially calling for censorship,” he said. “I am opposed to censorship - I will be voting no.”

The 13 “no” votes included 11 Democrats and two Republicans, Reps. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene, and Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake.


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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