Issue81, Spring 2001

  • In Utah, a full-time official enforces the state’s obscenity laws, and stores rent expurgated-only videos. “Porn czar” Paula Houston will draft Utah’s “moral nuisance law” and a model law “to abate and discourage obscenity and pornography.” Video store owner Ray Lines rents videos stripped of sex, sin, swearwords, nudity, and violence. Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, and Titanic are among the films edited to be Mormon-friendly.
  • George W. Bush didn’t intend to benefit Planned Parenthood, but a grass roots protest spun from his executive order denying federal funds to international social agencies that counsel about or mention abortion, even when self-financed. President’s Day messages in the form of contributions to Planned Parenthood criticized Bush for denying critical health information to poor women and for muzzling free speech in other countries.
  • Wrestling fans are locked in a bout with the Parents TV Council which is urging the FCC to ban wrestling from the air waves and sponsors to stop ads. “I still have never understood why things as simple as turning it off are not part of the answer…,” mused FCC Chairman Michael Powell.
  • Nassau Community College (NY) president, Sean Fanelli, received this year’s William J. Brennan, Jr. Award for his refusal to cancel Christopher Durang’s play, Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All To You in spite of bitter protests. His leadership in protecting a course on human sexuality that critics called “pornographic” and “anti-Catholic” also prompted the award from the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression.
  • Biographies about gay and lesbian heroes in American life are under attack in Orangeview (CA) Jr. High for spilling the beans that gays can be notable. James Baldwin, Willa Cather, John Maynard Keynes, and Martina Navratilova, are among those some would put back in the closet.
  • Schaumburg, IL Mayor Al Larson is no Rudy Giuliani. In the face of protest against artist Dick Detzner’s version of The Last Supper, Mayor Larson supported the decision of the Chicago Athenaeum to show the work. Detzner had substituted images from cereal boxes for the Apostles and called his work The Last Pancake Breakfast.
  • At Penn State, a student event—Sex Faire—angered state legislators who called the event “debauched” and threatened funding cuts. NCAC organized an appeal to lawmakers to respect students’ constitutional rights (click here for the text of our statement).
  • NCAC welcomes our newest Participating Organization, Catholics for a Free Choice.