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Say No to Crush Porn: Support H.R. 5092

Say No to Crush Porn: Support H.R. 5092

Last week we saw a decision get handed down by the Supreme Court that squashed a federal law designed to protect animals in the name of protecting free speech.

The 1999 Crush Act covered the creation, sale and possession of depictions of animal cruelty and was created to target the sales of “crush videos,” which show women crushing small animals to death with their bare feet or high heels and is also considered to fall in the realm of sexual fetishes. Excluded is anything that contains “serious religious, political, scientific, educational, journalistic, historical or artistic value.”

With a vote of 8-1 the Supreme Court struck the Crush Act down in the case of U.S. v. Stevens with the position that it violates the right to free speech.

The vote overturned the conviction of Robert Stevens, who was found guilty of selling videotapes of dogfights in 2005 under the guise that “he is an educator, and his subject is the history and status of pit bulls,” despite reports of his involvement in the dog fighting world.

Again, most of us feel that something exhibiting this level of depravity should fall under the same category as child pornography, which is afforded no constitutional protection. Both are done to satisfy prurient interests, while subjecting innocent, non-consenting beings to both physical and emotional abuse and torture without having any redeeming qualities that add to society whatsoever.

The problem in this case lay with the breadth of the law. While it was intended to target crush porn, it’s typically been used to crack down on dogfights. However, it could be used to prosecute those with videos of hunting, bullfights or undercover footage.

While it could, technically, be used to prosecute footage such as undercover videos, most people with common sense should be able to tell the difference between something used to report on cruelty in an effort to educate the public and stop abuse and something used to profit from cruelty.

Unfortunately, it was shades of gray to everyone on the Supreme Court, save for Justice Samuel Alito who pointed out that animals in crush videos “are living creatures that experience excruciating pain” and argued that the majority was “making an absurd distinction between outlawing acts of animal cruelty (which are already on the books) and possessing evidence of those acts all in the name of free expression.”

Rep. Elton Gallegy, R-Calif, who introduced the first Crush Act, quickly introduced H.R. 5092, a bipartisan bill that provides a narrower focus, making it illegal to sell any depictions of animals being crushed, drowned, impaled or burned.  

“Violence is not a First Amendment issue; it is a law enforcement issue,” said Gallegly. “Ted Bundy and Ted Kaczynski tortured or killed animals before killing people. The FBI, U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice consider animal cruelty to be one of the early warning signs of potential violence by youths. This bill is one step toward ending this cycle of violence.”

The bill already has more than 50 cosponsors, and will hopefully get passed quickly before the industry is revived.

Don’t let abusers hide behind the First Amendment. Sign Care2’s petition asking Congress to outlaw crush videos.

Contact your representatives asking them to support H.R. 5092. 

Check out the Campaign to Stop Animal Crush Videos

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309 comments

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4:07PM PDT on Jun 24, 2010

SiGNED!! THiS BiLL NEEDS T0 BE PASSED ASAP; PLEASE D0 N0T WAiT! i CANT BELiEVE THiS iS EVEN AN iSSUE. THiS iS A SERi0US MATTER.. S0ME0NE NEEDS T0 HELP THESE P00R ANiMALS. D0 Y0UR PART!

9:07PM PDT on Jun 15, 2010

Anyone whom can condone this perverted act as freedom of speech is one of many that are part of our worlds problems. This is so disgusting! This is not meant to be "freedom", this is plainly animal cruelty which is AGAINST THE LAW.

11:14AM PDT on May 23, 2010

...woah.
Uh, this bill needs to passed. Like, right now.

11:28AM PDT on May 17, 2010

I cannot believe people do this - or that people buy it. It's disgusting. You'd have to be twisted in order to like this.

3:29PM PDT on May 15, 2010

Does anyone know when they will be voting on this again?

12:38AM PDT on May 14, 2010


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2:18PM PDT on May 11, 2010

If the legislatures do not pass the Bill, it suggests they might have fetishes of a similar nature. How sick can you get. The men and women who participate in these films, including the cameramen etc should all be sterilized so they cannot breed. Maybe they could film that - no anesthetic of course!

11:55AM PDT on May 8, 2010

The people who make these videos and the ones who buy them should be tracked down and crushed together in a huge compactor themselves. We'll see how much THEY like the experience. This sickness being filmed has been around for a long time unfortunately. The news media is only beginning to catch up to it. It needs to be stopped & these people put away from society permanently.

9:40PM PDT on May 7, 2010

I am appaled that this horrible unspeakable cruelty is being done!!! I can't imagine WHY people want to do these disgusting acts to poor little innocent animals!!! Its horrifying at how sick these idiots are!!!

11:30AM PDT on May 7, 2010

this bill needs to be passed!

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