From CitizenLink.com (a Focus on the Family site): Prison Ministry Allowed to Reach Inmates

October 24, 2006

Prison Ministry Allowed to Reach Inmates

The Child Online Protection Act, signed by President Clinton in 1998, mandates that Web-site operators take measures to ensure minors are not exposed to material deemed “harmful to children.” The criterion is considered “contemporary community standards.”

Sites carrying questionable content are required to demand proof of age from visitors; violators can receive a $50,000 fine and six months in jail.

Plaintiffs including Salon.com and Nerve.com, which are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), argued before U.S. District Judge Lowell Reed, that the term “community standards” is vague and unenforceable.

The ACLU said ultimately it is up to parents, not the government, to police the content that enters homes, using, for example, filtering software.

Eric Bean, an attorney for the federal government, said filters don’t fully protect kids.

“The evidence will show,” he said, “that a shocking amount of pornography slips through.”

Luis Padilla had been employed in the human resources department of Cargill’s Timberville plant since May. He placed signs in his personal vehicle in support of a proposed state constitutional amendment to protect marriage that will appear on November’s ballot.

“I’m a Christian,” he said. “I believe God founded the family and marriage to be for a man and a woman.”

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