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Venezuelan Supreme Court institutes ban on sexual content in the media

The ruling comes after a father urged the court to force a daily newspaper to stop running pornographic ads.
Wed May 21, 2014 - 2:07 pm EST

CARACAS, Venezuela, May 21, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Supreme Court of Venezuala has instituted a ban on pornographic and other sexual content in the nation's media.

In a May 9 ruling, the court's constitutional branch in Caracas ordered "the elimination of all images of explicit or implicit sexual content in advertisements in print media of open access to girls, boys and teens."

The ruling applies to ads that promote services "linked to the exploitation of sex," such as phone sex lines placed in general access media, newspapers, and billboards.

The ruling comes as the result of a case brought by Venezuelan citizen Gilberto Rua in 2009. Rua petitioned the court to order a daily newspaper, Diario Meridiano CA, to “cease the publishing of pornographic classified ads in newspapers and magazines for the general public."  Mr. Rua stated he was bringing the case on behalf of his own underage children and all "boys, girls and adolescents."

Mr. Rua argues that when "soft porn" is offered in the general access media regularly, children are likely to be exposed to it, encouraging the sexualization of children and teens and leading to promiscuity, acceptance of unbiblical and unhealthy morals, and early pregnancy. 

The ruling also encourages the nation's Telecommunications Commission to monitor song lyrics and ensure that songs with questionable lyrics are reserved for hours when children will not be likely to be exposed to them.

The opinion of the court reiterates the Venezuelan Constitution's provision for freedom of expression, but also maintains that such freedom must be limited by opportunity, proportionality and reason, depending on the circumstances and the facts.  The court affirmed that respecting the rights of boys, girls, and adolescents is one of the "intrinsic limits of freedom of expression" and that the media must use its right to free expression in a way that contributes to the culture and the developmental rights of the general population as established by the Venezuelan Constitution.


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