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Catholic University of America Moves to Ban 200 Porn Websites

The Catholic University of America will block nearly 200 porn websites from its internet system after students passed a resolution urging officials to bar access to such websites last week.

The “Resolution for a Pornography Free Campus Network,” sponsored by student senator Gerard McNair-Lewis, a junior at the university, was passed by a vote of 13 to 12 and signed by Student Government Association (SGA) president Jimmy Harrington, the Catholic News Agency reported.

“I am signing the Resolution not from purely religious or Catholic grounds, but because The Catholic University of America can and should exercise its rights to prohibit the use of pornography on the campus network,” Harrington said after signing the resolution.

In an op-ed for the Arlington Catholic Herald, university president John Garvey backed the students’ call for a ban. While a specific time frame for implementing the resolution has yet to be released, a university spokesperson told the Catholic News Agency that the ban will become effective within weeks.

“This month the student government association, the body that represents our undergraduates, passed a resolution asking the university to prohibit access through the campus network to the 200 most frequently visited pornography websites,” Garvey wrote. “I told them we’d be happy to.”

Earlier this month, the LifeSiteNews started a petition urging administrators to act on the students’ demand of restricting online pornography. The petition received 5,576 signatures as of April 30.

The nonprofit Enough Is Enough, an anti-pornography organization, lauded Catholic University for taking the lead on banning pornography websites and advocated for a similar ban on the University of Notre Dame campus.

Meanwhile, free speech advocates have voiced their concerns over the ban, claiming it would restrict student access to online content.

“Religious universities that have made the choice to promise academic freedom and free expression cannot turn around and play censor when faced with content that runs contrary to their religious beliefs,” Ryne Weiss, an author for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said. “CUA must reject this proposed ban.”

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