Group Says it's Fighting Filth

By: Erin Tate
By: Erin Tate

"These businesses will proliferate unless there's a community outcry against them," says Dean Welty.

He's fighting pornography in Harrisonburg, and he's not alone.

His group, the Valley Family Forum, is a voice for 900 families in the area. Its task force on community standards has become more vocal since the sex-crime indictment of 26 men last week at Harrisonburg Adult News.

Welty applauds the work of local police and Commonwealth's Attorney Marsha Garst for exposing what he calls a "poison" in our community.

"Everybody porn touches is tainted by, their lives are changed by, careers are destroyed by and we need to get to the source," says Welty.

Welty is working with the city to establish a "Blue Ribbon Commission."

It would clearly define pornography and set standards of community decency. It would also discuss what sort of businesses should be approved within the city and what zoning regulations should apply.

Some city council members say they would support an anti-porn push, though the legal implications are still unclear.

Larry Rogers, Vice Mayor of Harrisonburg, says, "I don't see the positive things that happen to our community that porn brings and I've been spending the last 30 years here trying to make the community a better place to live."

"There is currently a porn shop that is in shouting distance of five churches, one public library, a court house and a police department. We don't think that's appropriate," says Welty.

The Valley Family Forum is asking business leaders to review the material on their shelves and pull the porn. The group says citizens, civic groups and churches can get involved in the fight by writing city council or contacting VFF's Task Force at www.valleyfamilyforum.org


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