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AIDS/HIV Crisis link to Gay Porn

The Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc.
P.O. Box 13-683 Johnsonville

AIDS/HIV Crisis link to Gay Porn: Censors Attacked.

Press Release 26/10/07

A fierce debate is raging in the homosexual community over the impact of “unsafe sex” DVDs and videos on gay men’s sexual practices (sodomy), and the appropriate censorship of this ‘bareback porn’ material [featuring condomless anal sex] that some gay researchers cite as one of the factors helping to fuel the pandemic of HIV/AIDS (as well as STIs such as syphyllis) that has been ravaging the promiscuous homosexual communities. “The debate over its morality and dangers is heating up … over bareback porn both within the American porn industry and without,” says Douglas Jenkin of the NZ Aids Foundation’s Gay Men’s Health Unit [1].

“Today there is little outcry amongst gay and bisexual men protesting its existence [i.e. risky bareback porn], “and it’s easily dismissed [by gay users] as “fantasy” or “a choice”, says Jenkin [2].

Chief Censor, Bill Hastings, an “openly gay man,” has been accused by New Zealand’s leading pornographer Steve Crow of “double standards” when it comes to classifying this hardcore gay porn compared to straight (heterosexual porn). Hastings and his lesbian deputy, says Crow, because they are both homosexuals, are soft on gay hardcore as compared to the straight variety which he promotes for a living [3].

Hastings has called on the gay community to send their opinions to his office on the influence that explicit “bareback” sex DVDs, gay and straight, have on viewers and society; about what they think the Classification Office should do about them within existing law; and on whether and how they think the law should be changed [4]. The Society is concerned at suggestions that the censorship laws are not being even-handedly applied to hardcore publications by Mr Hasting’s Office because of the “sexual orientation” of its two statutory office holders.

Jenkin reports that homosexual men can easily rent bareback DVDs on-line here in New Zealand (and watch it in some saunas and gay cruise clubs) [1]. He sees the debate over bareback material as a “morality” issue while Hastings, who has cleared hundreds of hardcore gay and straight bareback porn for adult viewing, argues that moral considerations of sexual practices are irrelevant when it comes to classifying such material. Provided the sexual models and actors are engaged in what seems to him to be “consensual sex”, any sexual act can be legally featured for adult titillation, in his view. However, he does recognise that the law does draw a line with activities promoting or supporting sexual coercion, paedophilia, urophilia, coprophilia, necrophilia and bestiality.

When asked in an interview by a Senior Christian Minister “if an immoral person could do the job of Chief Film Censor” Hasting’s answer was: “As long as I applied the law, the law doesn’t care who is applying the law.”[5]

If young female porn actors have been recruited to a commercial porn filming studio under coercion and they end up participating in acts of sodomy, orgies etc., this is of no concern to Hastings, provided pre-filming coercion can be excised from the porn before it is classified. In an extensive interview in a newspaper Gay Express, he stated:

“Some of the sex tapes [I view as Chief Censor] are ‘set ups’. Some guys in an exotic country put an ad in the local paper to get girls. These girls don’t speak any English, and they might get shown explicit sex magazines, and asked ‘can you do this stuff?’ They get nervous, and say no, but eventually no becomes ‘yes’. Well, we cut all that ‘set up’ out, because that part is the ‘coercing’ of someone to consent to sexual conduct, which is not OK. If the sex itself is fine, it’s just the ‘set up’ [coercion] we’d cut. Presumably afterwards, the girls would have signed a release, allowing the tapes to be sold.” [6].

Steve Crow, New Zealand’s leading promoter and distributor of hardcore heterosexual porn, has attacked the Chief Censor Bill Hastings and his Deputy Nicola McCully for being “gay”. He has suggested that their “double standards”, as he sees it, in applying the censorship law to gay porn compared to the heterosexual porn he markets, is a direct reflection of their personal attitudes as practicing homosexuals [3]. (Hastings has been with his gay partner Jeremy Baker for about ten years while Nicola has been with her lesbian partner of 12 years. Crow is not a homosexual).

As an example of Hasting’s “double standards”, Crow cites the fact that “hardcore homosexual porn is OK with our censors”, while the “hardcore heterosexual porn [he produces] apparently is not”. He states that “perhaps this is a direct reflection of the personal attitudes of the Chief and Deputy Chief Censors, both of whom are gay.” [3]

Crow has been miffed, to say the least, that a tiny number of the hardcore heterosexual porn films he has produced and submitted for publication have required some excisions by the censors. He is angry that Hastings neither cuts nor bans any explicit gay sex publications. He is well aware that Hastings deals on a regular basis with hardcore explicit gay porn featuring ‘bare-backing’ – condomless man-to-man sex action.

Hastings claims he is genuinely concerned about the influence that explicit gay bareback sex DVDs might have on gay viewers, and about the consequential threat they pose to the health of gays and the “public good”, if the practice they depict become normalised through repeated viewing. “Depictions of explicit sexual behavior, like all other depictions are capable of influencing viewers – this is pretty undeniable,” he explained. “It is the assumption Parliament made when it passed the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act 1993 so that words, images and sounds could be classified.”[4] And yet, as some within the homosexual community are pointing out, Hastings has done nothing to try and restrict or ban bareback publications despite the danger they pose to public health.

Hastings has quite rightly argued that it is disingenuous for defenders of bare back material to claim that viewers are capable of treating it as mere fantasy and that it will not lesson their resolve to use condoms. For instance he says: “Advertisers wouldn’t spend billions of dollars persuading us to switch brands of coffee if they didn’t think that words, images and sounds could influence us.”[4] And yet, despite the concern he says he has over the health risks, his office has done nothing to persuade legislators to outlaw this corrosive and toxic sex garbage.

Another double standard, Crow claims, is that the Censors are “far more tolerant of violence, rape and murder, often with a little bit of (non-explicit) sex thrown in for good measure, than they are of explicit sex, especially if there is even the slightest hint of coercion or violence.” [3] In Crow’s words “it seems to be acceptable to our Censors to flood us with media depicting violence, no matter how extreme as long as, God forbid, we don’t show people having sex.”

There may well be some truth in Crow’s criticisms of the Chief Censor’s Office. However, the Society points out that Hasting’s Office has consistently approved films containing the most toxic mixes of explicit and gratuitous sexual violence and graphic violence. It has consistently argued that the actions of any Chief Censor and his or her deputy should be judged by their applications of the law as it was intended to be applied by parliament.


[1] Safe Sex: Porn debate: Bareback reality bites. By Douglas Jenkin. 27 July 2007.

[2] When porn ‘fantasy’ meets reality by Matt Akersten. 25 October 2007

[3] Steve Crow Launches Uncensored Magazine. Press Release 12/09/05.
Printed 25/10/07.

[4] Safe Sex: “Caution – This DVD depicts unsafe sex” by Matt Akersten.
6 September 2007. http://www.gaynz.com/articles/publish/25/article_4889.php

[5] Law morality and the chief censor, by Rev. Dr. Gary Milne. Faith in Focus (Reformed Church of New Zealand). May 200, pp. 3-6.

[6] Feature: Chief Censor Bill Hastings. Interview. Gay Express 10 May 206, pp. 12-13.


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