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Gay men and sexual minorities wrongly targeted under 'extreme' porn laws

2016-05-25
Gay people and other sexual minorities are being wrongly prosecuted for possession of images showing sex acts between consenting adults from a law that bans extreme pornography. That's according to leading British think-tank the Adam Smith Institute, which is calling for a UK law banning 'extreme pornography' to be repealed to prevent it from being applied to acts that can be carried out safely between consenting adults, iNews reports. In a new report, the organisation states that Section 37 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, first introduced in 2008 and updated last year to include depictions of violence or non-consensual sex, has been wrongly used to prosecute groups such as gay men, who partake in common sexual practices. The law - which was introduced to combat fears that 'extreme' pornography may encourage sexual violence in real life - bans depictions of non-consensual penetration, acts which threatens a person’s life, acts likely to cause serious harm to the breasts, genitals or anus, or depictions of bestiality or necrophilia. porn-1024x512 The Adam Smith Institute adds that the law risks criminalising millions of Britons who are interested in kink, fetish porn or domination and submission - highlighting the case of a man in Wales was charged under the law because he possessed a photo that showed a man having sex while wearing a tiger costume. The case was later dropped before reaching court. The author of the report, Nick Cowen, said: "We have seen the law used, in particular, to target and expose gay men. Each such case represents a personal tragedy and a disgraceful use of our criminal justice system's scarce resources." The executive director of the Adam Smith Institute, Sam Bowman, added: "Most people don't want the government in their bedrooms, but that's what extreme porn laws do." "This report highlights just how bad these laws really are - they turn millions of law-abiding adults into potential criminals simply for enjoying consensual spanking or dressing up in the bedroom. "The evidence is very clear that pornography does not drive violence, and indeed it may reduce it." More stories: Gay men’s choir taunted by fans after female voice played over them at baseball game Idina Menzel reacts to campaign to give Elsa a girlfriend in Frozen