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House bans sexually-oriented billboards

May 6, 2004
By: Cliff Judy
State Capital Bureau

The Missouri House approved a bill to ban sexually-explicit billboards along the state's highways. Cliff Judy has more from the state Capitol.

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Under the bill, sexually-oriented billboards would be prohibited within one mile of Missouri highways.

Representative Cynthia Davis voiced support for the bill arguing that the billboards are degrading.

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Contents: Davis says, "Now, why do we want Missouri to be known as the armpit of America? This is going to have a devastating impact on our tourism industry if we continue having a proliferation of smutty billboards in our state. This is our image."

Opponents of the bill say it's a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech. From the state Capitol, I'm Cliff Judy.


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Billboards advertising sex shops and strip clubs would be prohibited within one mile of any Missouri highway under a bill the House approved. Cliff Judy is in Jefferson City with the story.

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Opponents of the bill argue it violates the First Amendment right to free speech.

Representative Terry Young, a former reporter, says she doesn't think the government can tell legitimate businesses not to advertise.

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Contents: Young says, "I don't like those billboards. I don't like those businesses. But I do believe that, keeping with freedom of speech, that they have a right to be there."

Supporters of the bill argue the sexually-oriented billboards represent commercial speech, not free speech, and should be limited. From the state Capitol, I'm Cliff Judy.


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Sexually-oriented billboards would be banned along Missouri highways under a bill the House passed. Cliff Judy has more from the state Capitol.

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The bill would ban all sexually-oriented billboards within one mile of Missouri's highways.

Representative Trent Skaggs voiced support for the bill saying it's needed to protect children.

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Contents: Skaggs says, "If I'm driving down the highway, I see a billboard that says, 'Red hot, totally live nude,' it's difficult to turn your head from that. Especially when you have children in the car that are going to be asking you, 'Dad, what does red hot, totally live nude mean?'"

Opponents of the bill say it's unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment right of free speech. From the state Capitol, I'm Cliff Judy.


cej

The Missouri House passed a bill to ban all sexually-explicit billboards along the state's highways. Cliff Judy is in Jefferson City with the story.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

Opponents argue the bill violates the First Amendment right to free speech.

Representative Todd Smith voiced concerns over how far the restrictions would go.

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Contents: Smith says, "My concern is, next year we decide we hate trial attorneys and we decide to add them to this list. Maybe it's fatty foods we find offensive that's leading to obesity of children, so we're going to go after ice cream parlors. You know, where do you draw the line?"

If the bill passes, any sexually-oriented billboard within one mile of a state highway would be banned. From the state Capitol, I'm Cliff Judy.