ANTI-PORN ACTIVISTS TARGET HOTELS

Pornographic movies are as common in hotel rooms as hair dryers and coffee service, and they're a huge moneymaker for many operators. It's also an amenity that most hoteliers are loath to discuss, let alone reveal revenue figures.

And yet, they may soon be compelled to, as decency advocates have recently turned up the heat in targeting in-room adult movie offerings in the hotel industry. One group in particular, Cincinnati-OH based Citizens for Community Values, has been successful in pressuring some Ohio and Kentucky hotels to stop offering adult movies and is now leading a national campaign against in-room porn. CCV and a coalition of other conservative groups recently ran full-page ads in USA Today petitioning the Justice Department and FBI to investigate whether some of the adult movies available in hotels violate federal and state obscenity laws.

Phil Burress, president of CCV and a self-described “former porn addict,” is determined to out what he describes as the industry's “dirty little secret that ultimately degrades and endangers women and hurts children exposed to it. This is the only amenity Marriott offers that they won't talk about. We're going to win,” he declares, citing his group's efforts to encourage like-minded consumers to boycott hotels that provide adult movies.

Burress also is behind CleanHotels.com, a family-friendly network of lodging facilities that do not offer in-room, adult movies. The directory lists the hotels online, based on its own research. Hotels that are porn-free can request to be included in its listings as well. “We had 17,000 hits on the site in August alone, and we haven't even started promoting it yet,” claims Burress.

Not surprisingly, large chains that offer adult movies contend the entertainment is an acceptable option because they can be ignored or blocked out by guests who don't want to watch them. Burress begs to differ, citing incidences of children turning on TVs in hotel rooms recently vacated by porn-watching guests and being exposed to the adult fare.

The anti-hotel porn lobby has been attacking on other fronts. Three pro-family groups recently expressed opposition to a proposal from Liberty Media — On Command's parent — to buy the Atlanta Braves baseball team.

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