Students still plan to screen porn film despite political pressure

By Laura Prudom,
University of Maryland students refuse to back down over porn screening despite threats from state officials to cut funding

University of Maryland students are still courting controversy with plans to screen a hardcore porn movie on campus, despite intimidation from state lawmakers.

According to The Washington Post, some outraged students intend to go ahead with the cancelled screening of Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge, the most expensive porno ever made, in an effort to defend their First Amendment right to free speech.

The original screening was supposed to take place on Saturday night, preceded by a talk by a Planned Parenthood rep regarding safe sex, EW.com reported. But university officials were forced to cancel it after Senator Andrew P. Harris introduced a bill to withhold state funding from any public university that allowed screenings of XXX-rated films.

The senator histrionically declared that "Occasional viewing of porn is more dangerous than occasionally lighting up a cigarette," while stating that "if the movie is being shown for educational reasons, someone should be presenting the dangers too," seemingly ignorant of the Planned Parenthood discussion that was concurrently planned.

But determined students are choosing to ignore the senator's threat, having reserved a lecture room to screen the film in lieu of a showing at the campus's movie theater. A discussion about free speech is now planned to precede the movie, The Washington Post reported.

Their renewed resolve has only strengthened Senator Harris's determination to block the screening, with Harris stating that university officials "should stop any showing of it right now until a clear policy is developed by the university regarding the conditions under which a triple-X-rated, hard-core pornography movie will be shown on campus."

According to The Baltimore Sun, four years ago the university's student union screened the 1972 porn film, Deep Throat, without controversy. Pirates II, which is produced by Digital Playground, has been shown without incident at UCLA and a number of other college campuses across the country. It remains to be seen which side will emerge triumphant in this X-rated battle of David versus Goliath.

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