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Porn Targeted with Billboards

CLARKSVILLE, Ind. — A controversy is popping up along Interstate 65 involving pornography and billboards. A local group is now targeting the sex industry with a big advertisement. One billboard is located on I-65 south near the Clarksville exit — not far from an adult business.

The organization is called Reclaiming Our Culture Kentuckiana — also known as ROCK. Members say they are tired of pornography and sex stores in the area, and even though they know they can’t shut these businesses down, they want people to see their message.

ROCK’s billboard reads: “XXX Garbage In, Garbage Out.”

ROCK’s president Bryan Wickens says “this (pornography) does have a public face. There are public harms associated with it. And when we take this in, and again — it’s not just sex businesses, it’s on the Internet, it comes out, and there are harmful effects onto our community.”

Wickens says those harmful effects range from increased crime to decreased property values to exploitation of women and children.

Floyd Knobs resident Stephanie Eichenberger agrees. She says she drives down I-65 on a regular basis, and is glad something is being done to counter ads for businesses like Theater-X on State Hwy. 131 in Clarksville where pornography is sold.

“I do think about how awesome it is to live in America, Eichenberger said, “where you can have opposing viewpoints right next to each other and people can think about things and be educated.”

But, according to the law, business like Theater-X have every right to offer their services to the community as long as they follow the city ordinances.

ROCK says its goal isn’t to make stores that sell pornography illegal, but just to educate the public on the effects the sex business can have on the community.

“Think more deeply about how open they are to market this stuff,” Eichenberger said.

These business are not breaking the law.

In Clarksville, sexually oriented businesses must be at least 500 feet from places of worship, schools, and parks.

We did contact some pornography business in the area, but they did not return our phone calls.

ROCK says it plans on adding two more billboards to its campaign, which will bring the total cost of its project to nearly $8,000.

ROCK will be highlighting their campaign this week at a press conference July 26, 2007, at Exit #5 off I-65 south in Clarksville — underneath the ROCK billboard. It’s set to start at 2:30 p.m.

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