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Maryland University System Rejects Legislative Mandate to Regulate Porn

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By Rebecca Blatt

The University of Maryland Board of Regents has decided not to create a policy regulating pornographic films despite a legislative mandate to do so. The requirement was written into the state budget in the last legislative session.

It followed a controversy over a screening of a pornographic film planned at the University's college park campus. The legislature gave state schools until December first to come up with a formal policy on pornography.

Since then, the system's chancellor, William Kirwan, consulted with school presidents, students, faculty and legal counsel. He eventually recommended that the Board not adopt a policy at all.

A spokesman for the system says the chancellor outlined several reservations -- including concerns about free speech, the administrative burden of implementing a new policy and the threat of litigation. The spokesman says he does not know how individual legislators will react to the decision, but he does believe there already has been dialogue between system and state leaders.

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