SALT LAKE CITY — A resolution declaring pornography a public health crisis in Utah unanimously passed the state Senate on Wednesday.

"This is a serious issue," said Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross. "I think it's sending a strong signal that it's something we should pay attention to."

SCR9 calls for education, prevention, research and policy changes to address the pornography "epidemic."

The nonbinding resolution does not change state law, and Weiler said he's not trying to ban pornography. He said he wants to start a national movement to protect children from the harmful effects of looking at sexually explicit images.

Weiler cited several studies that show pornography impacts brain development, contributes to emotional illnesses, shapes deviant sexual desires, and leads to difficulty forming or maintaining intimate relationships.

"I could go on and on about the research," he told his colleagues, adding he wanted them to know the resolution isn't a "harebrained" idea he thought up one morning.

Other than Weiler's presentation, there was no discussion of the resolution on the Senate floor. The measure now moves to the House.

— Dennis Romboy