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MILITARY BANS SEX MAGAZINE SALES.

Byline: Daily News Staff and Wire Services

For Edwards Air Force Base and other military installations, it's Playboy yes, Penthouse and Hustler no.

Enforcing terms of a 1996 law, the Pentagon announced Wednesday it is banning the sale on U.S. military bases of 153 sexually explicit publications, including Penthouse and Hustler magazines.

At Edwards, the publications were removed at the close of business Wednesday from the Base Exchange department store and from the Troop Store and Shoppette convenience markets, a base spokesman said.

``They're already pulled from the shelves,'' Staff Sgt. Scott Lewis said Thursday.

At the same time, a military board set up by the Pentagon to implement the law approved the continued sale of 14 ``adult sophisticate periodicals'' it deemed to be ``not sexually explicit,'' including Playboy magazine and Hustler Humor.

The Military Honor and Decency Act of 1996 forbids the sale or rental on military property of magazines or videos that portray nudity ``in a lascivious way.'' Service members still can possess nonobscene material on military posts by buying it off base or through the mail.

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., the author of that legislation, said it's about time that the Pentagon began carrying out the law.

``But it's sad that the military had to wait for an act of Congress and more than two years of litigation up to the Supreme Court before it could become a responsible employer and remove this garbage from DOD store shelves,'' Bartlett said.

The Supreme Court on June 26 let the ban stand, rejecting a free-speech appeal.

The court, without comment, turned away arguments by Penthouse's publisher that the ban wrongly discriminates against magazines that ``deal with sexuality as healthy and enjoyable.''

The federal law was challenged by General Media Communications, which publishes Penthouse, and other groups that produce and sell magazines and videos.

A federal judge in New York City struck down the ban as unconstitutional in January 1997.

``The fact of the matter is, (the Defense Department) is complying with the law,'' said Army Lt. Col. Tom Begines, a Pentagon spokesman.

Begines said it would take ``at least several working days'' for the offending material to be off all store shelves on military bases.

He said the Pentagon's Resale Board of Review is continuing its review and now will turn much of its attention to videos.

A regulation issued Wednesday by the Pentagon also sets up a procedure under which customers at military stores can request that additional material be reviewed by the panel.

Robert Maginnis, a retired lieutenant colonel who works with the council, said military men and women should also call for the removal of publications like Playboy that the Pentagon deemed to be ``not sexually explicit.''

Among other publications allowed to remain on sale: Celebrity Skin, Easyriders, Perfect 10 and Tattoo.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 25, 1998
Words:467
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