Barbara Rigby, a Parkville mother of four, is in a battle against society to save her sons' minds.
"I have four teen-age boys, and I'm here in support against pornography because of what it can do to their minds," said Mrs. Rigby, who joined hundreds of others in Baltimore County yesterday morning at a rally and motorcade sponsored by the local chapter of the American Family Association of Maryland.
Mrs. Rigby, who said her sons sometimes find it difficult to stand up against peer pressure, does not allow R-rated videos in her home.
"I can't say that they have never seen an R-rated movie," she said, "but they know it is not allowed in our home."
The demonstration against pornography began with a motorcade in Timonium and ended with a rally in Towson in front of the county courthouse. The motorcade, which tied up traffic in the area, began about 9:15 a.m., winding its way south down York Road; police estimated there were more than 300 cars and trucks, all with white ribbons tied to their antennas and some with signs such as "Scorn Porn."
Leaders of the rally did not denounce any particular individual but blamed those in society who do nothing to end pornography.
"We will not sit back and be complacent as we see our country crumble before our eyes," John Love, pastor of the Greater Grace World Outreach Church on Belair Road, told the crowd. "We pray that the state of Maryland take notice."
American Family Association leaders announced that they had
joined with other organizations to form the Coalition for Maryland Families. Under the banner of the coalition, bills will be introduced in the General Assembly to strengthen laws against pornography in Maryland, organizers said.
One of the bills would focus on child pornography, said Christopher Trionfo, state director of the association and chairman of the coalition.
A first offense would bring a penalty of $5,000 and/or three years in prison. Subsequent offenses would be a felony, punishable by a fine of $25,000 and up to 10 years in jail.
Jim Brewster, a candidate for the state Senate in the 43rd District who attended the rally, said people who argue that consenting adults should be allowed to enjoy pornography in the privacy of home are wrong.
"It is hard for people to see the direct correlation between pornography and violence," Mr. Brewster said. "But some things are considered wrong. Pornography is wrong."
Judy Hoeffler of Edgemere said pornography was getting worse.
"We never thought we would have to have a rally against pornography," she said. "We never thought it would come to this. But things are getting worse."
"It is killing our babies both spiritually and mentally," said Jeanne Brown of Highlandtown.
The American Family Association is a non-profit "family-based" organization, said Mr. Trionfo. In Maryland, the organization has been active in getting video stores to remove ones that are sexually explicit.
While appealing for donations from the crowd yesterday, Mr. Trionfo said that the association has a mailing list of about 8,000 but only 15 "regular supporters."