Thanks to Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D), parents who drop off their kids at the public library can now have more assurance that their children are checking out books and not pornography on the Internet. After a prolonged, three-year battle, state legislators passed a bill that requires public libraries to install filtering software on their computers to protect patrons from pornography and indecency.

Before the legislation passed, fewer than half of the library systems in Virginia had installed the software. Without them, a simple, misspelled word in a web search could lead children to pornographic and violent sites instead. The bill passed both the House and Senate by wide margins, echoing the broad local support for the proposal.

According to a survey by the Virginia Family Foundation, 89% of citizens supported the measure when asked last October. Virginia will join 21 other states that have similar legislation in place. Unfortunately, several other states legislatures have debated comparable bills but seen them fall prey to "free speech" objections. Ironically, some politicians seem more interested in protecting kids from the so-called "dangers of religious speech" than from the perils of pornography.

Virginia leaders were able to overcome the First Amendment obstacles by including a provision that allows adults to have the filters disabled for legitimate purposes. We applaud the Virginia Family Foundation and pro-family leaders, all of whom fought tirelessly for "safe surfing" in the state.