The Texas State Legislature has passed a bill criminalizing the electronic transmission of unrequested erotic material, including images of any person engaging in sexual conduct or with the person's intimate parts exposed or covered genitals of a
male person that are in a discernibly turgid state.
The bill, H.B. 2789 , was unanimously passed 31-0 by state senators from both parties. It is to take effect, after the governor signs it, on September 1, 2019.
The unprecedented legislation, called An act relating to the creation of the criminal offense of unlawful electronic transmission of sexually explicit visual material creates an offence:
if a person knowingly transmits by electronic means visual material that:
(a) any person engaging in sexual conduct or with the person's intimate parts exposed; or
(b) covered genitals of a male person that are in a discernibly turgid state; and
(2) is not sent at the request of or with the express consent of the recipient.
The bill classifies the offense as a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500.
To challenge online censorship of art featuring naked bodies or body parts, photographer Spencer Tunick, in collaboration with the National Coalition Against Censorship, will stage a nude art action in New York on June 2. The event will bring
together 100 undressed participants at an as-yet-undisclosed location, and Tunick will photograph the scene and create an installation using donated images of male nipples.
Artists Andres Serrano, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Tunick have given photos of their own nipples to the cause, as has Bravo TV personality Andy Cohen, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, and actor/photographer Adam Goldberg.
In addition, the National Coalition Against Censorship has launched a #WeTheNipple campaign through which Instagram and Facebook users can share their experiences with censorship and advocate for changes to the social media platforms' guidelines
related to nudity.
Lawyers for Facebook and Instagram have appeared in a Texas courtrooms attempting to dismiss two civil cases that accuse the social media sites of not protecting victims of sex trafficking.
The Facebook case involves a Houston woman who in October said the company's morally bankrupt corporate culture left her prey to a predatory pimp who drew her into sex trafficking as a child. The Instagram case involves a 14-year-old girl from
Spring who said she was recruited, groomed and sold in 2018 by a man she met on the social media site.
Of course Facebook is only embroiled in this case because it supported Congress to pass an anti-trafficking amendment in April 2018. Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act and Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, collectively known as SESTA-FOSTA, this
attempts to make it easier to prosecute owners and operators of websites that facilitate sex trafficking. This act removed the legal protection for websites that previously meant they couldn't be held responsible for the actions of its members.
After the Houston suit was filed, a Facebook spokesperson said human trafficking is not permitted on the site and staffers report all instances they're informed about to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Of course that
simply isn't enough any more, and now they have to proactively stop their website from being used for criminal activity.
The impossibility of preventing such misuse has led to many websites pulling out of anything that may be related to people hooking up for sex, lest they are held responsible for something they couldn't possibly prevent.
But perhaps Facebook has enough money to pay for lawyers who can argue their way out of such hassles.
The Adult Performers Actors Guild is standing up for sex workers who are tired of being banned from Instagram with no explanation.
In related news, adult performers are campaigning against being arbitrarily banned from their accounts by Facebook and Instagram. It seems likely that the social media companies are summarily ejecting users detected to have any connection with
people getting together for sex.
As explained above, the social media companies are responsible for anything related to sex trafficking happening on their website. They practically aren't able to discern sex trafficking from consensual sex so the only protection available for
internet companies is to ban anyone that might have a connection to sex.
This reality is clearly impacting those effected. A group of adult performers is starting to organize against Facebook and Instagram for removing their accounts without explanation. Around 200 performers and models have included their usernames
in a letter to Facebook asking the network to address this issue.
Alana Evans, president of the Adult Performers Actors Guild (APAG), a union that advocates for adult industry professionals' rights, told Vice. There are performers who are being deleted, because they put up a picture of their freshly painted
In an April 22 letter to Facebook, the Adult Performers Actors Guild's legal counsel James Felton wrote:
Over the course of the last several months, almost 200 adult performers have had their Instagrams accounts terminated without explanation. In fact, every day, additional performers reach out to us with their termination stories. In the large
majority of instances, her was no nudity shown in the pictures. However, it appears that the accounts were terminated merely because of their status as an adult performer.
Effort to learn the reasons behind the termination have been futile. Performers are asked to send pictures of their names to try to verify that the accounts are actually theirs and not put up by frauds. Emails are sent and there is no reply.
The state of Utah is set to make sex outside of marriage legal.
In a bill cleaning up Utah's criminal code, lawmakers repealed the misdemeanor crime of fornication. The House passed Senate Bill 43 on a 41-32 vote. It previously passed the Utah State Senate and now goes to Governor Gary Herbert for his
signature or veto.
The legislature previously passed a bill removing adultery and sodomy among consenting adults as crimes in Utah. Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, said court rulings have found the laws are unenforceable and it was time to remove them from the books.
Arizona has joined several other states in the nonsense claim that pornography is to be considered a public health crisis
Arizona state Representative Michelle Udall introduced a resolution declaring pornography is a crisis leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts. The resolution claims pornography perpetuates a sexually toxic environment
that damages all areas of our society.
The resolution passed a committee vote along party lines and now moves to the Arizona House, where Republicans hold a slim majority.
Utah was the first state in the nation to declare pornography a public health crisis in 2016, but measures have been passed in 11 other states since.
A new bill introduced late last month in the New York State legislature marks the latest attempt to impose a user tax on porn, or for that matter any sexually oriented media. Teh proposed bill will slap an extra $2 on to every porn download.
The charge would also apply to offline sexually oriented media, adding the two-buck fee to each magazine or DVD classified as sexually oriented. In fact, the language of New York Assembly Bill AO3417 is so broad that it apparently would apply not
only to porn, but even to R-rated movies and TV programs airing on pay cable networks such as HBO or Showtime.
That's because the law as written by Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix W. Ortiz defines sexually oriented as any media that features nude pictures or nude performances. And nude does not even mean completely nude under the bill's wording, breasts
or buttocks are enough.
The language of the bill is also unclear on whether the $2 surcharge would apply to free porn downloads, such as on Pornhub and similar tube sites.
An attempt to block pornography and other obscene material on all personal devices in
South Dakota, then charge users a $20 access fee, was voted down Friday by state lawmakers.
House Bill 1154, written by out-of-state authors, raised serious concerns with lobbyists representing South Dakota retailers and telecommunication companies, who opposed the measure in a meeting of the House Judiciary Committee Friday morning.
Anti-porn crusaders are celebrating Donald Trump's nomination of William Barr to be the next Attorney General of the United States, fondly recalling Barr's first term as the country's top law enforcement officer from 1991 to 1993, when Barr led a
campaign of anti-porn prosecutions and was praised by President George H.W. Bush for the superb job he did cracking down on obscenity.
Senate confirmation hearings for Barr are now in progress.
Donna Rice Hughes, president of the anti-porn group Enough is Enough, applauded Barr's nomination, saying in a press release that Trump had pledged to appoint an attorney general to aggressively enforce federal obscenity, child pornography,
sexual predation, and sex trafficking laws.
An Arizona legislator has proposed a one off $20 fee to access porn sites, with funds going to Donald Trump's border wall.
According to a report by The Arizona Republic, state rep Gail Griffin has introduced a new bill that would force internet users to cough up $20 just for the ability to access adult sites online. The money would go into a newly created account
called the John McCain Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Fund, with the proceeds to be used for one of 10 things, and the top item on the list of 10 is: Build a border wall between Mexico and this state or fund border security .
A similar tax has been proposed in several other states but has not yet come to fruition. Lawmakers have not made it clear how the tax will actually be implemented but perhaps it would be along the line of ISPs blocking porn sites until the tax