Oklahoma Bill Threatens to Make Sexting, Porn Viewing Felonies
An OK anti-porn bill is so extreme that it could even criminalize sexting outside of marriage. It would make viewing “obscene materials” a felony and limit “unlawful porn” distribution and production, with enforcement through criminal prosecution and private lawsuits. Spouses are exempt from this restriction. The bill includes an extensively broad definition of “porn” that goes beyond traditional concepts of pornography. SB 1976 also proposes age verification for porn sites.
The bill comes from state Sen. Dusty Deevers (R–District 32), who also aim to repeal no-fault divorce. The measure defines unlawful porn as “any visual depiction or individual image stored or contained in any format on any medium” that involves sex acts, nudity, partial nudity, or sexual fetish. It could target things beyond hardcore pornography.
SB 1976 could lead to lawsuits or charges against adult models, individual performers in porn videos, and even people who send sexually charged photos outside of marriage. It also makes criminal prosecution for buying, procuring, viewing, or possessing “obscene materials,” punishable by up to 20 years in prison or a fine of up to $25,000. The bill is part of a broader moral panic over porn.
The GOP in general is very obsessed with porn these days. Legislators in Louisiana, Texas, and North Carolina passed porn age verification bills and similar measures are being introduced in other states. All these efforts reflect a growing attempt to restrict porn in all forms.