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Oklahoma considers banning consensual nudes before marriage

Joshua Zitser   

Oklahoma considers banning consensual nudes before marriage
  • An Oklahoma GOP lawmaker is proposing a bill that would make sexting illegal unless you're married.
  • The bill, if passed, would target those involved in "unlawful pornography" with harsh punishments.

Oklahoma's senate is set to consider a bill that would make it illegal to send nudes before marriage.

Oklahoma Senate Bill 1976, pre-filed by Republican State Sen. Dusty Deevers ahead of its planned formal introduction on February 5, primarily targets child pornography, though a section of it prohibits other forms of "unlawful pornography."

This is defined in the proposed bill as visual material which contains "sexual intercourse which is normal or perverted" and, more specifically, depictions of anal and oral sex, bestiality, S&M, masturbation, and the "lewd exhibition" of private parts.

However, a notable exception is made for married couples.

"This shall not be construed to prevent spouses from sending images of a sexual nature to each other," it says.

This, in effect, would ban sexting between two consenting but unmarried adults, yet allow for sending nudes within wedlock.

The law is part of a wider Republican crusade against pornography.

Several states have recently enacted legislation that requires adult websites to confirm the identity of the users, which is seen by some as being anti-porn and potentially unconstitutional.

Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Utah, and North Carolina are among the states that have passed laws mandating age verification on adult sites.

Texas also passed a similar law, requiring porn websites to use verification methods, though it was challenged by a coalition of porn advocates, including PornHub.

A federal judge initially ruled in their favor, saying it likely violated the First Amendment. However, a temporary injunction obtained by Pornhub was overturned, allowing the law to go into effect for now.

The proposed bill in Oklahoma goes even further than existing laws. It proposes harsh enforcement, through both private lawsuits and criminal prosecution, for those who interact in a variety of ways with content that is considered obscene.

If the law is passed, individuals who don't work for the government could bring a civil action against anyone who has produced or distributed the "unlawful" porn.

Individuals found liable could face substantial financial penalties, with damages exceeding $10,000 per image or depiction, in addition to legal fees.

It also proposes felony charges, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine reaching $25,000, for anyone buying, procuring, viewing, or possessing any obscene material lacking in "serious literary, artistic, educational, political, or scientific purposes or value."

Furthermore, if passed, the bill would criminalize participation in any form of unlawful pornography, including acting, modeling, or offering for sale such material, punishable as a misdemeanor with potential incarceration in county jails or a fine exceeding $2,000.

Deevers did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

However, after Jimmy Fallon mocked the proposed bill on his show, the state senator reposted a series of X posts lauding the proposals, one of which referred to it as "Christ-honoring" and likely to annoy leftists.

Deevers, a Baptist pastor, describes himself as an "abortion abolitionist" who is against "LGBTQ+ indoctrination," and an advocate for the protection of marriage.

He recently drew criticism from some attorneys and anti-domestic-violence groups for proposing a bill that would abolish no-fault divorce, as The Oklahoman reported.

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