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Look Out, Porn Users: AZ Legislator Has Unique Idea For Funding The Wall

An Arizona GOP state legislator has offered a bill with a unique suggestion for funding a border wall between the United States and Mexico: get the money from people watching porn.

Rep. Gail Griffin introduced HB 2444, which would force distributors of electronic devices to install software that would block access to porn, forcing porn watchers to cough up $20 to remove them. The bill defines the obscene material it intends to target as something that “the average individual applying contemporary community standards, when considered or taken as a whole, would find appeals to the prurient interest, depicts or describes sexual activity in a patently offensive way by audio or visual representations, when considered or taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.”

The funds accrued would be deposited in a fund titled the “John McCain Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Fund." The money would fund the border wall as well as physical and mental health services, temporary and permanent housing placements, and the prevention and protection of victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, prostitution, divorce, child abuse, and sexual assault.

The bill warns:

If a distributor fails to block a website displaying obscene material or block access to a prohibited website within a reasonable amount of time after receiving a report that obscene material or a prohibited website is accessible through a product that is manufactured, sold, leased or distributed by the distributor, the attorney general or any person may file a civil action. The attorney general or the person that files the civil action may seek damages of up to $500 for each website displaying obscene material, or for each accessible website, that was reported but not blocked within a reasonable amount of time and the cost of the product. the court may award the prevailing party attorney fees, costs and other forms of relief.

According to the Arizona Mirror, “Similar bills have been proposed in recent years in Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Utah, Rhode Island and South Carolina.” Ryan Anderson, a spokesman for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, stated, “This is the first we’ve seen this legislation or heard of this concept.” Mike Stabile, a spokesman for the Free Speech Coalition, told the Mirror, “It’s pretty clearly unconstitutional.”

Newsweek reported, “According to the Arizona Mirror, the bill appears to be connected to anti-gay activist Chris Sevier. In 2018, Sevier and a state lawmaker proposed similar legislation in Rhode Island, dubbed the 'Elizabeth Smart Law.' Smart, who was kidnapped from her home in Utah as a teenager, issued a cease-and-desist letter to request that her name not be used in connection to the bill.”

The bill would require at least a two-thirds majority of the State house and State Senate in order to pass; Griffin is the prime sponsor of the bill.

 
 
 

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