ATLANTA – An Augusta, Ga., lawmaker is cosponsoring legislation that would make it illegal to electronically impose the facial image of a person onto one who is displaying nudity or sexual conduct.
Rep. Earnest Smith is cosponsoring House Bill 39 after perpetrators Photoshopped his head on the body of a nude man with an erection and distributed it over the Internet.
The bill was first introduced last year by fellow Democrat Pam Dickerson of Conyers, Ga., but that piece of legislation was shelved after it wasn't acted on in committee.
A nude pic incorporating Dickerson's head, too, had surfaced on a number of websites. Dickerson had first introduced it last year in response to online attacks directed toward a teen-age girl.
If passed, House Bill 39 would be punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both.
Both legislators have no idea of the identities of the Photoshop perpetrators, but they want the bill signed into law.
“No one has a right to make fun of anyone. You have a right to speak, but no one has a right to disparage another person. It’s not a First Amendment right,” Dickerson said.
In both cases involving Smith and Dickerson, the creators of the Photoshopped pics placed the label "SexyGeorgiaLegislators.xxx" below each pic. But that website is nonexistent.