Republicans Introduce 'Age Verification' Bill in Arkansas

Republicans Introduce 'Age Verification' Bill in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.  — Two Republican state senators in Arkansas introduced a bill this week requiring age verification before “entering a website offering pornography.”

Senate Bill 66, which proposes a “Protection of Minors from Distribution of Harmful Material Act,” is sponsored by Sen. Tyler Dees (R-Siloam Springs) and Sen. Jim Petty (R-Van Buren). The proposed legislation is a copycat version of Louisiana’s Act 440, a new law championed by a religious anti-porn activist Republican legislator.

According to NBC affiliate KARK, the proposed bill “requires a digitized identification card to prove that anyone from Arkansas trying to enter a pornography website is over 18.”

The bill also “claims that pornography is creating a public health crisis and contributes to the hyper-sexualization of minors,” KARK reported.

The bill includes the senators’ definition of what kinds of material would constitute “pornography,” and mandates that “any website with over 23.33% of its material meeting the pornography description” institute age verification.

Drag Also 'Prurient' for Petty

Sen. Petty is also promoting Senate Bill 43, which would outlaw drag performances in front of children under 18. Today Petty told the Arkansas Senate that “children are worth preserving their innocence.” SB 43 would criminalize anyone who “sings, lip-synchs, dances, or otherwise performs before an audience of at least two persons for entertainment” while “exhibiting a gender identity that is different from the performer’s gender assigned at birth using clothing, makeup, or other accessories that are traditionally worn by members of and are meant to exaggerate the gender identity of the performer’s opposite sex” and “intending to appeal to the prurient interest.”

As XBIZ reported, Republicans throughout the country are seeking to outlaw all adult content by overturning the 1973 “Miller Test” differentiating First Amendment-protected sexual material from illegal “obscene” material produced to appeal to “a prurient interes

Main Image: Anti-porn Arkansas State Senators Tyler Dees (R-Siloam Springs) and Jim Petty (R-Van Buren) (Photo: Arkansas Senate)

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