Louisiana House Passes Religious Republican's New Anti-Porn Law

Louisiana House Passes Religious Republican's New Anti-Porn Law

BATON ROUGE, La. — The Louisiana state house on Monday passed, almost unanimously, new legislation creating more liability for adult websites, introduced by the religious Republican lawmaker behind the state’s controversial age verification law.

The house voted 101-1 to pass House Bill 77, which would “let the state attorney general pursue civil penalties against companies that do not comply with a law that requires pornography websites to verify the age of its users,” the Louisiana Illuminator reported.

Only one representative voted in opposition: Rep. Mandie Landry (D-New Orleans).

HB 77 was introduced by faith-based therapist and local politician Laurie Schlegel (R-Matairie), the anti-porn activist behind Louisiana’s controversial Act 440, which took effect Jan. 1 and requires “age verification for any website that contains 33.3% or more pornographic material.”

Schlegel believes that “pornography is destroying our children and they’re getting unlimited access to it on the internet.”

Opposing Schlegel, Rep. Landry pointed out several obvious problems with Schlegel’s proposal, including the ease with which minors could bypass any age verification system by simply using VPN technology.

Landry also raised questions about how Schlegel’s “33.3% of material harmful to minors” would be calculated, the Illuminator reported.

“Taken to an absurd level, if 80% of the page is ‘Blue’s Clues’ and 20% is pornography, is that OK?” Landry wondered. 

Rep. Matthew Willard (D-New Orleans) also voiced concern about “unintended consequences” of using Schlegel’s 33% formula, and questioned whether such a calculation would be made by the attorney general or other means. 

“I want to know how that’s determined,” Willard asked. “Is there objective criteria that is based upon?” 

HB 77 calls for “investigation and pursuit of actions for commercial entities that knowingly and intentionally publish or distribute material harmful to minors and that fail to perform reasonable age verification.”

Republicans throughout the country are currently 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 interest.”

As XBIZ reported, to define “material harmful to minors,” Schlegel expanded the Miller Test reference to “sexual conduct” into her own feverish fantasy of what such content might entail.

For the religious therapist and Republican politician, "sexual conduct" apparently involves “prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion” and “an actual or simulated sexual act or sexual contact, actual or simulated normal or perverted sexual acts, or lewd exhibition of the genitals.”

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