Pennsylvania Republican Reintroduces 'Mandatory Porn Filter' Copycat Bill

Pennsylvania Republican Reintroduces 'Mandatory Porn Filter' Copycat Bill

HARRISBURG, Penn — Republican State Rep. Jim Gregory has reintroduced a copycat bill to require electronics manufacturers to activate “porn filters” on all devices sold in Pennsylvania.

As XBIZ reported, Gregory — a former TV sports journalist — previously introduced a version of the bill last October, which failed to gain support.

The 2023 version, House Bill 1501, is titled the “Protection of Minors from Unfiltered Devices Act” and is co-sponsored by Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon). It is currently assigned to the House Consumer Protection, Technology & Utilities Committee, the New Castle News reported.

The bill would require that filters be activated by default and block material deemed “harmful to minors,” which according to the bill encompasses “representations and depictions of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement and more including anything appealing to the prurient interest in sex of minors.”

The law makes noncompliant device manufacturers liable to class action lawsuits and civil fines.

Republicans Pushing Copycat Bills Around the Country

With support from War on Porn crusaders, religious conservative GOP lawmakers in several state legislatures have introduced similar bills, which are copycat versions of the original “mandatory porn filter” bill that Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox signed into law in March 2021.

That bill only passed after it was amended with the odd mandate that it “will not go into effect until five additional states have adopted similar language. It gives a 10-year period for that to occur,” the Salt Lake City Fox affiliate reported in February 2021.

Alabama’s version of the bill passed the state House in May and may get a vote in the Senate soon. In Idaho, a bill was introduced in February without moving forward. Pending proposals have been floated in Florida, South Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee, Iowa, Texas and Montana.

In Georgia, a “porn filter” bill was narrowly stopped in the Senate after clearing the House in 2022. The same year, secular Republicans in Arizona defeated a similar bill due to concerns about state interference with private businesses.

Faith-Based 'Porn Filter' Manufacturers to Profit

Gregory, who does not have any neuroscience expertise, proudly admitted last year to the local ABC affiliate that his bill mirrors the Utah legislation. He claims that unspecified “porn filters” would “shield children from the harmful effects pornographic material can have on developing brains by protecting them from inadvertent exposure to pornography or access they attempted themselves.”

“Porn filters” and apps like Covenant Eyes and Accountable2You are being widely marketed to churchgoers across America by faith-based corporations. In some cases, churches and clergy have been found to use these programs as surveillance tools to spy on parishioners.

Republican operative and Mormon activist Dawn Hawkins, CEO of NCOSE — formerly Morality in Media — has endorsed “porn filters,” telling the Baptist Press that she has “heard from hundreds of people who have struggled with pornography addiction and dependencies that the best way most of them have found to help is through an accountability model, similar to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and many successful gambling recovery programs.”

Ron DeHaas, president and co-founder of Covenant Eyes, chairs NCOSE’s board of directors.

Main Image (inset): Rep. Jim Gregory (R-Blair) (Photo: Twitter)

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