Oklahoma Republican Seeks to Criminalize Watching Adult Content

Oklahoma Republican Seeks to Criminalize Watching Adult Content

OKLAHOMA CITY — Republican state lawmaker Dusty Deevers is using a national press tour to promote a bill he proposed that would completely outlaw adult content in Oklahoma and make it a crime for anyone in the state to view it.

Deevers is a pastor at a Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated church in Elgin, Oklahoma. He was elected as a state senator last year, on a platform that targeted abortion rights and proposed a ban on no-fault divorce.

On Monday, Deevers appeared on a YouTube show and podcast hosted by the Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles, to promote Senate Bill 1976, which he describes as part of his “spiritual warfare” against adult content.

Deevers told Knowles that anyone involved in the production or consumption of pornography is knowingly defiling “the holy character of God.”

“Every person looking at porn knows that it is condemning them,” he continued. “They’re created by God and their conscience is either approving them or accusing them before the holy character of God. So, they already know.”

Deevers also shared an unusual take on the basic concept of privacy, telling Knowles’ audience that what people do privately in their own bedrooms “spills out into the outdoors.”

“What you’re doing in your bedroom, what you’re doing in private, is affecting my children, it’s affecting my friends, it’s affecting everybody,” he declared.

According to Deevers — whose campaign materials openly flouted the separation of church and state by prominently featuring the shadow of a cross alongside American flag imagery — it is his duty to fight adult content from his government position because Americans’ constitutional rights are a gift from God and porn is not free speech but merely a tool in Satan’s “war against humanity.”

Anyone who gets “caught up into pornography,” the Republican state senator told the conservative podcaster, “is caught up not just in a power of flesh and blood, but a power that they aren’t able to control, that’s degrading them and seeking to eradicate their use, their value and true society.”

After a progressive website reported on Deevers’ appearance on the show, the legislator replied with a Bible verse about lust and urged his critics to “cling to the mercies of God in Christ.”

Deevers’ bill defines “obscene material” as the depiction or description of any “acts of sexual intercourse,” including those that are “normal or perverted, actual or simulated,” a definition that encompasses all fictional depictions of sex in movies, television and literature.

Proposed punishment for consumers of such content includes prison sentences of up to a year and $2,000 in fines. Anyone producing or promoting adult content could also be sued by any Oklahoman for $10,000.

As the New York Post pointed out, “Married couples would be exempt from the ban, provided they only share explicit content they created together with each other.”

Reason Magazine’s Elizabeth Nolan Brown noted, “It’s not just one guy who is doing this. We’re seeing similar sorts of attitudes, similar legislation, in state houses around the country. We’re seeing national lawmakers like J.D. Vance and Josh Hawley talking about how we need to ban porn. This is not a totally fringe position within today’s GOP.”

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