Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska to Age-Restrict Access to Porn in July

Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska to Age-Restrict Access to Porn in July

BOISE, Idaho — Five U.S. states — Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, and Nebraska — will begin requiring age verification to access adult sites when the states’ copycat laws promoted by religious conservatives go into effect starting in July.

The mandates go into effect Monday in Idaho, Indiana, and Kansas. Kentucky’s law goes into effect on July 14 and Nebraska’s on July 18.

Free Speech Coalition (FSC) explained through a statement that the new laws “authorize private lawsuits against companies that do not force users to undergo identity verification to access adult websites. Indiana and Kansas also authorize their state attorneys general to impose civil penalties, including fines.”

All five laws are based on model legislation for which several conservative pro-censorship groups have taken credit. However, as in other states that passed their own versions, “the verification mechanisms authorized by these laws are not uniform,” FSC noted.

The FSC website provides a breakdown of the different “reasonable age verification methods” authorized by each law.

Age Verification a Political Tool in an Election Year

As XBIZ reported, religious conservative groups are using age verification battles to discipline dissenting Republicans.

Earlier this month, religious conservative leaders and publications celebrated the defeat of sitting Republican state Senator Michael Walsh in a primary election, boasting of the success of their efforts to target him exclusively because he voted against the anti-porn age verification bill they supported.

In online comments, Walsh’s religious conservative detractors described their campaign against him using violent terms like “scalping” and images like a bullseye targeting their fellow party member for elimination.

Terry Schilling, leader of the well-funded, pro-censorship conservative lobby American Principles Project (APP), posted on his X account, “First scalp collected on age verification,” followed by an anti-Walsh ad which his group produced.

The ad shows a map of the U.S. with the 17 states that have passed age verification laws painted Republican red, claiming those laws “protect kids from online pornography.”

Although the laws are almost universally proposed by religious conservative Republicans, Democrats in most legislatures have overwhelmingly supported them.

A major outlier among Democrats was Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, who vetoed the state’s age verification bill in March, stating that legislation to protect the online safety of minors should be a bipartisan effort that does not conflict with the First Amendment.

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