Oklahoma Law Would Ban All Explicit Online Content

Oklahoma State Sen. Dusty Deevers (R) proposed a law to introduce next month that would make it a felony to consume “obscene material” online or even text lewd selfies unless the people sending and receiving them are legally married.

The bill would prohibit consuming or producing any obscene content that “lacks serious literary, artistic, educational, political, or scientific purposes or value” using any medium. It defines “obscene material” as the depiction or description, whether “actual or simulated,” of “acts of s— intercourse” and includes such acts that are considered “normal” as well deviant.

If passed into law, the measure would apply to video games, movies and text messages. The statutory penalty for violations would be a prison sentence of up to a year and fines of up to $2,000. Moreover, the law would allow any resident of Oklahoma to sue anyone for up to $10,000 who produces or distributes obscene content.

The author of the bill anticipates a First Amendment battle ahead should it pass into law. The proposal has a provision that says, “constitutionally valid applications of this section shall be severed from any application that a court finds to be invalid.”

The Oklahoma proposal is strict. If it becomes law, platforms like X, formerly Twitter, may have to create rigorous filters for Oklahoma users or withdraw services from the state. But the bill is practical and realistic with its exemptions for married couples and artistic depictions of the human body such as in classical paintings.

A new law in North Carolina took effect on Jan. 1 that effectively shut down one major brand name distributor of these obscene materials. The law, which requires age verification for users of such websites, caused the distributor to close access to its website for any visitors from North Carolina to avoid any violations.

Deevers is a former pastor who went into state politics in the Sooner state. The state representative is a delegate to the Oklahoma legislature for the tiny towns of Comanche and Elgin, which have a combined population of just over 5,000 people.

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