One of the problems with sexting is that a lot of teenagers do it… yet it’s technically considered child porn. Possession and distribution of it, even if you’re a high-schooler taking pictures of yourself and sending it to your boyfriend or girlfriend, are considered crimes in many states.
Legislators in Washington are trying to change that with HB 1742. In essence, it separates sexting from actual, exploitative child porn. If a 15-year-old sends a nude picture of herself to her boyfriend — and gets caught — this bill would prevent her from going to jail for up to 30 days, paying a $500 fine, and being placed on the sex-offender registry. All of those things can hurt their college admissions and job prospects later in life.
The bill does punish teens who spread those pictures, pay for them, use them as “revenge porn” later on, etc. It also keeps in place all punishments involving children 12 or younger.
To be clear, the legislators aren’t endorsing teen sexting. They’re just sensibly separating teens-with-smartphones-being-teens-with-smartphones from adults we actually need to worry about and kids who use that material for illicit purposes.
All of this seems incredibly sensible. So no wonder Republican State Rep. Brad Klippert, a Pentecostal minster, can’t handle it.
On Monday, Klippert pushed everyone to adopt his amendment to the bill that would continue to punish teenagers whose sexts depicted any kind of sexual activity. For example, if a teen possessed a video of himself masturbating — not even sending it to someone else — Klippert wanted that teen on the sex-offender registry.
When the committee rejected his amendment, Klippert threw a fit and began reading off a detailed list of sexually explicit conduct… as if, somehow, everyone else in the room was promoting those acts.
These acts include (emphasis his): “Actual or simulated sexual intercourse including genital to genital, oral to genital, anal genital [sic], oral, anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex or between humans and animals. Penetration of the vagina or rectum by any object. Masturbation, sadomasochistic abuse!”
He then ranted against sadism (which he pronounced like the word “sad”).
What was the point of all that? Who knows. He’s another conservative Christian completely unable to have a mature discussion about sex. Thankfully, his amendment was rejected, the State House passed the bill, and it’s now in the hands of the State Senate.
If only we could always ignore the mindless rants of religious prudes in an effort to protect children — something people like Klippert can’t bring themselves to do.
(via Boing Boing)