Sixteen state governments either plan to or have enacted legitimate age verification requirements to access pornography sites in an effort to protect children from the harmful content.
As Breitbart News reported, Louisiana became the first state in the union to require a government ID to access sites with a “substantial portion” (33.3 percent or more) of the site having pornographic material.
Virginia, West Virginia, Arkansas, Florida, South Dakota, Mississippi, and Kansas have all introduced bill similar to Louisiana’s, while Texas, South Carolina, Minnesota, Oregon, Oklahoma, Utah, Arizona, and Missouri have either other methods or plan to introduce other verification requirements.
Virginia’s bill passed the Democrat-majority Senate, and bills across the country are seeing broad bipartisan support.
Despite that, some pro-pornography groups — under the guise of “free speech” — are challenging the bills both legally and as part of a public relations campaign.
Free Speech Coalition (FSC), one such pro-pornography group that says its mission is to “protect the rights and freedoms of the adult industry” and envision a “world in which body sovereignty is recognized, sexual expression is destigmatized, and sex work is decriminalized,” has developed a tracker for states planning age verification.
FSC has also been “meeting with legal counsel and allies in the civil/digital rights about potential challenges to the law(s)” as well as “speaking out in the press and on social media to raise awareness about the legislation and the potential issues.”
“Currently, there are few voices raising concerns beside ours,” FSC declared. “We need to change that.”
Despite the fact that the bills in the aforementioned states exist to protect children from pornography, FSC told the Washington Examiner, “No one in the adult industry wants minors on our sites.”
They called for the use of internet filters instead of age verification.
As Breitbart News reported, studies show pornography use for anyone — adult or child — warps one’s perception of reality, how individuals view loved ones, and brings about significantly higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress.
There is a growing recognition that not only is the pornography industry rampant with sex trafficking and child sexual abuse, but it is also developing a product — even when legal — that is harmful to its users.
Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.