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An American politician wants porn fees to pay for Trump’s wall

Arizona-based porn viewers, beware

A lawmaker in Arizona has proposed a plan to fund Trump’s border wall, by slapping fees on people watching porn. 

State Representative Gail Griffin (R-Hereford) proposed the Arizona House Bill 2444 last week – it would require electronics manufacturers in Arizona to automatically install software that blocks porn. To have it deactivated, a person would have to prove they’re over 18, and pay a one-off deactivation fee of $20 to the Arizona Commerce Authority.

The money made from this would form the “John McCain Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Prevention Fund”, according to the bill. This would “provide grants to government agencies and private entities that work to uphold community standards of decency for the purpose of strengthening families and developing, expanding or strengthening programs for victims of sex offenses”.

Basically, a number of grants would go towards victims of sexual abuse, housing and mental health services among others, but also fund the proposed border wall, between Arizona and Mexico, and pay for security. A similar bill was proposed last year in Virginia, but didn’t make it past the Senate. Another was proposed in Rhode Island in March 2018, but this is the first to include the border wall funding facet.

Griffin’s bill defines the porn content that would be blocked by the software as “patently offensive” material without “literary, artistic, political or scientific value”, as well as revenge porn. This remains pretty broad, and would complicate what’s blocked and what remains. 

Getting more specific about banned anatomy, the bill details porn that shows images of “less than completely and opaquely covered human genitals, pubic region, buttock or female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola (and) human male genitals in a discernibly turgid state, whether covered or uncovered.” 

The Arizona bill's porn-blocking requirements are “pretty clearly unconstitutional,” according to Mike Stabile, a spokesperson for the Free Speech Coalition – which campaigns for the adult entertainment industry – when speaking to the Arizona Mirror. While the bill's anti-porn features have been proposed in other states, Stabile said that "the border wall twist is new". 

As the Arizona Mirror also reports, the bill is linked to Chris Sevier, a man who last year tried to push through the similar legislation in Long Island. However, he was met with a cease and desist notice for using a child safety activist’s name against her wishes. In 2013, he reportedly tried to sue Apple for claiming his computer was to blame for his porn addiction. And then in 2017, he tried to sue the state of Utah for not recognising his marriage to his laptop, in a protest against gay marriage. Stabile added: “He’s been doing this all across the country… he’s a bit of a jokester”.