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Porn to be banned in the United States under new bill

Republican Senator Mike Lee says Smithsonian shouldn't further divide a divided nation …

A new bill introduced by Republican senator Mike Lee could effectively see pornography outlawed in the United States if it is passed into law.

The Utah Republican introduced a bill earlier this week named the Interstate Obscenity Definition Act based on the Communications of Act 1934. In the bill, it is proposed that "obscenity is not protected speech under the First Amendment and is prohibited from interstate or foreign transmission under U.S. law."

It adds: "But obscenity is difficult to define (let alone prosecute) under the current Supreme Court test for obscenity: the ‘Miller Test.’”

The Miller Test is named after the 1973 Miller v. California and the decision that the US Supreme Court came too. In that case, author and publisher Melvin Miller was prosecuted for mailing five brochures to his mother and a restaurant manager which contained sexual images of men and women.

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As a result then-Chief, Justice Warren Burger drew up guidelines to help in future obscenity cases. It said: "whether the average person applying contemporary community standards would find the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law, and whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value."

However, under Lee's new proposals aim to reinstate laws that were first enforced in the Communications Act of 1934. The IODA states that "appeals to the prurient interest in nudity, sex, or excretion, depicts, describes, or represents actual or simulated sexual acts with the objective intent to arouse, titillate, or gratify the sexual desires of a person, and, … lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."

Although it is not thought that the bill will pass it still has the porn world in America worried that their livelihood could be wiped out. The Free Speech Coalition, an organisation that protects the rights of those in the adult industry and sex workers has condemned the bill and vowed to monitor its progress through Congress.

Mike Stabile, the director of public affairs with the Free Speech Coalition told Vice: "This bill, among our members, has gotten a huge amount of attention. Our members understand this for what it is: It’s a threat to their business, to their livelihood. It’s a threat to their community."

In addition to this Lee is also proposing the Shielding Children’s Retinas from Egregious Exposure on the Net Act, or the Screen Act aims to enforce age verification technology onto porn websites in order to prevent children from viewing pornography online.

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