News and Politics

An Oklahoma Bill Will Ban All Pornography in the State

In Senate Bill 1976, all forms of pornography will be banned in the state of Oklahoma. 

The Senate bill introduced by Senator Dusty Deevers will see all forms of pornography banned in the state for all individuals.

Deevers has been open about his opposition to pornography. Deevers cited it as his top priority during his campaign last year. 

Inside the Bill

Section 1024.2 states the following “It shall be unlawful for any person to buy, procure, view, or possess child pornography or obscene materials or to distribute any unlawful pornography that lacks serious literary, artistic, educational, political, or scientific purposes or value as defined in Section 1024.1 of this title. Such person shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a felony…”

Earlier in the bill, the definition of “obscene materials” is, “any representation, depiction, or description of sexual conduct…” The bill continues to include various forms of media. The bill further defines obscenity as it has depictions or descriptions of sexual content that can be found to be “offensive” to the average person, and the media appeals to prurient interest in sex according to the average individual and if a “reasonable” person believes it does not serve a specific purpose or value. 

Following the obscene material, the bill gives a list of what it deems to be “sexual conduct.” This list of acts includes “acts of sexual intercourse including any intercourse which is normal or perverted, actual or simulated. Acts of deviate sexual conduct, including oral and anal sodomy. Acts of masturbation.”

Pornography has been under constant threat. Utah Senator Mike Lee introduced “Shielding Children’s Retinas from Egregious Exposure on the Net,” or S.C.R.E.E.N. Alongside this bill, came another bill that would alter the Miller Test, specifically the 2nd prong. 

Miller Test

The Miller test is a legal test used in the United States to determine whether material is obscene and, therefore, not protected by the First Amendment. 

To be considered obscene, the material must meet all three of the prongs of the test. 

  1. Whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest.
  2. Whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable state law.
  3. Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

Historically, pornography had been protected under the 1st Amendment as it typically does not meet the second prong as “patently offensive” material.

If everyone has done it, and still does it, it’s not offensive.