Oklahoma State Senator Dusty Deevers to criminalise watching porn with penalties of up to 20 years in prison

By Abby Amoakuh

Published Jan 22, 2024 at 01:06 PM

Reading time: 1 minute

Oklahoma state senator Dusty Deevers (yes, that is his actual name) has proposed a bill that will make the production and viewing of consenting pornography a felony. What’s more, the legislation, named Bill 1976, will also make the offence punishable with up to 20 years in prison. Seems a tad much, but okay.

The christian pastor, businessman and self-described abortion abolitionist has been on a mission to put an end to pornography in Oklahoma since he took office in December 2023.

“Here in Oklahoma, it’s time to abolish abortion, abolish pornography, abolish the state income tax and give power and equal representation back to the people!” the Republican posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

The Oklahoma Senate bill also bundles bans on consenting adult pornography with child sex abuse materials (CSAM). While a ban on materials containing the sexual abuse of children could never be argued with, the bill has been critiqued for hiding a broader ban on pornography produced by consenting adults within it. 

Separate from its definition of child pornography, the bill describes “obscene material” as “any representation, performance, depiction or description of sexual conduct, whether in any form or on any medium including still photographs, undeveloped photographs, motion pictures, undeveloped film.”

Despite its strict stance on distributing and producing pornography, the bill does contain an exception though. It does not “prevent spouses from sending images of a sexual nature to each other.” Phew!

This is not the first time that the state senator and religious extremist, who represents Senate District 32 in Comanche County, has been accused of conflating pornography with child abuse or focusing on penalising the individual rather than unethical production.

On his view on abortions, for instance, The Guardian noted how the mainstream “pro-life” movement typically targets abortion providers with its bans. Deevers, however, supports the belief that fetuses are people, worthy of rights and protections, thereby justifying a murder charge for abortion in his view. Thus, he insists on the greater prosecution in all of his stances.

Deevers also proposed a number of other bills last week, including one that would ban all abortion without exception and one to repeal no-fault divorce.

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