Washington State is contemplating HB 1742, legislation that would end the practice of charging children who exchange consensual sexts with child porn offenses that can lead to prison and a lifetime on the sex-offender registry.
The bill is very carefully crafted: it gives prosecutors the power to charge children who transmit sexualized images of other children aged 13-17 with misdemeanors, and continues to felonize any transmission of sexual pictures of children 12 and under. The statute is designed to make it easier for kids to come forward with reports of harassment and other malicious conduct, which can still be charged under existing malicious distribution and harassment laws.
Naturally, the bill has afforded an excellent opportunity for bad-faith, hysterical moralizing by far-right, sex-phobic politicians, which is where state rep Brad Klippert (@bradklippert, Bradklippert.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, (360) 786-7882) comes in: Klippert is a school cop, a pentacostalist preacher, and the elected rep from South Central Washington. Klippert proposed an amendment that would have gutted the bill, making it a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor for two teens to consensually exchange images depicting sexual acts.
In a grandstanding, bizarre speech from the floor, Klippert read out a long, salacious list of sexual acts that teens might engage in, slavering as he ranted about anal sex, bestiality (!), gay sex, S&M, and more.
Strangely, Klippert's speech did not sway the legislature, and the bill is proceeding without his amendment.
In order to express his disgust with the many varieties of sex that teens might be having, which I guess he thinks the underlying bill would somehow cosign, Klippert read off the list of acts that fall into the state's definition of "sexually explicit conduct." These acts include (emphasis his): "Actual or simulated sexual intercourse including genital to genital, oral to genital, anal genital [sic], oral, anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex or between humans and animals. Penetration of the vagina or rectum by any object. Masturbation, sadomasochistic abuse!"
"Mr. Speaker, I request permission to read the definition of sadism," Klippert said, apparently unaware of the permission-seeking trope popular among subs and doms. "Please continue," the speaker said, offering Klippert the release he was seeking.
Though earlier in the debate, Klippert said it would be unnecessary to detail the relevant sexual acts cataloged under the state's definition of sexually explicit conduct, he went on for another couple of minutes doing just that, all the while decrying the fact that the legislature apparently didn't want to criminalize teens taking dick pics. Despite these protestations, the bill passed 57 to 39 without Klippert's amendment.
A Bill Decriminalizing Teen Sexting Passes the House, Causing Republican to Scream About Anal Sex on the Floor [Rich Smith/Slog]