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AUSTIN – Texas State Rep. Morgan Meyer (R-Dallas) has introduced a bill which would create “the criminal offense of unlawful electronic transmission of sexually explicit visual material” in the state.

Under the bill, H.B. 2789, an offense is committed if a person “knowingly transmits by electronic means visual material that… depicts any person engaging in sexual conduct or with the person’s intimate parts exposed, or… covered genitals of a male person that are in a discernibly turgid state, and… is not sent at the request of or with the express consent of the recipient.”

If the bill were to become law, the offense would be a Class C misdemeanor, which under Texas law is punishable by a fine of up to $500.

“Time and time again we hear stories of this sort of harassment, and it’s time for a solution,” Meyer said of the bill. “Sending a lewd photo to someone that has not requested it – or someone you don’t know – is no different than exposing yourself to a stranger in public or performing other lewd acts. This is becoming a bigger issue among our teenagers and young adults, and while it seems less egregious since done over text or email, we must establish that this is not acceptable by making it a punishable offense.”

Meyer reportedly worked on the bill in conjunction with representatives of Bumble Trading Inc., the Texas-based company behind the Bumble dating app.


Gene Zorkin has been covering legal and political issues for various adult publications (and under a variety of different pen names) since 2002.