- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Two Kansas lawmakers are pushing similar measures to make it illegal for someone to post nude photographs or videos of a former spouse or significant other on the Internet without permission.

Rep. Sydney Carlin, a Manhattan Democrat, introduced her “revenge porn” bill on Tuesday, and Rep. Stephanie Clayton, an Overland Park Republican, planned to introduce hers on Wednesday, The Wichita Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/181u7zB ).

“Divorces are nasty,” Carlin said. “A lot of pain and a lot of anger and usually one person comes out a little better in financial settlements than the other, and this is threatening. This is harassment.”

Current state laws on privacy and blackmail make it a crime to post pictures or videos taken without consent. The new bills seek to also forbid the posting of sexual material that was filmed or photographed consensually during the relationship but then posted online after the relationship ended.

Carlin said this happened to one of her constituents after a divorce.

“Her ex-husband had posted pictures of her in her home that he had taken while they were happily married … (to) a revenge porn site,” Carlin said. “We are just asking that to be added to the statute to make that illegal in Kansas.”

Both lawmakers said they were not aware they were working on the same issue. Clayton said she would introduce her bill to increase the chances that the issue makes it to the House floor.

Clayton, a member of the national organization Women In Government, said female lawmakers across the U.S. are making efforts at the state and federal level to make the practice illegal, and that men and women can be victims of revenge porn

The photos may have been taken consensually, Clayton said, but that doesn’t give someone permission to post them online. Also, she noted that in abusive relationships a person may consent to being photographed under coercion.

Clayton said that when she first floated the legislation last spring, some male colleagues were dismissive.

“I did have some colleagues say, ‘Well, just don’t share the pictures.’ Well, by that, just don’t tell your husband any secrets, just don’t be married or be in a relationship ever,” she said. “That’s not realistic.”

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

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