If you happened to be one of the listeners last night then you know that during the live show [@ThatDatingShow] we talked a bit about the move by Rhode Island, Gov. Gina Raimondo to veto a bill intended to make “unauthorized dissemination of indecent material” in her state illegal. Now before we get into operationally defining, “indecent” let’s talk about the very usage of the term[s] ‘Revenge Porn’ and see if we can agree on the definition of exactly what it is, okay? What do you mean you think it has to do with this or that? Why, I was convinced it only had to do with that other thing, and Pamela Michelle [my co-host of That Dating Show] could swear it has to do with… Okay, forget it. Let’s forget the definition of what it is and move on.
The fact that we might not be able to meet on a decision of exactly what ‘revenge porn’ is, may be the very reason what Gov. Raimondo vetoed the bill. After all, you cannot put something into law, if you do not know what it is, right? Of course, but Lord knows we do try. Why would it be so much trouble to come up with a definition though, when according to Esquire mag, “over half the states in the country have enacted laws against [it]?” The answer, of course, is complicated and has much to do with what makes our country so awesome, and at times problematic. The United States of America, is a country that is made up of individual states and these states decide for themselves, for the most part, what’s illegal unless of course there are challenges that state laws violate our sacred Constitution, and that’s exactly what Gov. Raimondo, was trying to say when she vetoed the bill. In particular, Gov. Raimondo, thinks it’s violating protections under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Does it? What about the rights of privacy, which seem to be eroding [can’t help but think of the film Bruce Almighty]…
Before you go to thinking that Gov. Raimondo knows little about protection of privacy, rest assured that she is very supportive of legislation that protects against “revenge porn” which for simplicity’s sake, will be defined here as someone using social media to get even with a former lover and posting what should be for their eyes only all over the Internet, via social media. It’s just that she believes that the bill was far too broad, and she’s being careful not to have everything and anything be illegal, because that can get us into trouble and cause a whole lot of trouble.
As with most political issues I tend to be somewhat leery of polarized positions, and welcome a leader who elects to utilize power in the way it was intended. No law should be passed without careful consideration for the residual affects that it will place on our citizens and it’s wonderful when a governor takes the time to explain…. and actually read the fine print before just agreeing to ban something that should be banned.
If you take the time to read the article on Esquire’s website which was posted yesterday [June 23, 2016] by Luke O’Neil, you will see that the ACLU has argued that there are many laws already on the books the protect against extortion…. that’s true, but weren’t there so many laws on the books that protected against bullying? Did we not go full force with Anti-Bullying legislation even though chances are that the acts of harassment were already illegal? Sure, we did. Or at least some of us did, and while I am not suggesting it’s okay to ‘bully’ someone because it’s not, it’s not okay to just sign a petition requesting the state you live in pass a bill, when you have no idea what that law will do once it’s passed. Too many times people sign a petition and think they support something without truly knowing ….[Case and point, what does that controversial ‘bathroom law’ actually say???? ]
Kudos to Gov. Raimondo for doing her job!