Mass. House unanimously approves revenge porn ban, parentage reforms
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Mass. House unanimously approves revenge porn ban, parentage reforms

House Democrats gave unanimous approval Wednesday to one bill cracking down on revenge porn and coercive control, and another modernizing state law to better recognize parenthood status for LGBTQ families and others who rely on alternative methods of reproduction.The House voted 155-0 on a bill (H 4744) that enforceably bans sharing sexually explicit images and videos without a subject’s consent. Forty-eight other states already have clear prohibitions on the books, and Democrats here were unable to get on the same page about an earlier proposal two years ago.House and Senate negotiators struck a deal on a final bill Tuesday, and it could reach Gov. Maura Healey’s desk as soon as Thursday.”We heard a lot from survivors about the impacts of both coercive control and revenge porn that they had on their lives. We heard that, and that was an element that pushed us over the finish line here,” Judiciary Committee Co-chair Rep. Michael Day, one of the lead negotiators, told reporters Wednesday.Rep. Alyson Sullivan-Almeida, an Abington Republican and fellow conference committee member, recounted stories shared by two of her constituents who faced enormous emotional pain after images of them were shared against their will.”While we have failed so many survivors for so many years, today, that changes,” Sullivan-Almeida said on the House floor. “Today, we have taken one step forward in protecting victims across the commonwealth.”The House also voted 156-0 on legislation (H 4672) updating how state law defines parentage, aiming to better account for LGBTQ+ families and those who have used assisted reproductive technology like in vitro fertilization.House Speaker Ron Mariano said the proposed changes would “yield significant differences” for LGBTQ+ couples with children.”We have couples where one parent is the birth parent, the other is no relation, and if something is to happen to the birth parent, the other parent has no status, so they would have to go through an adoption process,” he said.”Marriage looks different today than it did 10 years ago, so we’re trying to keep pace with the changes that are occurring in society and not burden people for doing the right thing,” Mariano added.

House Democrats gave unanimous approval Wednesday to one bill cracking down on revenge porn and coercive control, and another modernizing state law to better recognize parenthood status for LGBTQ families and others who rely on alternative methods of reproduction.

The House voted 155-0 on a bill (H 4744) that enforceably bans sharing sexually explicit images and videos without a subject’s consent. Forty-eight other states already have clear prohibitions on the books, and Democrats here were unable to get on the same page about an earlier proposal two years ago.

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House and Senate negotiators struck a deal on a final bill Tuesday, and it could reach Gov. Maura Healey’s desk as soon as Thursday.

“We heard a lot from survivors about the impacts of both coercive control and revenge porn that they had on their lives. We heard that, and that was an element that pushed us over the finish line here,” Judiciary Committee Co-chair Rep. Michael Day, one of the lead negotiators, told reporters Wednesday.

Rep. Alyson Sullivan-Almeida, an Abington Republican and fellow conference committee member, recounted stories shared by two of her constituents who faced enormous emotional pain after images of them were shared against their will.

“While we have failed so many survivors for so many years, today, that changes,” Sullivan-Almeida said on the House floor. “Today, we have taken one step forward in protecting victims across the commonwealth.”

The House also voted 156-0 on legislation (H 4672) updating how state law defines parentage, aiming to better account for LGBTQ+ families and those who have used assisted reproductive technology like in vitro fertilization.

House Speaker Ron Mariano said the proposed changes would “yield significant differences” for LGBTQ+ couples with children.

“We have couples where one parent is the birth parent, the other is no relation, and if something is to happen to the birth parent, the other parent has no status, so they would have to go through an adoption process,” he said.

“Marriage looks different today than it did 10 years ago, so we’re trying to keep pace with the changes that are occurring in society and not burden people for doing the right thing,” Mariano added.

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