Controversial lobbyist and anti-gay marriage advocate Chris Sevier has been pushing for several bills aiming to protect children by making porn and human trafficking sites harder to access. One proposal, the Rhode Island bill would require a $20 fee to view pornography online.
Someone, however, is particularly unhappy about the aggressive push because she claims her name is being used in the process without her consent. Elizabeth Smart from Utah sent a cease-and-desist-letter to prevent her name from being used to promote and advocate said Rhode Island bill.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Mark "Chris" Sevier, who tried to marry his laptop in a legal fight against same-sex marriage, is promoting legislation across the country to require a filter to block pornography and human trafficking websites that would be lifted if a user pays $20. <a href="https://t.co/df1hgaDCCD">https://t.co/df1hgaDCCD</a></p>— The Seattle Times (@seattletimes) <a href="https://twitter.com/seattletimes/status/978498099759976448?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 27, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Smart was kidnapped as a teenager from her home in 2002. Sevier shared that he chose to use Smart's name as a tagline for the bill because she once spoke about the negative effects of pornography during her ordeal of spending nine long months in captivity. She said in 2016 that her kidnapper's use of pornography "made my living hell worse." Sevier has given his proposed bill the "Elizabeth Smart Law" as the nickname, which he disseminated to lawmakers.
Sevier defends his choice of said tagline, stating that he means no harm against Smart. He said: "Obviously, we’re not trying to hurt Elizabeth Smart, for God’s sake. We don’t really care what it’s called. We just want it to pass. And we’re going to see to it that it passes, and the law is on our side."
Smart's spokesperson, however, insists that she has nothing to do with Sevier and that she never authorized the use of her name.
Many states have also pushed for similar bipartisan bills that would compel internet service providers to install filters on obscene material or sites that facilitate prostitution.
There are groups opposing Sevier's proposal, however, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union who both claim that the idea behind Sevier's proposal is unconstitutional because a state cannot filter everyone's computers.
Sevier became controversial for what his critics describe as bizarre his antics of opposing gay marriage by attempting to marry his MacBook laptop in an effort to send home the message that such an absurd thing is comparable to gay couples marrying.
The former Tennessee lawyer and Christian electronic dance music producer filed a motion in 2014 in Florida arguing that if same-sex couples "have the right to marry their object of sexual desire…then I should have the right to marry my preferred sexual object", in such case his "porn-filled Apple computer."
The motion was dismissed but he tried anew with another Texas lawsuit demanding that he be granted a 14th Amendment right to wed his laptop.
Sevier has yet to take down Elizabeth Smart's name off his website HumanTraffickingPreventionAct.com which calls his legislation as "the Elizabeth Smart law." Sevier insists it’s irrelevant to discuss whether he will or will not take down the said tagline.