MP Seeks Debate on New U.K. Porn Laws; E-petition Gains Traction

Dec 11, 2014 9:41 AM PST

LONDON — An e-petition in Britain is gaining traction while a member of Parliament has called for a debate in the House of Commons over new rules that have put a crimp on streaming numerous forms of explicit adult entertainment in the U.K.

The new Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014, which took effect Dec. 1, forbids U.K.-based online adult operators from distributing content that includes acts of female ejaculation, spanking, fisting, water sports, face-sitting, full bondage and other types of strong explicit content.

MP Julian Huppert has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) calling for the new regs to be annulled. An EDM is a motion, expressed in a single sentence, that calls for a proposal for a parliamentary debate.  

Huppert, a liberal democrat, has gained several allies in the past several days in support of putting a hold on the new regs. Fellow members of Parliament David Ward, John Leech and Mike Hancock have sided with him.

Meanwhile, an e-petition that asks to repeal the new legislation has moved forward and now has 3,450 signatures at post time.

At least 100,000 signatures would be needed to make it eligible to be considered for debate in the House of Commons. Its closing date is March 30.

The petition, posted by web development operator and political activist Denny de la Haye, contends the new rules for streaming content in the U.K. are "sexist" and amount to crippling a local adult entertainment industry that already has to compete with foreign behemoths.

"The list of banned activities is transparently sexist: depictions of irrumatio (forceful fellatio) are explicitly permitted, but facesitting (even fully clothed) is banned. Similarly, male ejaculation on a partner is explicitly permitted, but female ejaculation on a partner is banned.

"In addition, these restrictions will cripple small independent U.K. businesses producing niche pornographic content, while favoring large companies producing mainstream content. They will also benefit foreign companies producing content which is now illegal to produce in the U.K., but still legal for U.K. customers to purchase and view online."

In related news, more than 950 have committed online to protest on Friday at noon outside Parliament against the new rules for U.K. online adult distributors.

Participants at #pornprotest are planning to debate and end up sitting on the faces of others while listening to Monty Python’s "Sit on My Face" at the Old Palace Yard in Westminster. There has been word that the face-sitting event could make it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

On Thursday, Charlotte Rose, a sex worker and trainer who organized the protest, recommended for those who attend to think about comfort and be prepared for the weather.

"Please keep an eye on the weather for the afternoon of Friday just to be prepared," she said on the protest's Facebook page. "Oh and yoga mats or blankets for all the lovely people willing to be kept warm with a gorgeous set of thighs wrapped round them."

Rose also said there will be an "after party" fundraiser for the "Sex Workers' Opera," which will also be its Christmas fundraiser, at the Tart Bar in London's Farringdon district, starting Friday night at 8 p.m.

Rose said that opera company will be devoting an entire scene in January to the new porn laws in the U.K.

"If you are in need of a space to let off steam after fighting the new oppressive porn laws then come sing, dance and angrily rant about 'whorephobia' with us," Rose said.

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