LANSING, Mich.—In Lenny Bruce's "Thank You, Masked Man" sketch, he had a line which is both troubling and, for its time, prescient: "I like what they do with fags anyway. Their punishment is quite correct. They throw them in jail with a lot of men. Very clever."
And now, Michigan Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker (R-Lawton), who in 2010 was the Michigan chair of the ultra-conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), has proposed a bill that may just lead to more homosexual contact in prisons: She wants to ban prisoners from possessing any sexually explicit material that would help them with their only other sexual outlet: masturbation.
Schuitmaker's Senate Bill 627, which would "reform" the Corrections Code of 1953, states, "A prisoner shall not be permitted to receive or possess sexually explicit material," which is defined to include any photos or drawings that depict "the genetalia [sic] or anus of a male or female human being or representation of a male or female human being or a nipple or areola of a female human being or representation of a female human being," as well as any material that "describes a sexual act."
Such material would include "The intentional touching of an individual's intimate parts or the intentional touching of the clothing covering the immediate area of an individual's intimate parts, if that intentional touching can reasonably be construed as being for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification, done for a sexual purpose, or in a sexual manner for ... [s]exual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, or any other intrusion, however slight, of any part of an individual's body or of an object into the genital or anal openings of another individual's body."
Also banned are materials depicting or describing masturbation and bestiality.
Schuitmaker's bill follows what appears to be a trend of banning prisoners' access to First Amendment-protected sexually explicit materials, with Pennsylvania having already banned porn and Connecticut on the verge of doing so—and with plenty of Republican-dominated state legislatures yet to go.
Keep checking back with AVN.com for future such attempts as they happen.