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As State Rep, Matt Gaetz Opposed 'Revenge Porn' Law

Gaetz believed that recipients of those images had a right to share them, according to the sponsor of the legislation.
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According to the sponsor of the legislation, Gaetz fought tooth-and-nail to stop the nonconsensual pornography bill from passing.

Source: Orlando Sentinel

While serving in the Florida Legislature, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz opposed a bill meant to stop people from sharing sexually explicit images of their ex-lovers because Gaetz believed that recipients of those images had a right to share them, according to the sponsor of the legislation.

Former state Rep. Tom Goodson, a Republican from Brevard County, spent three years sponsoring legislation to outlaw nonconsensual pornography — sometimes called “revenge porn.”

And Goodson said Monday that Gaetz was the chief opponent to that legislation. Goodson said he remembered a meeting in which Gaetz said that if someone sends an intimate image to their romantic partner, then that image becomes the partner’s property to use however they want.

“Matt was absolutely against it. He thought the picture was his to do with what he wanted,” Goodson said. “He thought that any picture was his to use as he wanted to, as an expression of his rights.”

Gaetz was just one of just two members to vote against the bill, even in the highly neutered form that eventually got signed into law in 2015.

Gaetz was one of just two House members to vote against Goodson’s revenge porn bill this spring. He had successfully blocked the bill in the past. Last year, for instance, the legislation cleared two Senate committees and the full chamber on unanimous votes. But the House bill, though it attracted 17 co-sponsors, was never given a hearing in its first committee of reference — which was chaired by Gaetz.

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