The Latest: Lawmaker pulls bill pushed by anti-porn crusader

This 2014 booking photo released by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department shows Mark "Chris" Sevier after his arrest for harassment threats against country singer John Rich. A bill scheduled for a hearing Tuesday, March 27, 2018, in Rhode Island, similar to bills in many other states, would require a pornography filter on internet-capable devices. Sevier has promoted such legislation as the "Elizabeth Smart Law." Smart, who was kidnapped from her Utah home as a teenager in 2002, has sent a cease-and-desist letter to demand her name be removed from it. (Metropolitan Nashville Police Department via AP)

A Rhode Island lawmaker has withdrawn a bill that would have required a filter for online pornography that could be lifted with a $20 fee

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Latest on an effort to introduce bills across the country that would require a filter for online pornography that could be lifted with a $20 fee. (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

A Rhode Island lawmaker has withdrawn a bill that would have required a filter for online pornography that could be lifted with a $20 fee.

Sen. Frank Ciccone (chih-KOHN') says he pulled the bill after The Associated Press reported the legislation had been pushed around the country by a man with a history of outlandish lawsuits including trying to marry his computer as a statement against gay marriage.

In a press release issued ahead of a Tuesday hearing, Ciccone cited what he called the bill's "dubious origins."

He said he made the decision after learning that kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart "was in no way involved with this legislation."

Smart's spokesman told the AP she had sent a cease and desist letter telling the backers of the bill described as the "Elizabeth Smart Law" to stop using her name.

___

8 a.m.

A man with a history of outlandish lawsuits including trying to marry his computer is pushing a measure requiring a filter for online pornography that could be lifted with a $20 fee.

The measure pushed in legislatures across the country by Chris Sevier has been dubbed the "Elizabeth Smart Law" after the kidnapping victim from Utah.

Smart has sent a cease-and-desist letter to have her name removed from the website pushing the measure.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has tracked about two dozen similar bills in 18 state legislatures this year, none of which have passed.

A bill in Rhode Island is scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday.

Sevier and supporters say it would protect children and others by making pornography and sites that allow human trafficking harder to access.

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