Port: Proposed bill would censor books and art portraying sex or nudity

MINOT, N.D. — There is an old, cynical saw about politics which is often attributed (probably erroneously) to Mark Twain, and it goes like this: “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”

Well North Dakota’s Legislature is in session, and already our liberty to display for the public, art or literature that portrays nudity or sex.

Our state has an existing statute prohibiting the open display of pornography in places where children can see it. If you’ve ever seen pornographic magazines for sale in a gas station bookstore while wrapped in plastic or hidden behind the counter, this law is why.

But an amendment to that statute offered by freshman state Sen. Todd Beard, a Republican from Williston, would expand the prohibition in some important ways.

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