excerpted from HB 1423 regarding the proposed restriction, “Matter
is harmful to minors if it is obscene or, if taken as a whole, it…
depicts violence in a manner patently offensive to prevailing
standards in the adult community, so as to appeal predominantly
to the morbid interest in violence of minors.”
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino is championing this bill. “Children
aged 17 and under should not be sold this stuff, so they are not
getting into the hands of 9- and 10-year-olds,” said Menino’s
chief of human services, Larry Mayes, to the Boston
While not actively involved in the promotion of the bill, Florida
attorney Jack Thompson had a hand in authoring an early January 2007
draft of the HB 1423.
“The Mayor of Boston asked me to draft a bill, on his behalf,
for the Massachusetts legislature. Mayors get to do that in
Massachusetts,” Thompson said to GamePolitics.
Thompson also had a hand in drafting the HB 1381 game law, which
was deemed unconstitutional and forced the state to cover
the game industry’s $91,000 in legal fees.
Although Thompson sees the Massachusetts bill as similar to the
one that was shot down in Louisiana, he feels that those behind the
HB 1423 could achieve a different outcome. “The difference is that
these people intend to win the court fight, unlike the knuckleheads
in Louisiana,” he said in 2007. “That bill was constitutional.
They took a dive because of (ESA boss Doug) Lowenstein’s threats.”