Massachusetts lawmakers in the House and Senate quickly passed a bill Thursday that makes it illegal to take photos up a woman's skirt, NECN reported.
Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray said she was astonished when she heard Wednesday that the state's highest court had dismissed so-called "peeping tom" charges against an Andover man accused of taking photos up women's skirts while riding on the MBTA's Green Line. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the 2004 law in place did not apply to people clothed in public.
"For me, this is going backwards, like when your husband could beat you and beat your children. That was okay. Well, we've changed," Murray said, according to NECN.
So Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo took immediate action to revise the state law to make "upskirting," as it's called, illegal.
"We are outraged by what has occurred and from today forward want to make sure that those types of actions are dealt with in our court system and dealt with swiftly," DeLeo said.
DeLeo said they want to make sure the bill is able to pass constitutional muster, but they expect to have it on the Gov. Deval Patrick's desk by late Thursday. The governor has promised to sign it.
"The common-sense view is that that sort of thing qualifies as a peeping tom, if you will, and we need to change the law in order to make sure that's clear we ought to do so," Patrick said.
Meanwhile, it hasn't been lost on many Beacon Hill observers that while most basic legislation, including bond bills and supplemental budgets, can take months to move through the chambers, this bill is being moved in one day, NECN reported.
"So we should ride the wave while we have it, because it usually doesn't happen around here," Republican House minority leader Bradley Jones said. "Usually there's a disagreement on who gets credit or 'I want to be up' or 'If you do it, we can't' and it needs to be tied into some other moving parts. No, this is the very definition of a no-brainer."