Florida governor signs ban on childlike sex dolls

Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law on Thursday a bill to outlaw childlike sex dolls in his state.

The bill "prohibits a person from knowingly having in his or her possession, custody, or control an obscene, childlike sex doll." Lawmakers unanimously approved the measure. Violation of the law is a first-degree misdemeanor. Violations thereafter will result in a second-degree felony.

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"These are anatomically correct, lifelike silicone dolls that are eerily similar to real human children made for the sole purpose of sexual gratification,” Democratic state Sen. Lauren Book said in a statement. “Just as viewing child pornography lowers the inhibitions of child predators, so do these childlike sex dolls that have no place in the state of Florida.”

Silicon sex dolls for sexual encounters sitting at the "Bordoll" brothel on April 17 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Silicon sex dolls for sexual encounters sitting at the "Bordoll" brothel on April 17 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Bongarts/Getty Images)

A legislative analysis concluded that childlike sex dolls imported from China, Japan and Hong Kong are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S., which is part of the $15 billion sex toy industry, according to The Associated Press.

Supporters of the bill argued the dolls should be treated as a form of child pornography, while others said the dolls could prevent pedophiles from preying on children, Orlando Weekly reported.

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The law goes into effect Oct. 1.