OPW - Feb 26 - Maryland men who date or otherwise communicate with foreign women might need
to visit their local police station if House
Bill 596 is passed by the General Assembly. The Bill was recently
reintroduced. If passed, it would require online dating sites to
obtain a copy of police records for men who are citizens of Maryland
and disclose the records to female clients. The Bill will also require the
men to submit their fingerprints if they use the services rendered by
online dating websites internationally. The Bill itself was
introduced by Delegate Benson, who is closely aligned with various
women's rights groups. The Bill, originally proposed in 2008, did not
become law because it expired before the 2008 legislative session
halted. However, Maryland delegates are trying again.
In January of this year, one of the first bills introduced was The Fingerprint Bill, otherwise known as House Bill 65. Violation or failure to comply with these bills could lead to a misdemeanor. Conviction could result in a fine not to exceed $12,000, imprisonment not to exceed 1 year, or both. Exchanging names, phone numbers, addresses, photos, statistics, or otherwise facilitating communication between a client and a recruit; or providing a social environment for introducing clients to recruits in a country other than the U.S.A., is considered to be a violation. This could be very serious for the social networking/online dating industry. Michael Parrotte, is one of few Maryland locals attempting to fight the bill. Stacey Goodman, a Senior Policy Analyst working closely with Senator Alex Mooney on the matter, told Parrotte that regardless of how the current Bill is interpreted the intent of the Bill’s sponsors is to “restrict or even prevent communication between American men and foreign women for the purposes of dating and/or marriage”. Parrotte is interested in speaking with anyone from the dating industry who is interested in the legislation and can be reached at 301.695.8004.