Supreme Court declines to block Texas age-verification law on porn websites like Pornhub

A Texas law requiring pornographic websites to verify the age of their users will remain after the Supreme Court declined an emergency appeal.

Here’s what the court said about House Bill 1181 and what happens next.

What is HB 1181?

HB 1181 passed in 2023, requiring porn sites to verify the age of users with a government-issued ID or reasonable alternative. The bill was written by Plano Republican state Rep. Matt Shaheen. The bill prevents minors from accessing sites and comes with a $10,000-a-day fine for violators and $250,000 “if a child is exposed to pornographic content due to not properly verifying a user’s age.”

Last March, in a court battle between the state and Aylo Global Entertainment — which owns many popular pornographic websites, including Pornhub — sides argued whether or not Texas' law violated free speech rights. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that HB 1181 does not violate the First Amendment.

In addition to Texas, Pornhub has reluctantly blocked site access for people in other states with age-verification laws, including Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Utah and Virginia.

Will HB 1181 remain?

For now. According to Newsweek, the Free Speech Coalition, a trade association that fights for protection and the rights of the adult industry, said they will continue to fight the current bill.

“The ruling by the Fifth Circuit remains in direct opposition to decades of Supreme Court precedent, and we remain hopeful that the Supreme Court will grant our petition for certiorari and reaffirm its lengthy line of cases applying strict scrutiny to content-based restrictions on speech like those in the Texas statute we've challenged. We will continue to fight for the right to access the internet without intrusive government oversight,” a spokesperson for the Free Speech Coalition said.

What other sites does Pornhub's parent company Aylo own?

Owned by the adult entertainment conglomerate Aylo, Pornhub stands as the second-most visited website in its category, trailing only behind XVideos.

There are eight video-sharing websites in the Pornhub Network: GayTube, Peeperz, PornIQ, Pornhub, RedTube, Thumbzilla, Tube8, and YouPorn. The network also operates Porn MD, a video search engine that aggregates content from across the network.

All adult entertainment brands operated by Aylo include:

  • Brazzers

  • Digital Playground


  • Mofos

  • Nutaku

  • Pornhub

  • Reality Kings

  • RedTube

  • Sean Cody

  • Twistys


  • Xtube

  • YouPorn

— USA TODAY contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Supreme Court not swayed on Texas age-verification law on porn sites