Cyber Swing/Polyamory Resource Center
Promoting Intimacy and Other-Centered Sexuality
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
Phoenix Political Sexual Freedom Meeting
Supporter of individual privacy rights for consenting
adults to practice their sexuality without government interference.
Phoenix is a Focal Point for the Bush/Ashcroft Anti-sex Machine and Religious Extremists
Dave in Phoenix's Report from Sat April 20, 2002
Phoenix is becoming one of the national focal points in the fight against the Bush/Ashcroft attack on sexual freedoms. Those who know what is best for you, the strong Christian groups see this administration as a great time to get rid of us "perverts", as Justice Dept officials refer to us as. Very well financed the Christian groups are pulling out all the political stops to take advantage of the current Bush administrations anti-sex crusade in a broad range of "what is best for us" morality issues. In the meeting the success of fighting the legal issues regarding sexual rights may be as important as the landmark "Miranda" law in protecting civil rights.
The Christian groups have been successful helping more and more cities adopt restrictive laws regarding all forms of alternative sexual expression and freedoms. Hollywood Florida recently passed law to ban as illegal all swing clubs modeled directly after the Phoenix law. Likewise the religious groups are helping cities pass the same type of Phoenix laws against a wide range of "Sexually Oriented Businesses." The religious extremists are getting hotels to ban allowing alternative sexual events all over the U.S.
Phoenix was one of the first cities to pass such anti-freedom laws which are now coming to a head in the Courts, especially regarding swing clubs. Phoenix is drawing national attention on both sides since the results of the legal cases may set precedents for the rest of the U.S. The larger issue is more political than just legal. Grassroots organization with financial clout is needed to fight the religious extremists especially now empowered by the Bush Administration.
The political fight was described in the Phoenix meeting best by the example of a council person in one city whose personal beliefs opposed restrictive anti-freedom laws. But because it would be political suicide to go against the religious extremists in her city, she voted for the restrictive law despite her own personal views.
The only way I knew of this meeting was from a mailing from Club Chameleon. I understand they mailed to over 6000 people and we had about 30 at the meeting including representatives from the bi/gay, S&M, Adult as well as swing community which all have overlapping common interests in sexual freedoms. Playtime Magazine had reporters at the meeting, but agreed any comments from participants other than the NCSF was "off record" and could not be published to protect privacy.
In the meeting I stressed my view that part of what is needed is public awareness of the socially positive aspects of sexual freedoms and expression. Many cultural studies show the more you repressive honest consenting adult sexual outlets, the more frustrated and aggressive a culture has been. The current restrictions of sexual options in the Catholic Church is a clear example of the results of the repression of consenting adult sexual options. After the meeting a Mormon talked with me in agreement of what I was saying. In fact he had been on Charles Keatings' Decency Committee, an extreme conservative group for sexual repression. But now he has changed his mind and shared with me data on who Utah, with its anti-sexual Mormon teachings has the 2nd highest sexual crime rates of any State.
In polls the majority of Americans are not that concerned about consenting adult sexual expression. But the religious extremists have declared a holy war on anything other than monogamous only in marriage sex.
Wording is important in the political fight. It is being discussed as a right to privacy and freedom of expression and assembly issue, which have constitutional safeguards, not a "sex right" issue, which is an important yet subtle distinction.
Update on Phoenix Swing Club Issue - Which has broader potential ramifications
As most people know after ignoring the massive well organized swing and sexually oriented business supporters in Dec 1998 the City Council unanimously passed extensive anti sexual freedoms laws, including simply outlawing swing clubs as being illegal.
City has declared swing clubs a public nuisance per se which should be
prohibited, and "is inimical to the health, safety, general welfare and MORALS
(my caps) of the inhabitants of the city of Phoenix."
The clubs filed lawsuits against the City of Phoenix for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction arguing the law violated the Constitution. The clubs lost and the case has been on appeal to the Federal 9th Circuit Appeals Court ever since. Eventually it may be a jury trail so public education is very important. One argument of the lower court was that since Phoenix had not charged any club, no ones rights had been violated. Four of the Five swing clubs joined in the suit. Now Phoenix has filed criminal charges against the owners of those four clubs and not the fifth which also brings into question selective enforcement issues. Customers are not at risk only the club owners.
The cost of freedom is very expensive against those that seek to legally impose only their morality on everyone. The clubs have spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the legal fight and as the legal process moves forwards substantial additional funds are needed to hire the best attorney's and mount this important fight. According to Judy Guerin, Executive Director of NCSF and the NCSF Foundation, who led the Phoenix meeting, this weekend she knows of ten swing clubs across America doing various forms of fund raising to assist the Phoenix legal defense. But the legal issues are just one step, ongoing proactive political action is required to stop the Christian groups from trampling over consenting adult sexual rights based on individual morality and responsibly not just the dictates of one group.
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom Foundation
NCSFF has a lot of resources and other groups it can bring in for help. It has been successful in other cases it has assisted in. They have a outstanding public relations firm, good media contacts etc. What they need is the local group to coordinate their assets and support - as in Phoenix with Phoenix being so crucial in the national issues. There is now a Phoenix steering committee being formed next week, some dynamic local leadership and many suggested contacts. NCSF will assist and plans on a follow up meeting in Phoenix tentatively the first week of June and will also try and make some local political contacts.
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom Foundation is a national organization committed to protecting freedom of sexual expression among consenting adults. Based in Washington, D.C., the NCSF Foundation works through legal initiatives, outreach and education to promote greater understanding of sexuality and human rights. The NCSF was founded in 1997 to mobilize diverse grassroots communities to help change antiquated and unfair sex laws, and to protect free speech and advance privacy rights. NCSF is dedicated to ensuring that all consenting adults can express their sexual identity freely and openly, without fear. For more information, visit http://www.ncsf-foundation.org.
4/26/02 Update on Phoenix
Political Scene from last weeks Phoenix Political Sexual Freedom Meeting
I have had long discussions with two folks from the Libertarian party regarding the Phoenix issues. They are gearing up to fight the city on many issues. While I disagree with many Libertarian issues which I believe go way too far, we are totally in agreement over the issue of consenting adult sexual freedoms.
The Libertarian's main political focus plan is to sponsor voter referendums to get issues on the ballot. In Phoenix about 20,000 signature are needed to get an issue on the ballot, which the party doesn't think is any big problem to obtain.
Two proposals being discussed:
1) Term limits for city officials that make public policy decisions. This would solve the "old guard" problem and get rid of the same fools...making public policy.
2) Restrict or eliminate the ability of Phoenix to assess the cities share of property taxes. This might hurt the cities ability to spend money on victimless issues such as swing clubs and adult businesses. However, I raised the question if it would make the city go after adult businesses even more since they need the revenue from fines to replace property taxes.
They also are even considering referendums to make prostitution legal. We know it would fail at election time with all the moralists against it, , but it would get the issue in front of people for discussion and raise the consciousness about the money wasted by Phoenix on victimless crimes and against honest people who are actually a benefit to the society.
Religious Group Key Argument, which I thought was good:
Say to religious groups, "If you believe so strongly in your morality, why not just preach it and practice it? Why are you so insecure over your teachings that you have to have a legal system that forces your view? If you were so confident in your views, you would not need to make laws to force your particular view on others! Using the law to legislate your morality shows how weak and ineffective you must feel your message is."
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