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HOT TOPIC for Apr 20 2002: Defending the Right to Play

1 GloriaBrame   2020-04-20 22:40

If you've been keeping up with the news on the US BDSM communities, you probably know that there's now a concerted effort on the part of religious extremists to convince hotels not to host BDSM events. They succeeded in forcing one event to move, and recently convinced the Baptist Church to boycott hotels that host BDSM events. There have also been some busts of clubs around the country, suggesting that local law agencies are targeting BDSM groups.

Naturally, everyone's upset about about the harassment and folks are trying to rally support for events and clubs with letter campaigns and more.

Usually, I try to do my part when these kinds of things happen. This time, though, I haven't had much to say on the issue, and I finally realized why. As much as it aggravates me that these dangerous dimwits are hounding us, I somehow can't muster my usual outrage because what they are attacking, specifically, is that BDSM is going on in public places. I suppose they'd come after us no matter what we were doing, but a part of me feels that we have supplied them with the ammunition on this one. They have infiltrated events and gone back with unflattering (to put it mildly) descriptions of what goes on in SM play-spaces.

I adamantly support our right to *assemble* and our free speech rights, but it's hard for me to defend our right to have open dungeons, SM demos, and massive play-parties. What would be the vanilla equivalent of using a hotel ballroom as a dungeon--using the ballroom for group fornication? I know that as a bona fide pervert I'd be horrified if I was at a hotel filled with vanilla people and found out they had blow-job rooms with rows of girls on their knees. (The kneeling part is ok, it's the blow-jobs that'd unnerve me *eg*)

BUT SERIOUSLY, FOLKS....

Is the right to play in public worth defending? What do you think? What would happen if we gave an SM event and there wasn't a lick of nudity or playing involved? (Would anyone even show up?) Or does the fact that we rent these spaces, and lock out minors and anyone who doesn't explicitly consent (usually signing legal statements before entering), mean that we have the right to do what we want there?

Glory

2 success0123   2020-04-21 03:32

...O,o....

This should be interesting...

As a general rule of thumb, I dont have a problem with what people do, as long as they do it behind closed doors, or in a relatively secure location... This goes for any public display, from kissing and on....

3 Thorn4MyRose   2020-04-21 08:42

(General Posting)

My personal 'bottom line up front' is that, in my opinion (IMO): If the public venue isn't specific and restricted to BDSM activities, then no such 'right' exists (nor is it even productive in many cases). Even if conducted ethically and legally, the fact that others might be unintentionally exposed (and therefore subjected) to any degree of kink without their prior consent makes it something which goes against a core point that we often use in our explanation as to why this way of livng isn't 'abuse'.

For what it's worth. :-)
Thorn

4 SteelSkys   2020-04-21 09:21

I went to my first play party this past January.
I can't say I will not ever attend another but personally, I like my play, "private"

There was one couple I did enjoy watching.
It was her first public scene and the dom was wonderful.
This little scene didn't become sexual..
It was more like sharing the experience of it "being" her first public scene...
Instead of just wanting to be "seen"

So many want to be seen...
show how dominant they are because they can swing a flogger, or how submissive they are by taking the flogging.
Being dominant doesn't mean the person is sadistic, just as being submissive doesn't make someone a masochist.

In chat rooms I've seen people comment to others, "you aren't REAL because no one has seen you play" or because "you never attend public activities"...
To me being "seen" doesn't make someone "real", many times it makes them nothing more than 'showing off' -- People do not stop to think that just "MAYBE"...
"NOT" playing in public, to be seen...
could very well be all the "proof" they need to show how "real" they really are :)

Steel

PS
Now, let's not confuse a little private exhibitionism with "public play"..
That's two different things!
:x

5 Trinity   2020-04-21 13:37

>> you aren't REAL because no one has seen you play" or because "you never attend public activities" <<

I've often found the opposite. "You run off to these little gatherings, you strut your stuff, but you're not a 'real' dom", or the idea that somehow, because I enjoy public play, that I can't or won't also make intimate private commitments, which is bollocks.

Personally I have a real liking for doing things like BDSM in more "public" venues. It may be something like a fetish in my case, though. As a teen I can remember going to (vanilla) parties where folks flirted in very physical ways, and feeling very attracted by the sexual energy that was just sort of... freely floating around. No, there wasn't any intercourse of any sort... but just seeing people around me, unafraid to be sexual and unafraid to express it in front of other people, really both made me feel good and aroused me.

When I discovered public play, it felt very much the same -- people who didn't feel that they could only express their sexuality behind closed doors. I felt very at home, because in the intervening years I'd missed that sexual sort of openness very much. I felt thrilled to find it again.

This is probably going to sound weird to many, but I feel that although sometimes I want to express my sexuality in private, with no one other than the partner(s) I have chosen to share intimacy with, sometimes I want to express it more openly. Some Intercourse of whatever form would fit into the first category, I think -- I've wondered what it would be like to have sex in quasi-public, but don't know that I'd *really* want to. BDSM polay would sometimes as well, when I feel like keeping it intimate and secret between me and those I love. Sometimes, though, even if I am only publicly playing with the aforementioned long-term partners, I want to play in an open setting with others there. I don't want to express my sexuality in front of just anyone, but people who will understand, who won't judge, who will find my sexuality exciting and interesting.

Most people like keeping their sexuality, in most of its forms, behind closed doors. I don't really feel this way. Some of it is private, certainly... but not all of it is. Sexuality, for me personally, is not *inherently* private.

The chance to occasionally do some things in front of others is something I feel I want very much, maybe even need. I can't imagine someone saying to me "The Gods have deemed that you can never have this any more; it's officially inappropriate in this culture. Go home and shut the door like you're supposed to." I'd go bonkers if truly prevented from ever having the choice to play in front of other people, I think.

But does this strong desire to play in public mean I have the *right* to do it? The desire itself surely doesn't. After all, if I owned property, had adequate space and adequate soundproofing, I could just invite some friends over to my house and we could play. Or head to their house, rather than renting some public space to do it in. Mnay people do host parties on private property, after all. Fetishes alone don't make laws or imply legal rights. *grin*

But I do think that if a hotel *agrees* to let us flog each other in the ballroom, provided we've taken the adequate precautions to keep it an adults-only event, we should be allowed to. If someone deems it OK to rent us the space for this purpose -- and some of these hotels have a long tradition of renting space to pervs -- I think it's OK. If they decide it's not, for whatever reason, well, tough for us.

I'd fight for our right to do this only because the hotels are generally OK with it, and often have hosted events for us in the past. I'd say to them, "Hey, you had no problem with this before CWA started yelling -- why back down now?" Because to me, some of these hotels have shown, by hosting events many times in the past, that they have no problem with us. If they had one in the first place, that would be fine with me, as it's their property to rent as they see fit. But if all that's stopping them is fear of fundamentalism, I find that tacky -- even though I do agree that the hotels have the right to tell us to go away for any reason.

6 firemastersbaby   2020-04-21 14:59

i'm with you, Steel ... i enjoy watching people play, and i don't mind being watched. However, i do *not* like being viewed as entertainment. Whenever Master and i play, it's an intensely personal thing. So while we play occasionally with small groups of friends, we never repeated the mistake (for us) of playing among kinky acquaintances (i.e., a group play party). i like sharing the experience, the highly charged interplay between us; and i appreciate and value the people who feel they can share their experience with us.

Anyway, on with the topic. i can't help but think it's naive for anyone to expect that they'll be left alone when they're doing something that so many people find offensive (and especially when the opposition is so vocal). i don't think it's right, but it's realistic to expect that if you wave a flag, someone will take up the cause against you. Being an American doesn't mean that you have the right to expect everyone to respect and accept you and your choices; it *does* mean that you have the right to stand up for them, and that's pretty much what this boils down to, i think. But as in any battle, there will be sacrifice and loss.

For the record, my personal battle will be for my right to live as i choose. i'll fight that battle to the end. But i can't in any conscience consider it my battle to fight for the right to play in public (or in third-party rented spaces), any more than it would be my battle to fight for strip joints downtown. i don't like having to hide it, and i'll even fight for the chance to not have to appear ashamed of it by hiding it. But i think that's a different issue than the one you raised. i'm at a terrible loss for words, and i really don't think i've explained myself well, but that's the best i can do right now.

Peace
firebaby

7 Trinity   2020-04-21 21:51

>> i can't help but think it's naive for anyone to expect that they'll be left alone when they're doing something that so many people find offensive <<

Yeah... in even affirming that yes, we do BDSM and we're proud of it, we know and acceopt, on some level, that some will reject us. It's just a part of the territory. So those of us who, like me, enjoy public play know, and on some level accept, that *someone* isn't gonna be happy with us hitting each other on public property, and gonna raise a ruckus. That just comes with the package, as much as we might not like it. Is is indeed naive to say "Hey, you can't do that!" as though these groups had no right, or reason, to protest.

However, I do think those of us who do this have a right to make a case, to argue that there's no real reason for people's upset here. We put things back where we found 'em. We leave the place clean. We don't give people trouble:

"It's been here (at Ramada) for three years with absolutely no
incidents," Levin says of the S/M convention.

-- Group with unconventional tastes draws ire over gathering
Burt Constable, Daily Herald (Illinois), February 7, 2002, posted on the NCSF website: http://www.ncsfreedom.org/library/media_archives/mediaupdate020802.htm

We don't insist that the world watch us do our thing. That doesn't mean the bull we've waved the flag in front of will cease to charge, or that we ought not to expect it to. But we can aim our spears at it, too. If the staff of the Ramada and other hotels don't have a problem. I think that says something.

8 memneth   2020-04-22 03:40

Well now. After having just read this thread in Atlanta at the Sanctuary last night and after a conversation with Sir and after thinking about it for several hours before starting to Greenville and considering it on the way for three more hours (gotta love those night contruction crews, working on Sundays.....isn't there a commandement in some book against that somewhere?) I, for a change, have an opinion. Interestingly enough it puts me on the other side of the fence of both Gloria and Thorn. DAMN RIGHT WE SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO HOST OUR EVENTS SEMINARS AND PARTY's!!!! Ok I feel bettr know. Tell you what I am wiling to trade though. I'll support no events, seminars, conferences etc, when I am no longer randomly subjected to having organized religion shoved down my throat, from Ja-hov-ahs witnesses pulling up to my house on bicycles to door to door "ministy" from those trying to save me, because they seem to think that they know whats best for EVERYONE in the whole damn country and are going to going to try and force me to accept it whether I want to or not, or believe, in whole or in part as they do. Somebody correct me if I am wrong (and I am sure that I can count on that) but didn't our founding fathers leave England, so that they could live, believe AND worship as they wanted to??? When did we sell that small point out? I have about as much use for organized religion as I do for a case of the shits: Both stink and are irritating. Organized religion has been used since the begining of time to control the masses, based on the interruptation of the politial powers that be at any given time. I am willing to give up our business spaces and the public spaces that we have a about the same time that I can get a drink on Sunday across the country, when the (fill in the blank) convention no longer holds THEIR events in hotels, when the likes of Jim Baker, Pat Robinson, Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell, the CWA, and the AFA decide to shut up and worship their god ( the dollar, tax free) without ADVERTENTLY subjecting me and others like me to their hat full of hoo hoo. I mean damn, if we give up our spaces and our events because we don't want to accidently exspose some poor innocent person, perhaps we should also consider banning books on say, alternative sexuality and the way its practiced from Barnes and Nobles and other book sellers, because hey, a kid could come along and pick one up off the shelf. No way, no how, un uh, nada, nope.

Justin Medlin

9 SteelSkys   2020-04-22 06:53

<<I, for a change, have an opinion.>>
<cough>

Anyone ever wonder WHY someone would name a new born baby, (or even a frog) "ORAL"?

10 firemastersbaby   2020-04-22 11:04

i don't really think this particular issue is one of religion vs. alternate sexuality. i think at its core it's an issue of money, pure and simple. The hotels will do what they consider to be in their best interest, period. And since they are in the business of making a profit (via providing rooms), they will go where the money seems to be. That's the whole story. Remember, he who has the gold makes the rules. The hotels (and others) perceive the "moral majority" to have control of more money than we kinksters and pervs, therefore they will try to keep them happy. Sad but true.

i think you have a better chance of winning the battle if you understand what it's *really* about.

Peace
firebaby

11 Jewel   2020-04-22 13:50

Justin, that's the first time I've heard the word 'advertently' used correctly or otherwise, and I like it. But not as much as I like 'hat full of hoo hoo' :-).

Steel, yes, I have wondered. I bet he has a brother called Anal Roberts.

12 memneth   2020-04-22 15:35

fire,
      yes its about money. everything in this country is about money, who has it, who wants it and who controls the flow of it. Interesting isn't it, that only about 2-3% of Christians are part of the radical right. Why is that interesting to me? Well because there is something like 40-60 million Christians (unsubstantiated statistic) in this country of 255 million people. People into BDSM supposedly represent of 5-10% of the entire population. Ain't it a bit depressing that they raise more money than we do, that they actually STAND for what they feel is right more vocally and with more financial clout than we can even if we do have greater numbers? The only conclusion that I can draw is that people everywhere prefer to have something jammed down their throats as opposed to up their asses in a nice pleasing consensual manner. I don't think that bdsm will ever go away in people's bedrooms and if that's all w have been fighting for and wanting, then that was always assured. Everything is legal until you get caught and unless the govt of organized religion gets to monitor our bedrooms that will never be at stake. And hey, we always have the internet, so no, I guess the loss of events, conferences and parties is no big thing. We can still do virtually anything we want.

Jewel,
       Even a blind hog will find an acorn every now and again. And yes their is an Anal Roberts, I believe that he is a priest.

Justin Medlin

13 cpt.stennes   2020-04-22 16:22

There is a way to discourage those who would interfere with events and that is to sue them. I have mentioned this before and it is a well settled right of action. It is called "Interference with Advantageous Relations". Events attract vendors and cost money. If someone interferes with that sort of activity, they can be sued. Or enjoined. Enjoined means, in this context, that a court will prevent them, by order, from continuing to attempt to prevent an activity. Of course, you need a plaintiff, ordinarily this will be the organization promoting the event. So, all of this is pretty straightforward. There is also a First Amendment argument but that should be, I think, subordinate to the pecuniary argument. All that said, NCSF could do this providing, I think , that a local lawyer or one brought in, via methods too esoteric to be explained here, would consent to do the work. What is NCSF doing about this? I would be willing to provide the representation given the necessary prerequisites. I think that one sucessful cause celebre would end the problem. So let me know. Regards, F.

14 firemastersbaby   2020-04-22 21:18

i wholly understand your moral indignation, Justin, really i do. i won't even discuss my views on religion here (or anywhere, for that matter) because that always sparks disbelief and then argument, and i just don't feel the need to expend energy on a useless exercise. i'm not old yet, but i *am* old enough to not want to rush the process by wielding a sword against every injustice i see. i did that for a couple of decades in my youth, and it wore me out.

My post was quite possibly off topic because my point was to describe the landscape, not to comment on its beauty or ugliness. Do i think it's right for hotel chains to deny their services to BDSMers? No. Do i think it's understandable (i.e., can i see their point of view)? Yes i can. Remember, the decisions people (and corporations) make about such things are based on their *perceptions* of what's in their best interest. So it always pays, in my experience, to understand their perceptions, and influence them through their priorities.

They don't care, as a corporation, what we do. All they care about is staying on top of the financial game. You have to show them that making morally based decisions (as dictated by any group) is *not* the way to achieve their goals. To kill any prey, you have to use effective ammo. Period. End of story, and probably the end of my input on this topic.

Peace
firebaby

15 Keeper's Slave   2020-04-25 15:27

go for it Captain!!!!! Get um!

16 ckim25   2020-04-25 17:25

hmmmm What if the convention was held at a lone hotel, one that doesn't see much business, who may only fill 10 out of their 100 rooms for a couple of hours on any given weekend. Would the churches be yelling out then? Who would there be to boycott? Who would lose money? I'd bet a lot that there wouldn't be much said except the little hotel telling the churches to kiss their ass. I agree with Fire and Justin.. it's a money thing. The churches seem to find ways to threaten and or hurt businesses in one way.. money. They don't find a law, forbidding such a thing, but because THEY say their God says BAD BAD BAD... whose God? My God? Your God? No, THEIR God....

Now (taking a deep breath)... Do I want to be able to take my son on a vacation, stay in a hotel and not pass by something I may end up having to explain? Sure...
Can you imagine your cousins wedding being held at a hotel where the room was rented months in advance and right next door, in the same hotel was a BDSM event. (Spanking classes, flogging classes, anything) The preacher turns to your cousin and ask, Do you ____ take ____ to be.. blah blah blah and suddenly you hear a scream come from the next room, "Yes Sir... oh yes Sir... I'll do anything, I beg you not to use that on my ass again." followed by the beating noises and more screams?... oh goodness, I'm cracking up at the thought now. Its funny as hell to think about happening, but if it actually happened.... I think it would be WAY awkward at the moment.

I seem to ride along the fences on something like this and usually just say it all depends on the situation. I think there's a time and place for meetings, gatherings and then there's another time and place for playing. HOWEVER, I'm a freedom/rights fighter so to speak and I don't think I can fight one battle without fighting for another fairly, regardless of what it is. But then, I do have a limit here as well... children. I'll always protect the children first.

To answer the question, Personally at this point I think if it's a gathering for information, speeches, teachings (without demonstrations) then yes, I would fight this battle. But if it goes further than that, I have to say no. I don't think I would. I can't agree that a right is a right is a right. At some point there has to be limits to that. (IMO)

~Chris

17 Trinity   2020-04-26 09:19

Folks --

I don't know about BMSL, but at BR, the hotels' rooms are occupied solely by pervs. The hotel is reserved for people attending the convention. I think one BR hatel had its nightclub open to the public/its usual clientele. I'd be willing to bet, though, that that clientele was informed what would be going on.

Unless BMSL is different than this (and please give me a citation or personal experience if it is), there's no chance of Aunt Chloe's family vacation getting interrupted by screams, or of kids wandering into the dungeons.

Addendum -- from an NCSF press release/sample letter to the Missouri senators:

There will be no families or children at the hotel during this event, and only adults (twenty-one
and over) who registered weeks in advance will have access to the educational information and workshops.

What'd I tell ya? No kids to worry about... no Aunt Agnes.

18 Jhcbiinoc   2020-04-26 21:03

>I am willing to give up our business spaces and the public spaces that we have a about the same time that I can get a drink on Sunday across the country, when the (fill in the blank) convention no longer holds THEIR events in hotels, when the likes of Jim Baker, Pat Robinson, Oral Roberts, Jerry Falwell, the CWA, and the AFA decide to shut up and worship their god ( the dollar, tax free) without ADVERTENTLY subjecting me and others like me to their hat full of hoo hoo.<

I agree with you there; they have the right to rent the same spaces to spread their intolerance and hate (and if you want some good examples check out some notes from *their* conventions at the PFAW website's "Right Watch" page.) But if anyone *dared* to suggest that their rights to do so be limited "Help! Help! They're discriminating against our religious rights! Such intolerance!" Can ya'll say "hypocrisy?"

19 Jhcbiinoc   2020-04-26 21:07

LMAO off at "Oral Roberts and his brother, Anal."

20 GloriaBrame   2020-04-29 02:14

Hi, everyone. I thought you'd like to hear the final report on Beat Me in St. Louis, especially since it's such a happy one! :-) This is *not* an official announcement but was posted by a source I consider completely reliable, who is affiliated with the event organizers. --GGB

*************************************
*snip*

Beat Me VI recap
by Larry, a co-chair of "Beat Me in St. Louis"

   Very short version: Things went very very well. Excellent in fact.

   Longer version

    ZERO restrictions imposed by any outsiders on our dungeon rules and
seminars.

    ZERO protesters total for the weekend at Beat Me..

    Nobody who didnt belong there got inside our portion of the hotel despite
numerous attempts by the local TV stations and one drunk reporter from
Hustler magazine to get in "at the door".or sneak around our security and
badge checkers, or to sneakily take pictures thru the windows or, in Hustlers
case, to buy a badge from an attendee or to bribe security personell to get
in.

    The state Attorney General's office did get involved on Thursday but they
were, thanks to the wonderful work on our behalf by Susan Wright of the NCSF,
were reasonable, professional and cooperative. With our blessing they
reviewed our rules, spoke with the local police about us, and concluded that
any possible problems were only in the Health Dept's baliwick.

    The state Health Dept talked to us and sent a specialist in sexually
transmitted diseases out to look at us. He looked at our medical play
situation, our rules, at how we selected Med DMs and at our procedures
regarding sharps containers, eventual disposal, and similar points. He walked
thru our dungeon area before play began. His attitude seemed to be "if there
are problems, let me work with you to address the problems" rather than
anything punitive.

    At our suggestion he spoke with our play piercing presenter as to the
safety part of her lecture and demo and was satisfied with her knowledge and
her background ( she is a certified nurse assistant in another state) He
attended the medical safety portion of her lecture on Saturday.

    Just as we had told the Mo Atty Gen's office, we told the Health Dept guy
that if he had major problems we'd cancel things that he felt we shouldn't be
doing. He said that wasn't necessary

     At our request he will be making a presentation to our members in the
future as to precautions about medical play and other ways to possibly
transmit STDs. ( hows THAT for outreach ? <g> )

    The local police came by more than usual partly for obvious reasons and
partly to help ensure against overly aggressive media tactics. Their attitude
was "we're ok...you're ok... we just need to drop by occassionally and us
doing so helps you too" which was true.

    We had slightly FEWER cancellations than usual.

    We had only 5 more "no shows" than a year ago.

    Not one vendor bailed out on Beat Me.

    Not one presenter bailed out on Beat Me.
    
    We had several dozen people tell us they registered as a show of support
for Beat Me, because of the attacks by the religious extremists,

    Obviously we will be doing followup and continued outreach with the state
Atty General's office, the Health Dept, and the local police on all of this.

    Between our group website and calls to the hotel, we have been contacted
by several dozen people locally who seem sincerely interested in meeting and
possibly joining our group, but who hadn't known how to contact us until the
barrage of media surrounding Beat Me.

    We are considering doing some interview-type stuff with the local media
to help educate them about WIITWD (which the local TV stations desperately
need) and, bluntly, to reap the good parts of our new name recognition level
since there are some bad parts to it too. ( like hiring 24/7 professional
security after long ago setting the event budget)

    We raised some money for NCSF from the attendees at the attendees own
suggestion.

    We had a semi-impromtu discussion among about 30 of us on Sunday after
the presentations ended. The discussion focused on how St Louis L&L had
handled all this, and on longer-range strategies, consistent with NCSF's
positions. It was obvious that this situation is prompting many more people
to become activists on all this.

    There are some issues/suggestions/etc about security that I wont discuss
on the list, but I would be happy to discuss individually if you contact me
offline

    Thats it for now, I'm going to go try to sleep for a month. Details next
time

    Thanks to each of you who has helped educate us on these and other issues
and who has unselfishly shared your time and experience with Leather & Lace
over the past several years.

    Our majorly big thanks to NCSF and especially to Susan Wright for all you
have done for us in the past years, and more especially these past weeks

    If you believe, as I do, that we nationally are under attack from the
religious extremists, and if you really want to stop these folks, send a
check to NCSF, contact your elected state legislators if you are a Missouri
resient, and support the "target" events by attending them...

*snip*
*************************************

21 Thorn4MyRose   2020-04-29 07:17

(General posting)

And hence the traits of good planning, responsible conduct and going the extra ten miles to set an excellent example paid off. Kudos to the organizers and supporters.

It still doesn't mean there's such a thing as a 'right to play' in public. Just a 'right way' to do it. <g>

Be safe,
T.

22 SteelSkys   2020-04-29 11:51

NCSF Call to Action for Missouri Residents

(Posted at the request of and with the permission of, NCSF and St. Louis
Leather & Lace. Permission is given to forward, quote or reproduce this
email only as long as it is reproduced in full including this statement)

    Folks, its time to write letters to the Missouri State Senators

To look up who your Missouri State senator is, use the following website.

http://www.senate.state.mo.us/zipcode/leg_lookup.htm
Senate - Legislator Lookup</A> Also please forward this email in its entirety including this portion, to those on your email lists and especially to those in your local BDSM groups Snail mail has the most impact, faxes are second, snail mail is a distant third. If you can do so please spend the 34 cents and send your letter by snail mail. Mail from voters in Senator A's district count the most to Senator A, mail from other Missouri residents counts somewhat. Mail from non-Missouri people can still help. ===================================================== NCSF Call to Action for Missouri Residents April 25, 2002, Washington, DC - The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) calls on all Missouri residents who support privacy rights and freedom of assembly for consenting adults, to immediately phone, fax or email your Missouri State Senator to oppose Senate Resolution number 1552. (Full contact information for all Missouri Senators can be found at http://www.senate.state.mo.us/senalpha.htm )

This resolution contains serious misinformation, that is contradicted by
peer-reviewed studies and research on human sexuality, about an adult only
sex education conference Further, it threatens the Constitutional
protections of privacy and freedom of assembly guaranteed to many Missouri
residents who practice some form of alternative sexual expression.

Missouri Senate Resolution No. 1552 (see text below) is being heard in
Committee today and is likely to reach the Senate floor quickly for a full
vote. Missouri residents--make your voice heard! Phone, fax or email your
Missouri Senators, and be sure to send a copy to NCSF. The following is a
sample letter for individuals, along with the NCSF letter to Missouri
Senators on the Committee for Senate Resolution No. 1552.

ACT NOW to protect your rights of privacy and freedom of assembly!

SAMPLE LETTER:

Dear Senator:

As a concerned constituent who believes in privacy rights and freedom of
assembly for consenting adults, I oppose Senate Resolution 1552, and ask you
to oppose this highly misinformed and discriminatory resolution.

I urge you to get additional information about the millions of Americans who
practice some form of alternative sexual expression, such as SM, in order to
make an informed decision. Resolution 1552 contains serious misinformation
that is contradicted by peer-reviewed studies and research on human sexuality.

St. Louis Leather and Lace is a local educational organization run by
volunteers who have produced Beat Me in St. Louis for six years. The
producers of this year's event fully cooperated with the Missouri State
Attorney General, State Health Department and local law enforcement to ensure
the event is both safe and legal. This is a private event for adults who want
to access important educational information on alternative sexual expression.
There will be no families or children at the hotel during this event, and
only adults (twenty-one and over) who registered weeks in advance will have
access to the educational information and workshops. Safe and consensual
workshops are offered at this event with the goal of educating adults on how
to avoid precisely the
types of health and safety problems you are concerned about.

Ordinary people will attend this conference -- your constituents, neighbors
and co-workers -- and they are from all walks of life including doctors,
lawyers, teachers and parents. They are shocked that their private, legal
event is
being falsely accused of promoting illegal and unsafe activity, and they
would like you to stand up in support of their freedom of assembly and
privacy rights.

I respectfully ask you to vote NO to Senate Resolution No. 1552.

Sincerely,

Your Name
Your Address

CC: National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, Inc.
1312 18th Street NW, Suite 102
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-955-1023
Fax: 202-955-1060
www.ncsfreedom.org

NCSF faxed a letter protesting this resolution to the following Senators who
are on the Committee that evaluated the resolution:

The Honorable Bill Kenney, The Honorable David Klarich, The Honorable Peter
Kinder, The Honorable Marvin Singleton,
The Honorable Ronnie DePasco, The Honorable James Matthewson, The Honorable
Edward Quick

###

Missouri State Senate
(http://www.senate.state.mo.us/02info/billtext/intro/R1552.htm )SR 1552 -
Discourages events that are dangerous to the public health and welfare

SENATE RESOLUTION NO. 1552
WHEREAS, the St. Louis Leather and Lace organization is sponsoring a
convention known as "Beat Me in St. Louis"; and

WHEREAS, this is an annual event sponsored by the St. Louis Leather and Lace
organization, dedicated to the free expression of alternative lifestyles; and

WHEREAS, the convention is held at the Howard Johnson Hotel in St. Louis,
April 26-28; and

WHEREAS, the Howard Johnson Hotels hold themselves out to be a
"family-oriented" hotel chain and encourage families to use their facilities
for family vacations; and

WHEREAS, this event is held in a place in which other hotel guests may be
exposed to the activities of the convention; and

WHEREAS, event materials promise "dungeon parties" with "flogging and
cutting", suggesting a "tarp or drop cloth" be used for "messy blood scenes
and other bodily fluids"; and

WHEREAS, sadomasochist behavior of this kind spreads disease; and

WHEREAS, engaging in deviant sexual behavior and experimentation is widely
recognized by experts to lead to more extreme behavior, particularly the
victimization of women and children who are not "consenting"; and

WHEREAS, by allowing the "Beat Me in St. Louis" gathering to be held at their
hotel, the Howard Johnson hoteliers are contributing to the overall risk to
the health and welfare of their other patrons and the public:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the members of the Missouri Senate,
Ninety-first General Assembly, Second Regular Session, hereby condemn the
Howard Johnson Hotel chain and urge no other hotel chain in this state to
host events that encourage activities which are dangerous to the public
health and welfare; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the State Department of Health and the State
Attorney General shall be called upon to investigate the safety and legality
of this event including but not limited to, violations of Missouri health and
welfare statute, Section 191.680, RSMo; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of the Senate be instructed to
prepare a properly inscribed copy of this resolution for the Howard Johnson
Hotels.

23 rabidchihauhau   2020-05-09 14:05

Looks like everything worked out before I had a chance to comment, but I'll still throw in an FYI for those who might be hosting events.

I've organized and worked on science fiction conventions and paintball tournaments and have learned over the years that one of the best ways to make inroads with the local community is to hire local police for 'external' security. Even if you have your own in-house, well trained and professional security staff, putting the cops on the perimeter (overtime, they love it) buys you far more than a body and a gun.

If you run almost any kind of event professionally, you won't find any better way to spread by word of mouth that your group is 'ok'.

 

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