Free Speech X-Press Delivering Weekly Censorship Updates to the Adult Industry Vol. VIII, No. 8, Jan 13, 2006 — A Member Service of the Free Speech Coalition __________________________________________________________ Free Speech X-press is researched and edited by Kat Sunlove and Layne Winklebleck. Copyright 2005 Free Speech Coalition. Permission to reprint granted to FSC members; please give credit. __________________________________________________________ VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR FSC MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION http://www.freespeechcoalition.com __________________________________________________________
COME CELEBRATE FREE SPEECH IN CALIFORNIA
It’s time to mark your calendar to attend our acclaimed lobbying training program, Celebrate Free Speech Lobbying Days (CFSLD), in Sacramento, California. The dates are Monday and Tuesday, April 24 and 25, 2006, and as always, space is limited.
The two-day event will include a full day of political action training for participants, as well as our popular cocktail reception for legislators and staff. Deadline for applications is March 10, 2006. Call the Legislative Affairs Office at 1-800-476-7813 or e-mail email@example.com for more information and an application form.
CFSLD continues to be an inspiring and empowering activity for those who attend and is a great staff development opportunity for industry leaders. Don’t miss it in 2006!
INDUSTRY TO HAVE INPUT INTO SENATE INQUIRY
LOS ANGELES, CA — First Amendment attorney Paul Cambria will present oral testimony and participate in a panel discussion before a U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on the topic of “Internet Pornography” to be held next Thursday, January 19, in Washington, D.C.
In the invitation from committee chair Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), Cambria is asked to: “Focus your testimony on what appropriate controls might be placed on pornography on the Internet and whether there is a role that government might play.”
Cambria will be allowed a five minute oral presentation along with a written submission. Free Speech Coalition staff, DC lobbyists and attorneys are providing assistance and documentation in the preparation of these materials.
From an Adult Freedom Foundation press release, 1/13/06
FSC WELCOMES NEW BOARD DIRECTORS
LAS VEGAS, NV – The Free Speech Coalition announced its 2006 Board of Directors at an annual Membership Meeting here during the Adult Entertainment Expo and Internext trade shows. Newly elected Directors include Jim Everett of LD Management, Gregory Shearer (AKA Spanky) who is in the alternative adult video production, manufacturing, and distribution business; and Nellie Symm-Gruender, an adult store owner from Missouri and a free speech activist who recently helped organize a fight against a draconian state law.
Re-elected Directors include Sid Grief of AAA News in Texas, Joan Irvine of Adult Sites Advocating Child Protection, William Murphy of Fairvilla MegaStores in Florida, and Connor Young of YNOT.com. Returning to complete their terms on the Board are Mara Epstein, Mark Kernes, Reed Lee and Jeffrey J. Douglas.
“The membership has elected an energetic and committed Board of Directors to steer FSC in the right direction in 2006,” said FSC Executive Director Michelle L Freridge. “This next year will be very challenging for the adult entertainment industry as federal, state, and local governments increasingly violate the civil rights of Americans in misguided and illegal attempts to censor legal adult speech.”
From an FSC press release
SUPREMES REFUSE TO HEAR DANCE CLUB APPEAL
WASHINGTON, DC — The Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by a Deja Vu exotic dance club (located in Union Township near Cincinnati) of a decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (Deja Vu of Cincinnati v. Union Township, 05-374). The appeals court en banc (full court) ruling was split 7-5 and upheld some patently bizarre logic, including regulations requiring juice bars to close at Midnight, even though alcohol-serving exotic dance clubs were allowed to stay open until 2:30 AM. The Township justified this with the argument that they wanted to close adult cabarets before the bars and taverns in the area closed, in order to avoid unruly and intoxicated men from entering during the late night hours. So what about the dance clubs that serve alcohol? How could the Township justify an ordinance that favors alcohol exotic dance clubs over juice bars because of the so-called “secondary effects” of mixing alcohol and exotic dance? For details on the Court of Appeals decision see X-Press report, 7/1/05, “Dance Club Loses Divided Decision.”
The case has been wending its way through the courts for six3 years and the process is not over yet. Louis Sirkin, one of the attorneys for the club, said U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith still has to rule on the merits of the case.
"We wanted no restrictions on the hours that the club could operate as an adult club, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t continue to operate with some modifications to its operation. It remains open," Sirkin said.
It may be worth noting that the five dissenting judges in the Sixth Circuit opinion were all appointed by Democrats. The court has recently grown more conservative with Bush appointees.
From The Associated Press, 1/9/06
And from Jane Predergast, Cincinnati Enquirer, 1/10/06
ALITO CONFIRMATION HEARINGS NOT REASSURING
WASHINGTON, DC – Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito has answered most questions warily during his Senate confirmation hearings, an approach which has done little to reassure civil liberties groups such as the ACLU, which has come to believe that Alito is fundamentally hostile to civil liberties. The ACLU is also concerned that Alito has a history of deference to executive power, and cites these two factors in announcing that the organization opposes his nomination.
Alito’s attitudes about adult entertainment and the First Amendment were not discussed at length during the hearings. However, there was at least one reference to adult entertainment when conservative Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH) asked Alito if he didn’t think “pornography” should have less protection under the First Amendment than political speech. Alito did not respond directly to that question, but he did comment that the Internet has created new problems in terms of access to adult entertainment by minors. The following are selected quotes from his discussion:
"With respect to minors, the Supreme Court has said it is permissible to regulate the sale of pornography to them and has greater authority than it does with respect to distribution of pornography to adults.”
"In the pre-Internet world, the job of preventing minors from purchasing pornography was a lot simpler. If they wanted to get it, I guess they would have to go to a store someplace and buy it.”
“…I think there needs to be additional effort in this area, probably by all branches of government, so that the law fully takes into account the differences regarding communication over the Internet and access to materials over the Internet by minors."
Alito sits on the Third Circuit, which court of appeals twice blocked enforcement of the Child Online Protection Act of 1998 (COPA), although he was not a part of the unanimous panel that did so. COPA would have required all commercial online distributors of "material harmful to minors" to protect their sites from access by minors. The definition of "material harmful to minors" included nudity.
The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, Ashcroft v. ACLU, 2004) ruled that COPA could not be enforced until further proceedings by lower courts that considered less restrictive solutions such as filtering.
No doubt Alito followed the COPA case with interest. His comments reveal that he has an interest in the problem of minors having access to adult materials on the Internet, a sticky issue that is sure to come before the court again in one version or another, and a matter that has great significance for freedom of expression and the adult Internet. Alito’s vote on such matters could be critical, although the narrow 5 vote majority in Ashcroft v ACLU included Justices Kennedy, Stevens, Souter, Thomas and Ginsburg, all of whom are still on the court.
From John Eggerton, Broadcasting and Cable, 1/10/06
And from an ACLU press release, 1/10/06
A GUIDE FOR OUTWITTING REPRESSIVE REGIMES
INTERNATIONAL CYBERSPACE — Spirit of America, a non-profit company supported through private-sector contributions, is touting the launch of BlogSafer Wiki, which hosts a series of targeted guides to anonymous blogging, each of which outlines steps a blogger in a repressive regime can take, as well as tools to use in order to avoid identification and arrest. These range from common sense actions such as not providing identifying details on a blog to the technical, such as the use of proxy servers.
The five guides that are currently on the wiki serve bloggers in the following countries:
— Iran (in Persian)
— China (Chinese)
— Saudi Arabia (in Arabic — also useful for other Arabic-speaking regimes such as Bahrain, Egypt, Syria and Tunisia)
— Malaysia (in English — also applicable to neighboring Indonesia and Singapore)
— Zimbabwe (in English — applicable to English-speaking Africans as well as aid workers)
The source of the “private sector” funds used to create these guides was not specified in the news accounts. It would be nice to think that companies such as Microsoft and Yahoo, which have caved to repressive governments and shamefully cooperated in censorship have found a backdoor make-up-call.
From Los Angeles Business Wire, 1/10/06
DANCE-TEAM CALENDAR DRAWS PROTEST
DETROIT, MI — The Detroit Pistons Basketball organization is under fire due to a promotional Swimsuit Calendar featuring the club’s dance team, “Automotion.”
The Michigan-based American Decency Association recently started an e-mail campaign to Pistons officials, claiming the swimsuit photos are inappropriate for a pro sports team to market “when the team is supported by many families, women and impressionable young children.”
Pistons president Tom Wilson called the charges outrageous. He says the calendar features artistic, tasteful pictures of the dance team images that anybody would see on a beach. (Two samples of the Calendar photos are included on the Fox Sports website below.) Wilson says the organization will not back down. The Calendars will continue to be sold.
From Foxsports.com, 1/9/06
WALL STREET GETS TOUGH ON DANCE FANS
NEW YORK, NY — The investment firm Morgan-Stanley has fired four employees — a stock-research analyst and three salespeople — for taking in exotic dance club shows with a client or clients during a conference in Phoenix. As ridiculous as this sounds, it may be just a sign of the times on Wall Street. According to a Reuters story, Wall Street firms have had to contend with a series of sexual discrimination suits in recent years, prompting firms to crack down on “offensive behavior” in the workplace and forcing them to make promotions and compensation plans more equitable for women. In July 2004, Morgan Stanley paid $54 million to settle charges that it denied women pay raises and promotions, paid them less than men, excluded them from company events, and subjected them to lewd behavior.
The fired employees were all men.
From Reuters, 1/5/06
MAR 9 — GAYVN Awards 2006, Rage Nightclub, Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA
MAR 16 — 19, Fifth Annual San Franciso Fetish Ball Weekend
APR 24-25 – Celebrate Free Speech Lobbying Days, Sacramento, CA, firstname.lastname@example.org
APR 29 — 2nd Annual Sin City Chamber of Commerce Spring BBQ, Chicken Ranch Brothel, Pahrump, NV (Benefit for FSC)
MAR 30 – APR 1 — The Phoenix Forum Tempe Mission Palms
APR 3-5 — International Lingerie Show – Las Vegas
JUN 8-11 — Cybernet Expo 2006 Shelter Pointe Hotel, San Diego
JUN 23-25 — Erotica Los Angeles, Los Angeles Convention Center
JUL 19-22 — Lifestyles West, Las Vegas Stardust
AUG 4-6 — Internext Summer 2006, Weston Diplomat, Hollywood, FL
SEPT 23-24 — Adultcon 11, Los Angeles Convention Center
Subscriptions to Free Speech X-Press are FREE to FSC members. Contact us at Sunlove@direcway.com or 800-476-7813.