FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
NCSF Survey on Consent
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) wants to hear from you! Please take our Consent Counts survey and tell us what you think about consent: www.ncsfreedom.org/survey.html
As part of decriminalizing BDSM in the legal codes, we need to be able to articulate a clear definition of consent that the BDSM communities believe in. The results of this survey will assist in the creation of a statement on consent that will be presented for the consideration by the BDSM communities at LLC in Seattle in 2013.
NCSF needs your input on defining consent. What do we mean by consent? When is consent invalidated? Does “safe, sane, consensual” still work as a community creed? Are there behaviors that the BDSM communities don’t accept? What is your experience with consent in the BDSM communities?
To participate in discussions of consent online with kinky people both in the US and around the world, join our Consent Counts group at https://fetlife.com/groups/46202 NCSF is committed to supporting and encouraging people to discuss ethical consent so we can move to a more thorough understanding of what consent is, and can provide better education for people who are interested in exploring their sexuality.
NCSF has actively participated in changing the social discourse of BDSM since 1997. The term “consenting adults” is a commonly accepted standard for sexuality today due in a large part to our work. NCSF has pledged to continue to lead the change in political discourse until all consenting adults need not fear prosecution or victimization because of their sexual behavior.
An act to add Section 249 to the Penal Code, relating to strangulation. SB 430 - Read the bill's introduction in a PDF
Our BDSM communities could be adversely impacted by a well-intentioned, but overly broad, piece of proposed criminal legislation that has been introduced by Senator Christine Kehoe in the California Senate. NCSF is asking all of you to sign and send to NCSF letters (a draft is attached below) that we can introduce if necessary at a hearing likely to be held in April, 2011.
The purpose of the bill, SB 430, is to permit effective prosecution of strangulation or suffocation "in domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and elder abuse cases." But the bill's application could go far beyond those situations and result in felony prosecutions for use of hoods, gags and the like in BDSM play. There would be no requirement of "an intent to kill or injure," or of "visible injuries," and there is no mention of consent as a defense.
NCSF has been in touch with Senator Kehoe's staff, which has seemed sympathetic, and has proposed modifications of the bill's language that would address our concerns. Now we need to follow up by presenting at the hearing as many letters as possible that support the goal of prosecuting domestic violence, but only if language is inserted that protects our communities.
We urge you to sign the attached letter, modified as you see fit, and send it back to NCSF.
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
822 Guilford Avenue, Box 127
Baltimore, MD 21202-3707
Re: SB 430 (Kehoe) Strangulation
I fully support the worthy goal of Senator Kehoe's proposed legislation, to ensure that strangulation and suffocation can be effectively prosecuted in cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and elder abuse. But I am very concerned that SB 430 as now worded might be used to prosecute elements of non-harmful, consensual BDSM (Bondage, Domination/submission, Sadomasochism) activity between adults, such as the use of gags or hoods. This could subject millions of tax paying, law-abiding Americans to criminal prosecution, merely for engaging in erotic, mutually pleasurable conduct.
Therefore I and thousands of other Californians would be able to support this otherwise valuable legislation only if it is modified by specifically excluding non-assault activities.
I join you in urging Senator Kehoe to incorporate in this bill the language NCSF has proposed.
Your Address (with ZIP CODE)
The law is interpreted – sometimes to our favor, and sometimes not.
For example, while the NCSF firmly believes that consensual SM activity between adults is legal, there are those that have a differing opinion and will intentionally interpret the law in an unfavorable way. Therefore, it is extremely important for the SM- Leather-Fetish communities to have an understanding of the laws that may affect us.
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom has been fighting for your rights for the past 14 years, and we are changing the way society views kinky people.
NCSF has taken the lead in two vital projects:
- Our DSM Revision Project has successfully lobbied the American Psychiatric Association, resulting in their proposal to depathologize BDSM in the next Diagnostic & Statistics Manual.
- NCSF also took over leadership in the nationwide Consent Counts project, working to decriminalize BDSM and create a database of relevant state laws.
How You Can Help
- Work to change antiquated laws
- Work to change the social climate about sexual issues
- Promote acceptance of safe, sane, and consensual alternative sexual practices among consenting adults
- Oppose censorship of consensual sexual expression
- Fight for freedom of academic expression about sexual issues
- Help communities and individuals facing the threat of prosecution or legal action
- Support the right of adults to express their sexuality, gender identity and orientation freely and openly without fear
- Learn more about NCSF
Why You Should Care
- Can result in discrimination, prosecution, and even violence against you
- Can cause you to lose your children
- Can cause you to lose your job or your income
- Can lead you into a maze of antiquated laws and regulations you never even knew existed
- Is arbitrarily criminalized by state and local authorities
- Is used by the radical right to marginalize minority groups
- Can result in the invasion of your privacy by the government, both within your own home or in educational, social and group environments