NCSF Condemns the Atlanta Police Department's Raid on the Eagle
September 15, 2009 - On September 10th, the Atlanta Eagle was raided by local police who used excessive force and voiced anti-gay slurs while handcuffing 62 patrons and 8 employees, forcing them to lie face-down on the floor for over an hour. The strong use of force included the presence of the "Red Dog unit" which typically deals with crimes such as gang violence.
Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington held a press conference yesterday afternoon stating that the gay leather bar was raided because of anonymous complaints that came through the mayor's office. One undercover officer stated in a September 11th report following the raid that it was the "conclusion of a several week investigation involving indecency and the club was providing adult entertainment without the proper permits to do so."
"It's a clear violation of the civil rights of those who were detained without cause," says Susan Wright, NCSF Spokesperson. "Instead of making an arrest at the time of the alleged offense, the Atlanta vice squad spent many hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer's money to raid the gay leather bar and persecute Atlanta citizens."
NCSF demands a full probe into the alleged misconduct and the allocation of resources by the Atlanta police department. NCSF also joins state and local representatives in urging anyone present the night of the arrests to step forward and file a formal complaint. Please contact NCSF for additional assistance to ensure that this matter is investigated in an open process.
A rally on Sunday at the Eagle drew a large presence in support of the victims by the LGBT community. Another rally is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2009.
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) is committed to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances the equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual and relationship expression. NCSF advances the rights and advocates for consenting adults in the SM-Leather-Fetish, swing, and polyamory communities. We pursue our vision through direct services, education, advocacy, and outreach in conjunction with our partner organizations to directly benefit these communities.
To contact our media spokesperson, Susan Wright, (917) 848-6544
To contact our office directly: (410) 539-4824
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
SHERIDAN SQUARE RALLY
Christopher St & 7th Ave
SATURDAY February 21, 2009
IN SUPPORT OF THOSE FALSELY ARRESTED FOR PROSTITUTION
This is a big protest and rally at Sheridan Square this Saturday. Susan Wright, Spokesperson for NCSF, will be speaking out at the rally against the arrests of professional Dominatrices for prostitution. In order to help raise awareness of the arrests of pro-Dommes, NCSF has joined the Stop the Arrests coalition along with the Anti-Violence Project and Queer Justice League.
Please come even if you don't want to participate in the protest. It helps to draw a crowd to show this is an issue that's important to people.video links:
NY TIMES coverage:
Among Gay Men, Arrests Spark Concern About Being Singled Out
THIS POLICE MISCONDUCT MUST END NOW!
Queer Justice League
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
Prepared by NCSF with input from GBLT Activists
POLICING PUBLIC SEX; edited by Dangerous Bedfellows; South End Press: Boston, Massachusetts; 1996
PUBLIC SEX, GAY SPACE; Edited by William L. Leap; Columbus University Press; 1999
THE QUEER QUESTION, ESSAYS ON DESIRE AND DEMOCRACY; Scott Tucker; South End Press; Boston, Massachusetts; 1997
SEXUAL POLITICS, SEXUAL COMMUNITIES; John D'Emilio; University of Chicago Press; 1983
THE PIG FARMER'S DAUGHTER AND OTHER TALES OF AMERICAN JUSTICE; EPISODES OF RACISM AND SEXISM IN THE COURTS FROM 1865 TO THE PRESENT; Mary Francis Berry; New York; Knopf; 1999
KISS AND TELL: SURVEYING SEX IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY; Julia Erickson, with Sally A. Steffen; Cambridge; Harvard University Press; 1999
SEX WARS: SEXUAL DISSENT AND POLITICAL CULTURE; Lisa Duggan and Nan Hunter; New York; Routledge; 1995
OPPOSITE SEX; GAY MEN ON LESBIANS, LESBIANS ON GAY MEN; edited by Sara Miles and Eric Rofes; NYU Press; 1998
THE TROUBLE WITH NORMAL; SEX, POLITICS, AND THE ETHICS OF QUEER LIFE; Michael Warner; Harvard University Press; Cambridge; 1999
THE POLITICS OF SEXUALITY; SEXUALITY & CULTURE; VOLUME 3; edited by Barry M. Dank and Roberto Refinetti; Transaction Publishers; New Brunswick 1999
AMERICAN SEXUAL BEHAVIOR; TRENDS, SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC DIFFERENCES, AND RISK BEHAVIOR; Tom W. Smith; National Opinion Research Center; University of Chicago; GSS Topical Report No. 25; Updated December, 1998
THINKING SEX; NOTES FOR A RADICAL THEORY OF THE POLITICS OF SEXUALITY; essay by Gayle S. Rubin; 1992
GLOBAL SURVEY 2000; GLOBAL SURVEY INTO SEXUAL ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOR; Durex; 2000
Guidelines for how to discuss the subject of sex with the news media.
This document offers some simple suggestions on approaches to discussing sex, particularly as it relates to common situations that the executive directors of activist organizations may encounter. It was prepared with input from executive directors about issues affecting them and those knowledgeable about how to deal with GLBT issues surrounding sex effectively.
First, in any situation, it is important to gauge the "intent" of the individual making the comment or asking the question. Is this an ultra-conservative publication, reporter, or politician, or is it someone who is sympathetic to the issues?
Be proactive about introducing the subject first or bringing up "onerous" topics once the subject has been introduced into conversation and it seems likely that the other party is moving to "attack". This takes away the "shock value" the other party has in introducing the topic in an inflammatory manner first. Simply stated, "The best defense is a good offense."
Using direct, confrontational responses to insensitive and inappropriate comments or attacks related to sex and/or sexuality. This is usually best done in an "off the record" conversation with media (when possible, of course), or by taking the conversation "off-line for a minute" with politicians and others. Making the other party feel "small" or embarrassing them for trivializing or minimizing issues of civil rights by sensationalizing sex. This technique is particularly effective in public speaking or live media situations involving inappropriate comments, jokes or attacks.
Disputing the incorrect and faulty research used by the radical right to perpetuate myths. Be very comfortable talking about issues of sex and sexuality and maintain a sense of confidence and sense of humor, which is often helpful in a public discourse on sex.
The pluralist argument: Americans take a pluralistic stance in religious and political choices. We say we believe that each religion has a right to its way of practicing its faith and that each political party has a right to its specific platform and legislative goals. You may think one religion or party is better than another is, but you would never try to have your choice taught in the public schools and imposed by law on everyone. Such a pluralistic approach is considered a fundamental part of our constitutional rights in this country. But in sexuality we don't openly voice our support of sexual standards other than abstinence even when we believe in them. And we are much less tolerant of differences in sexual practices and in ideas about sex.
Discuss "the freedom to love" and "loving relationships", which in normal, healthy relationships includes sex. If this involves a form of alternative sexual expression or non-traditional sex (e.g. anything other than the missionary position), talk about the issue in terms of the right to love the way you want, which includes sex in healthy adult relationships, providing it is consensual and not harmful. Use terms to discuss non-traditional sex such as "recognized as a normal and healthy form of sexual expression."
"He made a pass at me in the bar." Respond with, "What if Matthew Shepherd did make a pass? He didn't deserve what happened. What if every woman in America who had ever been hit on in a bar used this excuse? (Or, in a more confrontational situation that allows an "off the record" conversation "What if Matthew Shepherd did stick his tongue in his ear and put his hand on his crotch, it still doesn't justify his being tortured and killed.")
Once again, refer to this as a false stereotype perpetuated by the radical right with no scientific basis. It is also appropriate to expand this discussion into how even hand holding in public by GLBT partners is often portrayed by the radical right as "overt sexual", even when the activity is a normal and publicly accepted sign of affection in a loving relationship.
Stress that these issues are more about identity than about sex. Also, a transgendered person may be gay, but is at least equally likely not to be gay. Many people are curious about how transgendered people have sex and ask this insensitive question. A good response is, "Just like any one else, but this isn't about sex. It's about the serious discrimination and persecution that persists exactly because of the sensationalistic focus on sex such as questions like this one."
When circumstances arise related to crude jokes or attacks in public related to sex, such as talk shows or public forums, use responses intended to embarrass the other party and change the subject. Use responses like, "I'd like to ask you how you think your inappropriate question/comment made those gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender folks sitting here with us tonight feel? I'm here to have a dialogue about serious civil rights issues affecting GLBT people, not provide a vehicle for crude entertainment or inappropriate discussions."
It may be useful to begin by saying that these are issues on which many people hold strong and sensitive emotional opinions. But then stress that if we can't discuss sex issues in rational, objective, scientific terms, we leave people in the dark and create health risks and emotional problems and make discrimination and bigotry more likely.
The NCSF Incident Reporting & Response (IRR) program provides assistance to individuals and groups within the alternative sexual expression communities who become victimized because of SM, leather, fetish, or swing practices.