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Our legislators work for us. They want to know what we think about issues on the local, state, and national level. You can always write letters and should but actually meeting with your elected official is easier than you think.

 

Our legislators work for us. They want to know what we think about issues on the local, state, and national level. You can always write letters and should but actually meeting with your elected official is easier than you think.

 

What is a lobby visit?

 

A lobby visit is a meeting where you tell your elected representative what you think about a certain issue or bill. Whether it is a City Council Member or your Congressional Representative, as one of their constituents you can ask them to take action on an issue or legislation.

You can find the office of your local and national elected officials in your area. Some Members of Congress have more than one office in their congressional district, and permanent staff members are usually available for you to meet with.

 

Requesting Your Meeting

 

Make your request in writing and follow up with a call to the Appointment Secretary/Scheduler.

 

Suggest specific times and dates for your meeting

 

Let them know what issue or legislation you wish to discuss.

 

Make sure they know that you are a constituent.

    Prepare for Your Meeting

     

    Contact the NCSF to help you decide on your talking points, and get information that you can leave with your elected official.

     

    Decide who will attend the meeting. Bringing more than four or five people can be hard to manage

     

    Agree on talking points. Your goal is to make a strong case for your position, so don't disagree in the meeting. If a point is causing tension in the group, leave it out

     

    Plan out your meeting keeping in mind that time is limited. Decide who will start the conversation, and which points each person will make

     

    Decide what you want achieve. Do you want your elected official to vote for or against a bill? Do you want them to support your issue or oppose a restrictive ordinance? Ask them to do something specific.

     

    During the Meeting

     

    Be prompt and patient. Elected officials run on very tight schedules.

     

    Keep it short and focused. You will have twenty minutes or less with a staff person, and as little as ten minutes if you meet with your elected official. Stick to your talking points.

     

    Know your elected official's record on similar issues or legislation. Begin by thanking them for voting in support of your issues, and for taking the time to meet with you.

     

    Leave only a few pages of information that contain your main points. Include your contact information.

     

    Provide concise personal and local examples of the impact of the legislation or issue. This is the most important thing you can do in a lobby visit.

     

    You don't need all of the information on an issue. If you don't know the answer to a question, it is fine to tell the elected official that you will get that information. This gives you the chance to contact them again about the issue.

     

    Set deadlines for a response. You sometimes won't get a definitive answer at the meeting. Ask when you should check back in to find out what your elected official intends to do about your request. If you need to get information to them, set a date for when this will happen.

      After the Meeting

       

      Right after the meeting, compare notes with everyone in your group to confirm what the elected official committed to do and what follow up information you committed to send.

       

      One of you should promptly send a thank you letter for meeting with you.

       

      Follow up immediately with any requested materials and information.

       

      If the elected official or staff member doesn't meet the deadline for action you agreed to during the meeting, ask him or her to set another deadline. Be persistent, polite, and flexible.

       

      Let NCSF know what you learned during your meeting by e-mailing: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

       

      Meeting with your elected officials is the best way to demonstrate that there is a constituency for civil liberties in your district. It's easy to make a difference.

       

      Links

       

      E the People
      Access to over 170,000 government officials in 9,800 towns and cities. Write a letter, start a petition, research election candidates and more!
       
      Project Vote Smart
      Biographical details and contact information for over 13,000 candidates and elected officials
       
      Write Your Representative
      From the U.S. House of Representatives website
       
      U.S. House of Representatives
      Full contact information for our Congressmen
       
      U.S. Senate
      Full contact information for our Senators
      Published in Activist Resources

      Guidelines intended to help law enforcement and social services professionals understand the difference between abusive relationships vs. SM. Drafted in 1998 at the second Leather Leadership Conference.

       

      The following Principles and Guidelines are intended to help law enforcement and social services professionals understand the difference between abusive relationships vs. consensual sadomasochism (SM). SM includes a broad and complex group of behaviors between consenting adults involving the consensual exchange of power, and the giving and receiving of intense erotic sensation and/or mental discipline.

       

      SM includes: "intimate activities within the scope of informed consent that is freely given."

       

      Abuse is: "Physical, sexual or emotional acts inflicted on a person without their informed and freely given consent."

       

      Principles

       

      The SM-Leather-Fetish communities recognize the phrase "Safe, Sane, Consensual" as the best brief summary of principles guiding SM practices:

       

      Safe is being knowledgeable about the techniques and safety concerns involved in what you are doing, and acting in accordance with that knowledge.

       

      Sane is knowing the difference between fantasy and reality, and acting in accordance with that knowledge.

       

      Consensual is respecting the limits imposed by each participant at all times. One of the recognized ways to maintain limits is through a "safeword" which ensures that each participant can end his/her participation with a word or gesture.

       

      Guidelines

      Informed consent must be judged by balancing the following criteria for each encounter at the time the acts occurred:

       

      • Was informed consent expressly denied or withdrawn?
      • Were there factors that negated the informed consent?
      • What is the relationship of the participants?
      • What was the nature of the activity?
      • What was the intent of the accused abuser?
      • Whether an individual's role is top/dominant or bottom/submissive, they could be suffering abuse if they answer no to any of the following questions:
      • Are your needs and limits respected?
      • Is your relationship built on honesty, trust, and respect?
      • Are you able to express feelings of guilt or jealousy or unhappiness?
      • Can you function in everyday life?
      • Can you refuse to do illegal activities?
      • Can you insist on safe sex practices?
      • Can you choose to interact freely with others outside of your relationship?
      • Can you leave the situation without fearing that you will be harmed, or fearing the other participant(s) will harm themselves?
      • Can you choose to exercise self-determination with money, employment, and life decisions?
      • Do you feel free to discuss your practices and feelings with anyone you choose?

       

      These guidelines were created by activists and leaders at the Leather Leadership Conference in 1998.

      Published in Activist Resources

      In light of recent attacks by religious and political extremists, here are some suggested guidelines for protecting your event and attendees, including website issues, spokesperson training, and community response to an incident.

      NCSF Suggested Guidelines

      There are many considerations organizers must contend with when planning a large event. Large events include educational and social conferences, leather contests, weekend play parties, vendor markets, and club runs. In light of recent attacks by religious and political extremists, here are some suggested guidelines for protecting your event and attendees.

       

      BEFORE YOUR EVENT

      NCSF recommends that you do outreach to local law enforcement. We can not stress enough the importance of doing so. There is no way to fly under the radar if you are hosting an event with a few hundred people that is being advertised over the Internet! Approach the Community Affairs Officer for the precinct in the jurisdiction where the event will be held. Law enforcement can tell you the local and state laws you must observe at your event.

      Make sure you investigate local and state obscenity laws. If you are hosting vendors at your event, you run the potential risk of violating state obscenity laws and/or state laws on certain items. Many states criminalize the sale of erotica that depicts bondage, sadomasochism, penetration or ejaculation. Additionally, many states also criminalize the sale of certain "toys" often found at event vendor fairs including throwing stars, certain styles of knives, police memorabilia (like badges or handcuffs) and so forth.

       

      YOUR WEBSITE

      Many religious and political extremist organizations have made a point of gathering information from our own community websites before they attack educational and social events. This information then gets distorted, misquoted and often ends up in the larger media. The mainstream media exposure can be problematic for groups.

       

      1. Be careful about the amount of detailed information you have on your website about your event. It may be prudent for your organization to restrict access to descriptions of classes and presenters to paid attendees or group members only. 

      2. Layer and password protect the website. Have pages with more information available to those who have registered and paid

      3. Do not use explicit language in the areas the general public can gain access to. Do not use words like dungeon or bloodsports or torture because the mainstream doesn't realize that our definition of these words refer to safe, sane and consensual sexual expression. If you want to have the colorful descriptions of the workshops and parties, have them on the page that is available to paid attendees.

      4. Consider not posting the name of the hotel/venue on the website. While there are certainly benefits in posting a hotel name, it can be prudent to give out the host hotel location information only to registered attendees. Some groups rent the hotel space in the name of their group/organization as a whole. Other groups find that this is not practical for them and opt to publicize the hotel name and allow conference attendees to make their own reservations. There are pluses and minuses to both approaches.

       

      IF YOUR EVENT IS ATTACKED

       

      You will know if your event is targeted because the venue will receive calls from religious political extremists. If your event or organization has been targeted by religious political extremists, please place the following blurb on your website so that media can contact NCSF for general information about safe, sane and consensual events for adults. You need to act fast because it can quickly become a nationwide media situation. For the good of our community it is important to have NCSF debunk some of the lies and scare tactics these folks are using against us. Please post on your website:

      For general information about [event name], please contact [contact info]

      If you are a member of the MEDIA, please contact Susan Wright with the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 917-848-6544.

       

      YOUR EVENT SPOKESPERSON

      Prior to the conference, find someone in your community who can speak for your group - chose one person or things can get confused if they inadvertantly contradict one another. NCSF will train your spokesperson and supply them with soundbites and will work closely with them during the incident. This is very important because it shows the media that this is a local event produced by local volunteers rather than something that's being brought into the community. Please call Susan Wright at 917-848-6544 for media training.

      Your Spokesperson criteria:

      1. They must be out and able to use their real name - if they have custody of children or a sensitive job, they shouldn't do it unless they are out.

      2. They must be nonagressive and able to maintain their cool even when their buttons are pushed. You'll talk to media who say terrible things about us.

      3. They must be able to stick to the sound bites and aren't "chatty". Once you start chatting with media, you're sunk. No discussions of technique or practices - that's for educational events, not a mainstream audience.

      4. They must be articulate and well-spoken. 

      5. Most of the media coverage is radio or newspapers, but it also helps to have someone who can go on television. They should look as professional as possible so people won't reject them on first sight. They should be willing to wear a business suit.

       

      THE VENUE

      When you first begin negotiations with the venue, be completely honest and forthcoming. You may even let them know that they may be contacted and hounded by religious extremists. Forewarned is forearmed. Consider putting a clause in your contract that indicates hotel management is aware of the full nature and the scope of the event.

      Make sure your contract includes a clause for penalties if the hotel cancels the event. Most contracts will have a penalty clause attached if the promoter cancels. Protect your event by making sure it flows both ways. Make sure your contract includes a provision to notify you in the event of a management change. And make sure to include a substantial cancellation fee so the hotel will think twice about arbitrarily canceling your event. If there is a change in management, you will need to make sure that you do outreach to the new management. Assure them of the legality of what you are doing and let them know all the precautions you are taking to protect the hotel and its guests.

      Check the license structure of your host venue with local laws and regulations, such as the liquor licensing division. Alcohol and beverage control in your local area is often the enforcing arm for "adult entertainment" violations. Depending on local laws, venues that are licensed to serve alcohol may have trouble hosting a private adult event. It is better to know ahead of time and make provisions, than it is to find out at the last minute.

      If the parties, or portions of the event, are held off-premise, make sure that you have fully investigated all the licensing regulations, and conform to the requirements. Make sure the police you've been working with in the jurisdiction of the hotel are the same ones who run the jurisdiction where the social parties will be held. If not, you'll need to do outreach to the police in that jurisdiction.

      If on your own your event cannot fill an entire hotel, check to see if there is a local sex positive group or organization who can "share" the hotel with you. Coordinate their event dates with yours.

       

      DURING YOUR EVENT

      One way to protect your event is to keep it "private." The way to keep your event private is to have attendees register in advance and don't allow people to pay at the door. If you have an event that has different levels of registration, such as workshop only, workshops and one play party, etc., and want to sell upgrades, set up a special business office. The upgrades are only available to those who have already registered and paid for the event.

      Have a strict age policy that restricts your event to adults only. In America, anyone 18 or over is considered an adult. Many groups require that attendees must be 21 or over.

      Have a "no photography" of any kind policy. Establish in the rules that anyone caught with a camera, video or still, or any other kind of recording equipment, who did not have prior authorization, will be kicked out of the event with no refund, and may be banned from any future events as well.

      Many groups have found it beneficial to staff their event (at least partially) with off-duty uniformed police officers. You can check with the secondary employment unit at your police department to see if this is an option for you.

      Make sure precautions are in place to keep the general public out of those areas where they might see something that offends them:

      • Sight and sound barriers
      • Identification badges or bracelets (no ID, no entry, no expections.)
      • Badge checkers at every location where there is access to event spaces.
      • Have security guards on site at all times there are people present.

      AFTER YOUR EVENT

      Do a de-briefing with the hotel management. Make sure that you part on good terms, so that they will be willing to fight for you if there is a problem the next time you hold an event there. Additionally, make sure you follow up with the local police to maintain your relationship with them.

      Published in Activist Resources
      Resources for Media

      Resources for Media

      Includes vital statistics on alternative sexual expression, interview contact list, and a selection of articles from national publications.

      Community Resources

      Community Resources

      Includes tips on how to speak to the media, sound-bites on alternative sexual expression, and a primer on how to write a letter to the editor.

      NCSF in the News

      NCSF in the News

      • NCSF Steps Up for Detroit

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        Tags: Detroit
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        Tags: NCSF
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        Tags: Susan Wright Eagle Raid Gay
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        Tags: Susan Wright Dominatrics
      • NCSF in the News

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        Tags: Media Rights Sexual Behaviors Alternative Sexual Expression Media Outreach Articles Legal Advocate News
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        Tags: Advocate
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        Tags: Sexies
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        Tags: NCSF PINS
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        Tags: Swing
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        Tags: Creating Change Conference
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        Tags: KAP
      • Supreme Court Appeal for Communications Decency Act Lawsuit

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        Tags: CDA Nitke
      • NCSF + FSC = Powerhouse!

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        Tags: FSC
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        Tags: FSC
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        Tags: Legal Supreme Court Obscenity
      • Sex, Art & Politics Takes on John Ashcroft

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        Tags: Susan Wright CDA Nitke
      • Leather Archives & Museum Capital Campaign

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        Tags: Leather Archives Museum
      • Barbara Nitke visit to SF - PR and calendar of events for Sept 2004

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        Tags: Nitke
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        Tags: Raffle IML
      • NCSF Spearheads First National Swing Leadership Conference

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        Tags: Swing
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        Tags: Susan Wright SM
      • NCSF Announces Swing Leadership Conference

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      • NCSF in Time magazine

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      • PPF Fund Announcement

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      • NCSF Call to Action

        A social and educational event, Fetish in the Fall, scheduled to take place in Kenner, Louisiana (part of greater New Orleans) has been attacked by the local police chief. Please see the press release below that was sent by the police to the New Orleans media.







      • NCSF Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on the Texas Sodomy Law

        WASHINGTON DC, JUNE 26, 2003 -- The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom applauds the U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the Texas sodomy law. The justices voted 6-3 to overturn their 1986 decision on Bowers v Hardwick (GA), stating that the sodomy law is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy and that by singling out gay people, it violates the Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law.







      • Eden Sarfaty Named Executive Director of NCSF

        WASHINGTON DC, JUNE 24, 2003 -- The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) has named Eden Sarfaty as Executive Director. Sarfaty, a Washington, DC attorney, is an expert in the area of legislative and administrative law, with experience in the management of national associations, lobbying at all levels of state and federal government, and criminal defense. He will take the helm from Leigha Fleming, acting Executive Director, on July 1st,…







      • Hotel Outreach Project

        The religious extremist organization, Concerned Women for America, continues to attack hotels that host SM events. CWA has a petition up now targeting IML that will be sent to their host hotels (CWA Petition). An NCSF volunteer has kindly offered to head up the NCSF Hotel Outreach Project to counter their sensationalized rhetoric by gathering data and supporting evidence that SM events aren't dangerous and can be profitable for businesses.…







      • NCSF Reaches Agreement with Cendant Hotels on SM Events

        September 30, 2002 - Responding to concerns that it was prohibiting franchisees from hosting events for "sadomasochism enthusiasts," the Cendant Corporation Hotel Group, the world's largest hotel franchisor, has assured the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom that it will honor the right of franchisees to host the events of their choice.







      • 300 People Attend Barbara Nitke Photography Exhibit

        On July 10, 2002, the opening reception of Barbara Nitke: Twenty Years was attended by 300 people at Art @ Large. The Nitke show can be viewed until August 3rd at Art @ Large, 630 Ninth Ave, No. 707, New York, NY. On July 10, 2002, the opening reception of Barbara Nitke: Twenty Years was attended by 300 people at Art @ Large. The Nitke show can be viewed until…







      • NCSF Counters Attack by Radical Right on Sexual Minority Groups

        WASHINGTON, DC (February 14, 2002) The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF), a national organization committed to protecting freedom of sexual expression among consenting adults, today a launched a new initiative that provides support to sexual minority groups under attack by radical right wing groups.







      • Challenging Internet Obscenity Law, Historic Lawsuit is Filed by NCSF and Artist Barbara Nitke

        NEW YORK CITY (December 11, 2001) The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF), a national civil liberties organization, and Barbara Nitke, an acclaimed New York City artist who operates her own Web site (www.BarbaraNitke.com), today filed a court challenge that aims to overturn the last remaining Internet censorship provision of the flawed Communications Decency Act.







      Action Alerts!

      Action Alerts!

      • Action Alert - Take Action Californians!

        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…





        Written on Sunday, 03 April 2011 21:11
        Tags: Consent Counts action alerts california SB 430
      • Action Alert: Atlanta Eagle Update

        Lawless cops are a threat to everyone in America NCSF joins state and local representatives in urging everyone to file a complaint if they were present at the Eagle on September 10th, when the Atlanta police illegally detained 62 patrons and 8 employees and searched them without a warrant, reasonable suspicion, or probable cause. You can file a complaint with the Atlanta Police Department and the Atlanta Citizen Review Board…





        Written on Thursday, 05 November 2009 10:17
        Tags: Susan Wright Action Alert Human Rights
      • Action Alert - DSM Petition 10/15/09

        Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis Help make history by signing the DSM Revision Petition now! The diagnoses in the DSM-IV-TR still subject people who practice BDSM, fetishes and cross-dressing to bias, discrimination and social sanctions without any scientific basis. We need 3,000 signatures, but we only have 2,200 now. If you don't speak up and call on the American Psychiatric Association to adhere to empirical research when revising the diagnoses…





        Written on Thursday, 15 October 2009 10:22
        Tags: DSM Leather Fetish
      • Action Alert - Stop the Arrests in NYC

        Action Alert National Coalition for Sexual Freedom SHERIDAN SQUARE RALLY Christopher St & 7th Ave SATURDAY February 21, 2009 4-5PM 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…





        Written on Tuesday, 24 February 2009 07:48
        Tags: Action Alert Dominance Gay AntiViolence
      • Action Alert - Winter Wickedness

        Support the Holiday Inn - Worthington, OH!  February 4, 2009 Please make a phone call now to support the Holiday Inn Worthington, the host hotel for Adventures In Sexuality's (AIS) Winter Wickedness Event taking place February 6-8th. The religious extremist group, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, along with a local religious radio station in the Columbus, Ohio, area are running a smear campaign against this pansexual BDSM event.  Peter LaBarbara of Americans…





        Written on Wednesday, 04 February 2009 11:22
        Tags: Winter Wickedness Action Alert
      • Action Alert - DSM Revision Petition






        Written on Monday, 15 September 2008 09:00

      • Action Alert - Religious political extremists attack The Task Force for "Leather Leadership Award"

        February 13, 2008 - The American Family News Network posted an inflammatory article condemning the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for honoring Guy Baldwin with  their Leather Leadership Award at the 20th National Conference on LGBT Equality:  Creating Change, on February 6-10, 2008 (www.thetaskforce.org). According to the February 7th article: Peter LaBarbera, executive director of Americans for Truth commented that he is  not sure if he is more surprised…





        Written on Wednesday, 13 February 2008 11:12
        Tags: DSM Creating Change Conference Task Force Award Leather LGBT
      • Action Alert: Folsom Street Fair Needs Your Help

        October 12, 2007 - The Catholic League, Concerned Women for America and Americans for Truth have called for a boycott of Miller Brewing Company because they are one of the sponsors of Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco. "Miller is sponsoring an incredibly outrageous and palpably anti-Christian event," said Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League.  Miller is feeling the heat, and we need you to email Miller Brewing Company…





        Written on Friday, 12 October 2007 08:04
        Tags: CWA Folsom Street
      • Action Alert - Support the Palmer House Hilton

        June 6, 2007 - Please write a short note of support for the Palmer House Hilton, host hotel for International Mr. Leather, thanking them for not discriminating against any guests or groups based on their sexual orientation. The anti-gay group, Americans For Truth, posted an action alert calling for people to protest the "homosexual orgies" that take place at the "sadistic sexual perversion-fest known as International Mr. Leather."   NCSF…





        Written on Wednesday, 06 June 2007 01:00
        Tags: Leather
      • Action Alert - Kink.com

        March 8, 2007 - An informational hearing has been scheduled for March 8 at San Francisco City Hall from 10-12:30. Kink.com needs lots of people to show up and support Kink.com's right to be in business. NCSF recommends that you wear business or casual clothes so that our community looks like the neighbors – we need to show them that we won't abide discrimination and persecution against alt sex practices…





        Written on Thursday, 08 March 2007 01:00
        Tags: Action Alert Kink.com
      CDA Media Reports

      CDA Media Reports

      Media reports covering the Communications Decency Act lawsuit launched by co-plaintiffs NCSF and Barbara Nitke.

      • NEWSBYTES - December 19, 2001

        Net Obscenity Provisions Revocation Sought NEWSBYTES By David McGuire http://www.NEWSBYTES.com December 19, 2001, Washington, DC -- A small civil liberties group has asked a federal judge in New York to revoke what remains of an Internet pornography law that was gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1997. In a complaint filed in a New York City Federal Court [http://www.USCourts.gov ] last week, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom [https://ncsfreedom.org…






        Tags: Media News
      • San Francisco Bay Guardian - January 14, 2002

        Techsploitation By Annalee Newitz San Francisco Bay Guardian, January 14, 2002   HERE'S YET ANOTHER wacky fact you probably didn't know about the Communications Decency Act ole Bill Clinton signed into law way back in 1996: the good citizens of some small town in Arizona or southern California might have the power to send you to jail if they think the contents of your Web site are "obscene." The CDA…






        Tags: Media CDA
      • San Francisco Frontiers - January 23, 2002

        Communications Decency Act A Lingering Coup de Grace? By Tim Kingston   January 23, 2002   You may dimly recall the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which unsuccessfully attempted to define and proscribe "indecency" on the Internet. That law's legal core--its indecency provision--was immediately challenged and rapidly struck down as unconstitutional by free- and electronic-speech advocates. But, what many may not know is that another portion of the law, prohibiting…






        Tags: Media CDA
      • Ynot News - January 2, 2002

        Can David Beat Goliath in the Battle of Obscenity? Part 2   By Judd Handler   Ynot News, January 2, 2002   Last week's editorial featured an interview with John Wirenius, lead counsel for the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and Barbara Nitke, an adult content photographer. Wirenius, on behalf of the NCSF and Nitke, filed a lawsuit on December 11 against Attorney General John Ashcroft seeking to overturn Internet…






        Tags: Media CDA
      • Ynot News - December 20, 2001

        Can David Beat Goliath in the Battle of Obscenity? By Judd Handler   Ynot News, December 20, 2001   One would think it would take the giants of the industry to force the government to rethink existing, not-applicable-to-the-Internet obscenity laws. On the contrary, the little players may be the ones who are successful in getting the federal government and the Supreme Court to throw out irrelevant local community standards when…






        Tags: Media CDA
      • Wired - December 12, 2001

        New Suit Targets Obscenity Law By Julia Scheeres Wired, December 12, 2001    A national organization that promotes sexual tolerance and an artist who photographs pictures of couples engaged in sadomasochism filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to overturn Internet obscenity laws. The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and photographer Barbara Nitke argue that the obscenity provision of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) is so broad that it violates free speech.…






        Tags: Media CDA
      • Spectator Magazine - January 11, 2002

        STANDING UP TO BE COUNTED: BARBARA NITKE CHALLENGES JOHN ASHCROFT ON S/M AND INTERNET OBSCENITY By David Steinberg Spectator Magazine, January 11, 2002 "No matter how we're wired to express love, freedom is having the courage to be who we are." - Photographer/plaintiff Barbara Nitke On December 11, Barbara Nitke and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom brought suit in New York City's Federal District Court, seeking to have the…






        Tags: Media CDA
      • New York Press - August 28, 2002

        What's Obscene in Podunk By John Strausbaugh New York Press, August 28, 2002   Barbara Nitke is a well-known and much-seen photographer in her field. She's president of the New York Camera Club and teaches a course in darkroom technique at SVA. A nice, neat, sweet individual, she's the very very last person in New York City you'd suspect of being a pornographer. Which she's not, not exactly. She's more…






        Tags: Media CDA
      • New York Newsday - July 25 2005

        New York judges refuse to say Internet obscenity law is unconstitutional By LARRY NEUMEISTER Associated Press Writer, July 25, 2005, 7:58 PM EDT  NEW YORK -- A special three-judge federal panel on Monday refused to find unconstitutional a law making it a crime to send obscenity over the Internet to children. The Communications Decency Act of 1996 had been challenged by Barbara Nitke, a photographer who specializes in pictures of…






        Tags: Media CDA
      • New York Daily News - July 15, 2002

        Fotog vs. Feds in Obscenity Law: Files suit to keep photos on Web by Veronica Vera New York Daily News, July 15, 2002 Photographer Barbara Nitke is used to being behind the lens, but if legal matters heat up, she may soon find the government focusing on her. Nitke is ready to step into the foreground as the chief plantiff in Barbara Nitke and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom…






        Tags: Media CDA
      • Nerve - December 11, 2001

        Nerve December 11, 2001 Photographer Barbara Nitke and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) filed a lawsuit today, claiming the Internet censorship provision of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) violates the First Amendment right to free speech. The provision stipulates that "local community standards" will judge whether or not something is indecent. Yet attorney John Wirenius argues that "By allowing the most restrictive jurisdiction to define what speech can…






        Tags: Media CDA
      • CNN - December 20, 2001

        Lawsuit targets last scraps of Net-obscenity law By Sam Costello (IDG News) CNN, December 20, 2001 The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) and artist Barbara Nitke have filed a lawsuit challenging the remaining provisions of the Communications Decency Act, much of which was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1997. The act, or CDA, was passed in 1996 and was the first U.S. law designed to allow…






        Tags: CDA Media
      • Adult Video News - February, 2002

        NCSF Tackles "Community Standards" For The Web By Mark Kernes Adult Video News, February Issue Washington, DC The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom may not be a household name, even in the adult entertainment industry, but if their recently-filed lawsuit succeeds, they may go down in history as the first group to secure Americans' core constitutional speech rights.  NCSF is based in the nation's capital [~] in fact, only a…






        Tags: Media CDA News
      • ABC News - July 29, 2002

        Love or Obscenity? S/M Photographer Challenges Internet Decency Standards By Dean Schabner ABCnews.com, July 29, 2002 When Barbara Nitke wanted to put her photographs of loving couples on the Internet, she thought she should check into the laws first. That's because Nitke's recent photographs have been focused on how some couples express their love through sado-masochism. What Nitke found after reading up on Internet law and talking to lawyers was…






        Tags: Media CDA
      NCSF Newsletters

      NCSF Newsletters

      A quarterly newsletter produced by the NCSF staff to inform our communities about the important work our coalition is doing.

      • NCSF Newsletter: 1st Quarter 2012

        NCSF Newsletter 1st Quarter, 2012 In this issue The NCSF Annual Meeting is the 3rd Weekend of March! Sexual Freedom Stories in the News What happened at Spanksgiving? Spanksgiving, an Addendum Coalition Corner - The Eulenspiegel Society Meet Your Board! Returning Member- Vivienne Kramer The NCSF Annual Meeting is the 3rd Weekend of March!  Join us in St. Paul Minnesota this spring! We are pulling out all the stops for a…





        Written on Wednesday, 01 February 2012 00:24
        Tags: Newsletter News newletters
      • NCSF Newsletter: 4th Quarter 2011

        NCSF Newsletter 4th Quarter, 2011   In this issue NCSF Annual Meeting, March 2012 in Minnesota Consent Counts: Report & Looking to the Future Consent Counts: Words from Our Board Chair Coalition Corner: Siege Works Meet Your Board! Returning Member- Mercury  NCSF Annual Meeting, March 2012 in Minnesota  By: Sassy, CP Rep - Minnesota Stocks Debentures & Bonds March is known for "March Madness" in Minnesota. It's a time of high school…





        Written on Friday, 11 November 2011 02:28
        Tags: Newsletter News Newsletters
      • NCSF Newsletter: 3rd Quarter 2011

        NCSF Newsletter 3rd Quarter, 2011    In this issue Membership Drive...Keep that Independence Day Spirit Minnesota Welcomes NCSF next March! Meet Your Board!...New Member- Julian Wolf Update: Kinky is NOT a Diagnosis Consent Counts Expands Educational Focus Coalition Corner - Meet the New Mexico Leather League Membership Drive Keep that Independence Day Spirit and become a freedom fighter by joining NCSF! NCSF is having a membership drive until July 31st! NCSF is…





        Written on Wednesday, 20 July 2011 00:52
        Tags: Newsletter News
      • NCSF Newsletter: 2nd Quarter 2011

        NCSF Newsletter 2nd Quarter 2011 In this issue NCSF's Coalition Partners Meet in Cambridge Annual Meeting Letter From the Chair Hosting the Annual Meeting New Coalition Partner, FetFest, Launches Ticket Donations Creating Change at Creating Change Why KAP (Kink Aware Professionals) Affecting the Law In California NCSF's Coalition Partners Meet in Cambridge The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom held its annual Coalition Partner meeting in Cambridge, MA from March 26-27,…





        Written on Wednesday, 11 May 2011 15:07

      • NCSF Newsletter: 1st Quarter 2011

        NCSF Newsletter: 1st Quarter 2011 In this issue   Letter from the Chair Boston Annual Meeting Interview with a Coalition Partner DSM Revision Project a Success Why support the NCSF?   From the ChairBy: Leigha FlemingNCSF Board Chair Hello to all of you and an especially warm greeting to all of our supporting and coalition partners. 2010 has been an exciting year for NCSF. We had some major successes with…





        Written on Friday, 25 March 2011 14:28

      • NCSF Newsletter: 4th Quarter 2010

        Winter: January 2010 In this issue   NCSF Publishes Two Important Mental Health Guides NCSF Protests Raid on Atlanta Eagle Consent Counts- Get Involved! Coalition Partner Stewardship NCSF Publishes Two Important Mental Health Guidesby: Susan Wright NCSF and the Foundation are thrilled to announce two new and valuable additions to its line of publications. The first is A Guide to Choosing a Kink-Aware Therapist , created by Keely Kolmes Psy.D.…





        Written on Friday, 25 March 2011 14:23
        Tags: Newsletter Notes
      • NCSF Newsletter: 3rd Quarter 2010

        NCSF Newsletter: 3rd Quarter 2010   In this issue Next Annual Meeting AASECTH NCSF & FetLife NCSF Comes to You Tube Next Annual Meeting in BostonBy: Opn Heartd CP Rep, MOB New England New Englanders, maybe you belong to a NCSF Coalition Partner group like NELA or NE-DS or Mob New England or you are an individual supporting member of NCSF.  Maybe you've attended an event that donated to NCSF,…





        Written on Tuesday, 22 March 2011 14:40
        Tags: Newsletter Notes
      • NCSF Newsletter: 2nd Quarter 2010

        NCSF Newsletter Spring: May 2010 In this issue Annual Meeting Board of Directors Volunteer of the Year New Papers ___________________________________________________________________________________ Annual Coalition Partner's Meeting  The Annual Coalition Partner's Meeting was held in Seattle this year. It was the NCSF's first time in the city of Seattle and this could not have been done without the efforts of the Seattle community - particularly Jim Duvall and Allena Gabosch. We would like…





        Written on Sunday, 20 March 2011 15:35
        Tags: Newsletter Notes
      • NCSF Newsletter: 1st Quarter 2010

        NCSF Newsletter: Winter January 2010 In this issue NCSF Publishes Two Important Mental Health Guides NCSF Protests Raid on Atlanta Eagle Consent Counts- Get Involved! Coalition Partner Stewardship  _____________________________________________________________________________ NCSF Publishes Two Important Mental Health Guides by: Susan Wright NCSF and the Foundation are thrilled to announce two new and valuable additions to its line of publications. The first is A Guide to Choosing a Kink-Aware Therapist , created by…





        Written on Sunday, 20 March 2011 14:58
        Tags: Notes Newsletters
      • NCSF Newsletter: 4th Quarter 2009

        Download NCSF Notes Winter 2009-2010





        Written on Thursday, 14 January 2010 07:12
        Tags: Newsletter Notes
      Media Activity Reports

      Media Activity Reports

      Reports about the activities of the NCSF Media Committee.

      • NCSF Media Activity Report - 2007

        September 2007 to August 2008 The NCSF Media Committee reviews, edits, and refines the documents that NCSF distributes. The media committee is chaired by Susan Wright, spokesperson for NCSF, and consists of Levi Halberstadt, Keith Richie, Lisa Vandever, Lolita Wolf, and Howie Z. Over the past year, Susan gave five media trainings including one for the board of a national event, and one at the annual CP meeting for CP…






        Tags: BDSM Susan Wright Task Force
      • Media Activity Reports

        Reports about the activities of the NCSF Media Committee NCSF has an active media committee which provides interviews for print, radio, and television. We creates press releases, action alerts, and entertainment media updates. The Media committee also provides media training and coaching to coalition partners, advocacy groups and responds to hundreds of media related queries. With the action around the CDA lawsuit as well as other media events, this has…






        Tags: Activist Media Coalition Partners
      • NCSF Media Activity Report - 2006

        September 2005 - September 2006 The NCSF Media Committee reviews, edits, and refines the documents that NCSF publicly distributes. The media committee consists of Susan Wright, Allena Gabosch, Anita Wagner, Lisa Vandever, Lolita Wolf, Howie Z., and Keith, who creates and distributes the NCSF Media Updates. Interviews Susan Wright gave 57 interviews with most of the media outlets contacting NCSF, indicating that NCSF has much higher profile than before the…






        Tags: Susan Wright Media CDA
      Press Releases

      Press Releases

      • NCSF: Moving Forward

        What is the difference between NCSF and the NCSF Foundation?   The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is a 501c4 nonprofit membership organization that advocates for those in the kink and polyamory lifestyles. The Coalition Partners oversee NCSF’s Board of Directors, who in turn run the projects and programs of both organizations. The NCSF Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit charitable organization that educates about BDSM, swinging and polyamory to destigmatize…





        Written on Monday, 10 March 2014 00:56

      • 2013 Advocacy Roundup

        National Coalition for Sexual Freedom 2013 Advocacy Roundup NCSF faced some difficult challenges in 2013, but the dedicated volunteer staff worked hard to advocate for the BDSM, swing and polyamory lifestyles: Kink is Okay                   The biggest news of 2013 was that the American Psychiatric Association depathologized consensual sadism, masochism, cross-dressing and fetishes in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). NCSF’s DSM-Revision project began in April…





        Written on Thursday, 06 February 2014 00:52

      • Take the Consent Violations Survey!

        Please take this survey even if you’ve never had a consent violation. We want to know what are your power exchange and sexual identities? Are you “out” about being kinky? How often do you go to BDSM groups and online communities?   NCSF will use these results to help perform its advocacy, such as helping law enforcement, prosecutors and health care professionals understand the experiences of kinky people and provide…





        Written on Wednesday, 22 January 2014 00:47

      • The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and Leather Archives & Museum proudly present: “BDSM? Erotic Play? What Are the Legal Risks?”

        Where: Leather Archives & Museum6418 N. Greenview AvenueChicago, IL 60626 When: Saturday, October 19th from 2:30-5 p.m.followed by awine and cheese reception for the benefit of LA&M and NCSF from 5-7 p.m.Presentation is free of charge.Wine and cheese reception has a suggested donation of $20 and is open to the public.   Program description:You and your BDSM partner may be having a great time, but you need to know about…





        Written on Tuesday, 24 September 2013 00:42

      • The DSM-5 Says Kink is OK!

        The DSM-5 Says Kink is OK!   The American Psychiatric Association has depathologized kinky sex – including cross-dressing, fetishes, and BDSM – in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Now the paraphilias are considered to be “unusual sexual interests,” while those who have sex with children or people who haven’t consented, or who deliberately cause harm to themselves or others, may be diagnosed with a…





        Written on Saturday, 22 June 2013 00:32
        Tags: DSM
      • NCSF’s Coalition Partners Join Together for Consent Summit

        NCSF’s Coalition Partners Join Together for Consent Summit   The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom held its annual Coalition Partner meeting in Phoenix, Arizona from February 8-10, 2013. The Consent Summit took place Friday evening, and Coalition Partners were able to participate via streaming video to give their input on the new Consent Statement. Go to www.ncsfreedom.org to see the Consent Statement and comment on it.   “The Consent Statement…





        Written on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 00:22
        Tags: Consent_Counts
      • Office Fire Fundraiser

        Our Office Burned! We need YOUR help February 13, 2013 – The NCSF office in Baltimore, MD, was destroyed in a fire a few weeks ago. We’ve lost everything: computer, office supplies and furnishings, tee shirts, and all of our stored printed literature are gone.    Please donate to the NCSF Fire Recovery Fund drive:   https://www.wepay.com/donations/ncsf-fire-recovery-fund      Donations are tax deductible! In order to continue helping the BDSM-leather-fetish, swing…





        Written on Wednesday, 13 February 2013 00:15

      • NCSF Survey on Consent

        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…





        Written on Monday, 09 July 2012 10:19
        Tags: Survey Consent Counts consent fetlife
      • Mark Frazier Joins the NCSF Board of Directors

        Mark Frazier Joins the NCSF Board of Directors July 1, 2012 - The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is pleased to announce the addition of a new board member, Mark Frazier. Mark will fill an appointed board seat until the 2013 Coalition Partner meeting. Mark Frazier is the owner and executive producer of the International LeatherSir/Leatherboy and community bootblack contests. He has been involved in the leather and kink lifestyle…





        Written on Tuesday, 03 July 2012 02:26

      • NCSF at AASECT 2012

          NCSF at AASECT  On behalf of NCSF, Jim Fleckenstein and Susan Wright attended the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) Annual Conference on June 8-10th in Austin, Texas. The NCSF booth in the Exhibit Hall featured free copies of NCSF’s newly refreshed guide: "What Psychology Professionals Should Know About Polyamory." 150 copies were given away to professional service providers courtesy of a grant by Alan of Polyamory…





        Written on Wednesday, 27 June 2012 01:33
        Tags: NCSF aasect

      Support this program!

      Media Outreach: We're Making a Difference

      • NCSF has successfully changed the discussion in the media by debunking stereotypes about BDSM, swinging, and polyamory
      • NCFS has developed a strong media outreach and training program for its coalition, supporting, and other partners.
      • NCSF has successfully become through dedicated advocacy, the leading media authority on BDSM, swinging, and polyamory

       

      About Media Outreach

      The Media Outreach Program is designed to reach outward to educate media and respond to media stories about alternative sex. In addition it is designed to reach inward to our own constituents to teach and train them in how to respond and deal with media effectively.

      Program Goals:
      The goal of the goal of the Media Outreach Program is to change the public discussion about alternative sexuality and to educate and support our members when they have occasion to deal with the media.
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