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"Bondage event? No spanks! Council 'shows distaste for kinky convention by charging members extra fees"

on Wednesday, 23 November 2011. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Daily Mail

A ‘Spanksgiving’ event that explores bondage and sexual masochism has been singled out for law enforcement, its organisers claim.

STL3 from St. Louis, Missouri said its event in Fairview Heights, Illinois has been unfairly targeted by the council demanding its vendors buy permits.

The council had originally said it did not have to pay, as it is a non-profit organisation.

But the group claims after the council carried out more research into its activities, they demanded vendors buy permits.

City council members have argued the requirements were announced weeks ago – long before they heard of the convention.

The group is holding ‘a three day adult educational seminar and play party’ this weekend for 250 people at the Four Points by Sheraton in Fairview Heights.

The convention, which explores bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism in sexual relationships, includes seminars entitled The Joy of Polygamy, Slutty Sex for Real Relationships, Rope 101 and Needles.

endors required to purchase permits include Ms. Martha’s Corset Shop and Bill Stevenson, Whipmaker.

Susan Wright, the spokeswoman for the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, said organisers want to cooperate fully with the city and plan to obey all state and city laws.

But she added: ‘What is being asked of this conference that is not being asked of other conferences?

‘You can't just enforce it against one group and not another. Did other conference vendors have to pay this fee? It's because of the nature of the event.’

Council member Sandy Baldwin said the city recently decided to enforce the permits and sent letters to all hotels.

She said they are not specifically targeting ‘Spanksgiving’, but simply enforcing existing codes.

‘I would prefer to not have this kind of event in our city, there's no doubt about that,’ Baldwin said. ‘But I also understand, legally, when your hands are tied, we can only make sure the laws on our books are being followed.’

She added that one rule did not stand for all non-profit organisations.

‘I think there's a difference between a Girl Scout cookie and a sexual toy paraphernalia,’ she said. ‘When you sell Girl Scout cookies, that money is put back into the Girl Scouts. It's going back into the community.’ ...

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