This Quarter's Newsletter was the most fun to write. It features several different community perspectives, inclduing an article by Catalina Loves, talking about how the NCSF helped her in a critical moment in her life; a youth group in Baltimore that serves to help newcomers find their second skin, Tabu Social Club a success story for the NCSF Incident Response Program and a lively swing community space, and the new changes the NCSF is facing to better serve you resultant from our first ever joint board retreat. This issue is indicative of the new communications you should expect to see from the NCSF, highlighting not just the critical threats facing us, but the joy our community has and the beauty we aim to share with the world--and now with color pictures and more content!
I hope you enjoy, and don't forget that now your stories, your opinions and your writing can be featured in the NCSF blog and newsletter so submit yours to:
Catalina Loves, maven of Best Sex Bloggers, Fetlife and her own blog Catalina Loves writes a personal story of her experiences with the injustices facing the alternative lifestylers and the support she received from the NCSF:
My relationship with the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) began like many others do. I was neck deep in a conflict that was based in my free expression of my sexuality through my writing. I was asked to leave my teaching position, an agreement was reached and I left quietly without creating a scene. I used to teach in a small, private school in North Carolina, where my daughter also attended school. When I left my teaching position I was assured that it would not affect her last and final year of middle school.
Months passed, and we were within days of her returning to the 8th grade when I received a call from the Head of School that he had decided to rescind his offer to allow her to go to school there. After heated debate, he agreed that she could attend school, but if and only if I could secure a $1,000.00 expense fee to cover her field trips and lunches in advance. It was a bullshit fee, to be honest. It's not required of any other parent. He knew that we would not be able to come up with $1,000 in a matter of days. This was his way of keeping her out without risking litigation.
So I wondered what led this man, elder in his church, who had given me his word that my child would be unaffected, to suddenly revoke something that we had agreed upon? He said that based on an email to my husband, he had changed his mind. I looked at Marky, while still on the phone, and asked, "Did you exchange any emails in the last month with the school?" Of course he had not. Well the school made a terrible error. They contacted my ex-husband, not my husband. They contacted someone who has no legal custody of our daughter, and based on that conversation had decided that I would no longer be welcome in the parent community.
This happened, I'm sure by no coincidence, at the same time that I received threatening emails from my ex-husband, who suggested that due to my deviant behavior she should come to live with him.
I reacted immediately. First, I raised the money in a raffle that was initially supported by Lochai and quickly built into a huge CommUNITY movement of kinksters who were outraged. Secondly, I contact NCSF and accessed professional advice and consultations through their Kink Aware Professionals (KAP) listing. With the help of the community and the NCSF I felt prepared for battle.
Now, coming full circle, I am honored that my PR firm, Quid Pro Quo, will be working with NCSF on the launching of a new blog. We are doing the work pro-bono to show NCSF our appreciation and to give back to an organization that protects all of us. It feels really great to be in a position to give back. So do us a favor and help us help them. We'll be asking people to repost and tweet links and I hope you'll consider it your way of giving back to such an amazing organization.
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force hails enactment of Vermont legislation granting the freedom to marry to same-sex couples
WASHINGTON, April 7 b The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force hails the Vermont Legislature's override today of Gov. Jim Douglas' veto of a bill extending the freedom to marry to same-sex couples. The Senate passed the measure by 23 to 5 and the House by 100 to 49. Vermont is the first state in the nation to extend the freedom to marry through the legislative process.
Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
"Vermont is once again making history. Nine years ago it did so when it became the first state to grant legal recognition of same-sex relationships through its civil unions law; today, it became the first state Legislature to pass and enact a marriage equality measure.
"This is a momentous day and significant turning point in the struggle for the equal treatment of our relationships. The enactment of this bill affirms that only marriage can provide the protections, dignity and respect that the institution bestows. This vote also recognizes that civil unions simply fall short in ensuring same-sex couples are treated equally under the law.
"We salute the courage and commitment of the Vermont state legislative leadership in pursuing this measure's passage b even successfully overriding the governor's veto. We especially extend our heartfelt thanks to Vermont Freedom to Marry for its hard work and tireless advocacy for the freedom to
To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, visit www.theTaskForce.org (http://www.theTaskForce.org).
The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement's premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.
The Task Force is a 501(c)(3) corporation incorporated in Washington, D.C. Contributions to the Task Force are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. (C)2009 National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
1325 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20005. Phone 202.393.5177. Fax 202.393.2241. TTY 202.393.2284.
Vicki Gonzalez TABU Social Club1115 N. Rolling Rd.Catonsville, Md. 21228
Such was the case with TABU Social Club and NCSF. Widely recognized as the fastest growing "Lifestyle" club in the country, (boasting over 9000 member couples and single females), thanks in no small part to the guidance and assistance of NCSF, TABU is thriving. TABU Social Club, now a proud "Coalition Partner" of NCSF, with the assistance of Nina, owner of the "Power Exchange" (www.powerxchangebynina.com) in Baltimore, as well as many other volunteers, will be putting on a fundraiser on Friday April 3rd, 2009 with 100% of the proceeds being donated to furthering the mission of NCSF. There will be music, dancing, light snack foods, door prizes, silent & live auctions for various goods and services and best of all Live Demonstrations to give you a small taste of some of the various "Lifestyles" that NCSF works tirelessly to support. This event is open to those 21 and over who practice forms of alternative sexual expression and to those who support our right to do so. The cost for the event is $20 per person with 100% of the proceeds being donated to NCSF. This is a BYOB event, so should you choose to drink alcohol, you must bring it yourself. We are also actively seeking volunteers to assist with various aspects of the event. As simple as setup and breakdown to providing demonstrations in an area that you have some expertise to being a roving ambassador to all who attend, we can use your help. Further, we are seeking donations of goods and services to be used as door prizes as well as live and silent auction items. For more information regarding this event or to register please visit http://tabulife.com/ncsf_2009.html If you would like to volunteer your time or donate any goods or services please contact Vicki Gonzalez (
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is a national organization committed to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual expression. NCSF is primarily focused on the rights of consenting adults in the SM-leather-fetish, swing, and polyamory communities, who often face discrimination because of their sexual expression.
History of the NCSF: Hard at Work to Defend Your Rights
The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) was formed in 1997 by a small group led by Susan Wright under the auspices of the New York SM Activists. The goal was to fight for sexual freedom and privacy rights for all adults who engage in safe, sane and consensual behavior.
The first five organizations who joined reflected our desire to be a nationwide organization: the National Leather Association—International, Gay Male S/M Activists, The Eulenspiegel Society, Black Rose and Society of Janus. Today, NCSF has over 50 Coalition Partners who elect the board that runs NCSF, and establish our goals at the annual Coalition Partner meeting. Coalition Partners are groups and businesses who serve BDSM, swing and polyamory practitioners and also support NCSF by holding an annual fundraiser. NCSF also has over 100 Supporting Members – groups and businesses that support NCSF.
Over the years, NCSF has formed alliances with other organizations that defend sexual freedom rights: Free Speech Coalition, the ACLU, American Association of Sex Educators Councilors and Therapists, Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance, among others.
Early Successes for NCSF
The 1998 Violence & Discrimination survey revealed the extent of discrimination and persecution that exists against the SM-leather-fetish communities. NCSF found that 36% of SM practitioners have been victims of harassment and that 30% have been victims of discrimination. This discrimination resulted in 24% losing a job or a contract, 17% losing a promotion and 3% losing custody of a child. This survey helped NCSF gear our energies towards issues that matter most to our constituents.
NCSF also lent assistance to the local communities in San Diego and Baltimore, to help to stop the selective enforcement of zoning and public indecency laws against the SM-Leather-Fetish communities. Next, NCSF assisted the local communities in Attleboro MA and Washington DC as those cities faced the same selective enforcement that had been attempted in Baltimore and San Diego. NCSF continues to work with State Attorney Generals and local District Attorneys to help educate these authorities about SM, swing and polyamory practices to prevent dangerous precidents from being set against adult consensual sexuality.
NCSF and the Media
As an advocacy organization, one of NCSF's strategies has been to educate the media about issues facing the SM-Leather-Fetish, swing and polyamory communities. You can help by signing up for NCSF's media updates list
. This weekly email will alert you to stories about alternative sexual expression in the news, and will give you contact information so that you can respond to an editor to let them know if you liked or disliked an article and why. We also give you tips on how to write a letter. Even if your letter is not printed, these letters influence how editorial decisions are made in the future.
NCSF's Media Outreach Program has developed a package of materials that provide information about NCSF and the communities we represent. This program provides education and training to groups and individuals on how to effectively interact with the media.
One example of NCSF's advocacy efforts took place in the Attleboro MA coverage in July, 2000. In the first media reports regarding the Attleboro arrests, the incident was characterized as a "sex club" raid. Within 48 hours, a coordinated effort led by NCSF and the local community to educate the media resulted in a major change in the characterization of the arrests. The tone of the coverage went from defending the actions of the law enforcement officers to questioning their judgment and several reporters raised legitimate questions about possible civil rights violations.
From February to May 2002, five SM conventions were targeted by Concerned Women for America, American Family Association, and the American Decency Association. NCSF worked with each event to counter sensationalized attacks in the media as well as resisting action by local authorities who attempted to shut down some of these SM conferences. The attacks took place in the midwest against My Vicious Valentine and International Mr. Leather in Chicago, Bound by Desire in Michigan, Tribal Fire in Oklahoma, and Beat Me in St. Louis in Missouri.
NCSF's Incident Response Program: Helping you...
In 2006, over distinct inquiries were made between NCSF and individuals, groups, attorneys, prosecutors, and businesses who requested assistance. Each incident sometimes required only one or two phone calls, but many evolved into much larger projects.
14.5% were related to SM/leather/fetish group issues
13.5% were regarding child custody/divorce issues
13% were requests regarding SM/abuse/domestic violence issues
10.5% were regarding zoning issues
9% were classed as non-employment discrimination
8% were related to swing community issues
8% were regarding online obscenity issues
7% were regarding employment discrimination
6% were regarding criminal complaint issues
5.5% were in reference to child protective services’ complaints
5% were classed as “other”
Of the inquires, 73.5% were driven by SM/leather/fetish issues, 15% by swing, 7% by poly, 4.5% by other.
Early in 2000, NCSF launched its Education Outreach Program (EOP). This program is designed to educate law enforcement officials about our communities, and educate members of our community regarding the risks of selective enforcement and how to minimize the risk of becoming a target. NCSF has published a number of pieces of literature for this program and has assembled and trained a team of individuals from across the country to deliver the educational presentations developed by the NCSF-EOP. New presentations are always being developed by the EOP team.
We Need You!
In the past decade, alternative sexual expression has become much more visible to the general public. As we continue to move into the streets of mainstream America, we face an increasing number of attacks against our right to freedom of sexual expression. While the battles that NCSF has waged have been successful, our resources are depleted. NCSF will continue to defend against these attacks, but the success of that fight depends on your support. You can provide that support by becoming an individual member of NCSF, volunteering to join the NCSF staff, making a donation to NCSF, or encouraging your group to become a Coalition Partner of NCSF.
There are many ways to volunteer to help NCSF. You do not have to be "out" to help. Tell others about NCSF or distribute our literature. Initiate or help out at a fund-raiser with NCSF as a beneficiary. Check out the rest of this website and you'll find everything from Calls to Action to our Incident Response program. Every step you take helps us further the sexual freedom movement!