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Sex, Art & Politics Takes on John Ashcroft

September 7, 2004 New York City The Communications Decency Act (CDA) trial date has been set for October 27-29, 2004, at the United States District Court in New York City. Plaintiffs Barbara Nitke and the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom are contesting the remaining CDA provisions allowing "local community standards" to be used to define obscenity on the Internet. These provisions were not the subject of the 1997 Supreme Court challenge, ACLU vs. Ashcroft.

"The CDA allows one community to limit what the entire nation is allowed to discuss, to read or to view on the Internet," says John Wirenius, the attorney for the lawsuit. "That is unconstitutional because the First Amendment does not allow any one locality to impose its morality on the nation." For more information about the CDA lawsuit, go to: www.ncsfreedom.org.

Expert witnesses who will be called and cross-examined include Arthur C. Danto, A.D. Coleman, Jeffrey Douglas, Ben Laurie, Seth Finkelstein, Candida Royalle, Tristan Taormino, Charles Moser, Dov Hechtman, Leigha Fleming, and Susan Wright. Their testimony will cover the technological impossibility of complying with the CDA; the artistic and social importance of sexually explicit speech concerning alternative sexual practices; and the chilling affect the CDA has had on artists and writers within the communities served by NCSF.

Plaintiff Barbara Nitke (www.barbaranitke.com) will be making appearances in San Francisco in September for an exhibition of her work, slide show talks, book signings and benefits to raise funds for the CDA lawsuit expenses. Mark I. Chester and Dr. Carol Queen's Center for Sex and Culture are sponsoring "Sex, Art & Politics," the series of events on radical sex photography and artistic freedom to coincide with the Folsom Street Fair. For more information on these events, see the calendar below.

Barbara Nitke is president of the prestigious Camera Club of New York, on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York, and author of a book of fine art photographs, Kiss of Fire (Kehrer Verlag 2003). National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) is a national organization committed to protecting freedom of sexual expression among consenting adults.

For additional information, requests for interviews, and publishable press photos contact Susan Wright, Spokesperson for NCSF 917.848.6544, or Barbara Nitke at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Calendar of September Events in San Francisco with Barbara Nitke:

  • Sat. Sept. 18th - 8pm-midnight "Opening Party for Sex, Art & Politics" Radical sex photography including Barbara Nitke's loving SM photographs, book signing, and entertainment. Suggested donation $5- 10+. Mark I. Chester studio, 1229 Folsom St./SF
  • Sun Sept. 19th - 2-4pm - "A Romantic View of SM" Barbara Nitke's slide show talk and discussion of the CDA lawsuit. $15 for the general public. $5 for members of Janus and reciprocal leather organizations.
  • Sun Sept. 19th - 7-10pm - House party benefit for the CDA lawsuit sponsored by Mark I. Chester, Dr. Carol Queen and NCSF at a private location. 100% of proceeds will benefit the CDA lawsuit. Space is limited so please call 415-255-1155 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for an invite.
  • Tues, Sept. 21st - 8-10pm - Book signing by Barbara Nitke for her book of loving SM photographs, Kiss of Fire. Good Vibrations, 603 Valencia St., at 17th St./SF
  • Wed, Sept. 22nd - 7-10pm "Sex, Art & Politics Community Benefit" Co- sponsored by Mark I. Chester and the Center for Sex and Culture, with Charles Gatewood, Fakir Musafar, Phyllis Christopher, Michael Blue/Midori and Shilo McCabe. Suggested donation $10-$20+ with proceeds benefiting the CDA lawsuit. SF Citadel, 245 8th St/SF
  • Sat/Sun, Sept 25/26th-noon-6pm - Mark I. Chester will take a FREE digital portrait of anyone who visits his studio to see the radical sex photographs on display. Sun. 9/26, the show will be open during the Folsom St. Fair. Mark I Chester studio, 1229 Folsom St./SF
For further information regarding the above events, please check the Calendar of Special Events on: http://mchester.best.vwh.net  or call Mark at 415-621-6294. Center for Sex and Culture (www.sexandculture.org)


September 7, 2004
Contact: Susan Wright, Spokesperson
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom

917.848.6544 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Why You Should Care

Because your sexual expression...
  • 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 

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    • Promote acceptance of safe, sane, and consensual alternative sexual practices among consenting adults
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    • 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
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