Media Update – July 11, 2003

1. Letters to the Editor
2. Now What? First in a series on life after Lawrence: untold potential and tough choices
3. Decency fuels debate: Investigators who screened adult films say they are illicit

1. Letters to the Editor
2. Now What? First in a series on life after Lawrence: untold potential and tough choices
3. Decency fuels debate: Investigators who screened adult films say they are illicit

Letters to the Editor:

Colorado Daily
Letters: Questioning liberal crap
Re: In the Gutter on the Bench by Zev Chafets
July 9, 2003

I am sick of reading this sickingly liberal crap in the Daily Colorado. What we as citizens do in private impacts our public lives immensly. For example, How could anyone honestly trust a police officer if he/she practiced S&M. Mr. Chafets seems to think that what we do in the privacy of our own homes is irrelavant. Whats worse is that the media thinks that Mr. Chafets anything goes policy is "enlightened" and that anyone who has standards is dogmatic and religious.

Regarding Mr. Chafets claim that Muslims practice polygamy. Is Mr. Chafets ready to accepts everything else that Muslims practice: cutting off fingers for breaking certain laws, making woman cover their entire bodies except the face and hands, etc.? In other words, is Mr. Chafets ready to adopt the dogmatism of the Muslim faith. Of course not!! Because this would imply a standard.

Also, I can only assume that Mr. Chafets is being facetious when he claims that junior faculty members at "certain elite universities" practice bigamy. However, truth can be seen even in jest. He seems to think that the truely "enlightened" professors are above these silly bigamy laws. We cannot pick and choose from the various systems out there. There is only one truth.

The courts need to make it clear that certain behavior is unacceptable. Without this minimal standard of behavior, our laws will continue to degrade to the point where no one feels protected. It sickens me to see that the Daily Boulder, and the media in general, is so flippant regarding these issues. I urge readers to really think about these issues and own up to your own ideas of what is right and wrong.

Daniel Main

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The Dispatch (Gilroy, CA)
Letters: Swingers are parents, doctors and fire personnel so don't throw stones
Wednesday, July 9, 2003

Your editorial on swingers' clubs is a classic example of mixing "apples and oranges."

Fact: Swingers' clubs are for adults only. Children are not involved in any way!

Fact: The swingers of today are the parents of the children of today. In fact, the family next door may have swinger parents who are also doctors, attorneys, store keepers, police and fire personnel.

Fact: The criticisms that you mention are the same ones that were cited in the far away '50s and '60s. "That rock and roll music will lead our youngsters to perdition!" Those youngsters grew up just fine and are in Congress, City Hall and local Councils. The Republic still stands.

To make swingers' clubs a "child" issue is to mislead the reader regarding the true situation. The Supreme Court seems to understand the concept of adult conduct behind closed doors being nobody else's business. Unless The Arena plans to have glass walls on their place, perhaps The Dispatch shouldn't throw stones!

Gillian Boardman, San Jose

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Now What? First in a series on life after Lawrence: untold potential and tough choices

By Paul Schindler
Gay City News (New York)
July 4-10, 2003

Although a victory over sodomy laws was widely anticipated throughout the gay and lesbian community as the U.S. Supreme Court headed into its final weeks, the sweeping majority opinion in Lawrence v. Texas, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and released June 26, nonetheless stunned most observers.

But a surprising number of community members made a point of saying that they agreed with the Court's most vigorous dissenter, Justice Antonin Scalia, when he warned–in what for him was a dire prediction–that Lawrence would have ramifications far beyond private sexual behavior in the bedroom.

According to Susan Wright, a spokesperson for the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, which advocates on behalf of issues ranging from S/M to polyamory, the explicit recognition of a privacy right will help her group defend against law enforcement efforts aimed at sexual behavior in what her group views as "private spaces"–including clubs and other social gatherings.

"In Bowers, the Court said you can regulate private behavior," she said. "Now, we are thrilled that the Court has said that there is a right to privacy." [cont.]

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Decency fuels debate: Investigators who screened adult films say they are illicit

By Marsha Sills
Lafayette Advertiser (Louisiana)
July 6, 2003

Lafayette police investigators who screened movies such as "Barely Legal #30" say the adult flicks are in violation of the city's obscenity ordinance, according to Lafayette police Cpl. Mark Francis. The title was among the 233 DVDs confiscated on May 17 by police from The Bad Kitty after two people said that they believed the videos were illegal to sell in Lafayette. No charges have been filed against the downtown adult novelty shop owners.

"I would say that a police officer's opinion that something is obscene does not necessarily reflect the community's views," Willard said.

Willard has maintained that the videos can be found at any other adult video store in Acadiana. A visit to the two stores closest to the downtown location proved that he was right. Both stores are located about six miles from the downtown store, but are in St. Martin Parish.

The city's ordinance against obscenity was written in 1965. While it follows the state's language closely, the charge is a misdemeanor. The state's is a felony. Both laws follow the language of the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings in defining obscenity, but the state law clearly defines hard core sexual activity, which is obscene under the law.

That hard core sexual activity includes "sexual acts, normal or perverted, actual, simulated or animated, whether between human beings, animals, or an animal and a human being." Prohibitive acts also include "masturbation, excretory functions or lewd exhibition…of the genitals, pubic hair, anus, vulva or female breast nipples;" sadomasochistic abuse or fondling in an "act of apparent sexual stimulation or gratification." [cont.]

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