Senate Hearing on Obscenity: Woodhull Calls for “Fair and Open Debate”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — March 15, 2005 — Washington, DC
The Woodhull Freedom Federation (WFF) today called for “a fair and open debate, not one-sided propaganda display” in the upcoming Senate Judiciary Committee’s March 16, at 3:00 p.m. hearing on “Obscenity Prosecution and the Constitution”.
“We are deeply concerned,” said WFF Executive Director Ricci J. Levy, “that Senator Brownback, who is chairing and orchestrating this hearing, has invited only speakers who oppose the adult public’s right to choose what they watch and read in the way of sexually-oriented material.” Ms. Levy noted that groups supporting freedom of sexual expression, such as the Free Speech Coalition and the Adult Freedom Foundation, have had their requests to appear at the hearing denied. As a result, the witness list appears to be dominated by speakers whose agenda is clear: to enforce on the American people their own narrow sexual views and to reverse the clear trend of U.S. judicial decisions—most notably the Supreme Court’s landmark holding in Lawrence v. Texas—to protect the rights of our people and to prevent government from becoming the enforcer of particular religious doctrines.
Woodhull will be submitting written testimony to the Judiciary Committee, Ms Levy said. “Our view is that expressed by the Supreme Court—that such important Constitutional guarantees as privacy and freedom of speech must not be abridged by government in an effort to appease right-wing fundamentalist zealots who would impose their supposedly “moral” restrictions on all of the rest of us.” Ms. Levy went on to say, “In Woodhull’s view, these are important issues that deserve full articulation of the views on all sides. This hearing will not accomplish any meaningful debate on these subjects, but instead will simply be a platform for the presentation of the right-wing fundamentalist zealots’ agenda. Senator Brownback knows very well that this is a misuse of the Congressional hearing process.”
The Woodhull Freedom Federation is an international human rights organization whose purpose is to affirm sexual freedom as a fundamental human right.