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Bi-Weekly Sexual Freedom Newsletter
Thursday, June 23, 2022


Top Stories This Week

1. What’s happening at Woodhull;
2. Prosecutors’ roles post-Roe;
3. Banning books;
4. Oklahoma’s gender marker ban;
5. Police presence at Pride;
6. Sex workers’ fight for their rights;
7. Celibacy as survival; and
8. Tess’ take on criminalizing queerness.


The Sexual Freedom Summit is around the corner, and we would like to share a little bit about who will be speaking at the Summit in the newsletters leading up to our event. This week's speaker highlight features Yveka Pierre and Rebecca Wang who will be presenting, #Abortion is Not a Crime: The Law, Your Rights, and What’s Next. Read more about their workshop here.


Stay tuned to your inboxes and Woodhull's social media accounts
later this week
for a special discount
on Summit registration
in honor of our President & CEO
Ricci Levy's Birthday!

Woodhull is proud to work with OPEN on a letter to Facebook regarding their exclusion of non-monogamous relationships. Facebook’s “one relationship only” policy perpetuates stigma against non-monogamous relationships – and it’s time for that to change. We’re asking Facebook to allow users to add multiple relationship statuses to their profile. Add your name here.


(Photo by Ian Hutchinson on Unsplash)

Without Roe, Prosecutors Will Be The Abortion Police (The Appeal) 

Meg O’Connor writes about prosecutors’ role post-Roe: “In a few weeks, the nation’s highest court may overturn the landmark ruling that legalized abortion, paving the way for over a dozen states to immediately criminalize abortion. According to a leaked opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. This means that prosecutors across the country could soon be tasked with enforcing laws that require people to reproduce against their will.” Read more.



(The Mary Sue)


Virginia Judge Restricts Booksellers From Selling 2 YA Books Accused of Being “Obscene” (the Mary Sue) 

Alyssa Shotwell highlights the relentless efforts to ban books: “After overwhelming successes, by conservative groups, in getting books banned and censored in the classroom and school libraries, you’d think they would be done, right? Pack it up and go home while we try to undo this mess? Nope. In addition to putting final touches on public libraries, some people are taking it a step further by challenging which books can even be sold in bookstores.” Read more.


(Cage Rivera:Rewire News Group illustration)


Oklahoma Lawmakers Don’t Want My Birth Certificate to Match My Gender Identity (Rewire News Group) 

Kylie Sparks explains Oklahoma lawmakers’ gender marker ban: “SB 1100 bans third gender markers (aka, X) on birth certificates and refuses corrections to amend birth certificates, thereby erasing Oklahoma’s trans, nonbinary, two-spirit, and gender nonconforming communities. As it made its way through committees and began rapidly going through the legislative process, it was largely ignored by national news outlets. It seemed that the only people discussing it were trans and nonbinary people, including Oklahoma state Rep. Mauree Turner, who is the first nonbinary state legislator in the country and one of the few out nonbinary people in U.S. politics.” Read more.


(Thomas Hawk:Flickr)

Keep Your Guns and Batons Away From My Pride Parade (Jacobin) 

Luke Thibault urges us to reject the participation of armed and uniformed cops marching at Pride: “The fight over whether or not to allow uniformed police into Pride parades may seem to some like a purely symbolic one. But challenging the identitarian notion that queer cops represent progress is an important part of reclaiming the radical, transformative politics of queer liberation from what too often amounts to a single-issue movement devoted to winning inclusion into the very institutions that stand in the way of real justice. We don’t need more queer cops. We need to build a whole new infrastructure of public safety that isn’t rooted in punishment and violence.”
Read more.


(Creative Commons)

Sex Workers Fight for Their Rights (The Progressive) 

Hallie Lieberman covers sex workers’ advocacy in Vermont, including that of Henri Brynx, who co-founded the Ishtar Collective: “The [Ishtar Collective] is working closely with Selene Colburn, a Vermont state representative who earlier this year co-sponsored a bill to decriminalize sex work. The bill, now in committee, would remove all legal penalties for sex work ‘while retaining strict prohibitions and felony criminal penalties for human trafficking of persons who are compelled through force, fraud, or coercion to engage in sex work.’” Read more.


(Millennium Images : Gallery Stock:UK : Contributing Photographer)


Celibacy as Survival (The Cut) 

Fariha Róisín frames celibacy as survival: “It has taken me a long time to announce that I’m a child-sexual-abuse survivor, something that these days I take great honor in stating. Others think it comes with a lot of pain (and it does), but for me, what it has provided is a framework of understanding myself, my grief, my body’s memory, and all the intricacies of myself that I denied in order to support the narrative of my life that others had written for me. [...] for the last few years, I’ve chosen celibacy as a way to slow down and understand myself. The mind forgets what the body keeps the score of, but sooner or later, you have to face it all. My body stopped wanting to have sex as a way to remind myself, Take yourself seriously; take your body’s pain seriously! And that’s just it, isn’t it?.” Read more.


(Bryan R. Smith:Agence France-Presse)

Tess’ Take: Criminalizing Queerness (Woodhull’s Sex & Politics Blog) 

Tess Joseph writes about criminalizing queerness: “Recent attacks on LGBTQIA+ individuals’ human rights to dignity, safety, autonomy, and health have been relentless. Hundreds of anti-trans bills have been introduced. Put plainly, these efforts ‘weaponize the criminal legal system to terrorize trans youth and the people who love them.’ We at the Woodhull Freedom Foundation vehemently believe LGBTQIA+ folks shouldn’t be subjected to this system of terror. And neither should those who love them.”
Read more.


 Woodhull Freedom Foundation is the only national human rights organization working full time to protect the fundamental human right to sexual freedom. Our work includes fighting censorship, eliminating discrimination based on gender or sexual identity, or family form, and protecting the right to engage in consensual sexual activity and expression. We do this through advocacy, education, and coalition building.   

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