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May 31, 2000 09:00pm
Adult Entertainment Stars Protest Supreme Court Decision on Nude Dance
Source: Private Dancer Magazine
by: Annika Jaansen

(SACRAMENTO, CA) -- Nine female performers, for whom nude dancing is a profession, held a press conference on the steps of California's State Capitol today to protest the Supreme Court decision forcing them to ``cover up'' in the course of their work. Dressed in black robes like those worn by U.S. Supreme Court Justices, the performers and other members of the adult-entertainment industry registered their disagreement with the court's decision that cities and states may ban nude dancing due to what the court has described as "negative secondary effects."

The robed dancers, including well known adult-video stars Nina Hartley, Julie Ashton, Devinn Lane and Christi Lake, held signs reading, ``Nude Dancing is Not A Crime.''

The protest was conducted as part of a press conference for ``Celebrate Free Speech Lobbying Days,'' an annual symposium in which members of the Free Speech Coalition (FSC), the trade association of the adult-entertainment industry, congregate in Sacramento to learn how to lobby. Participants meet with California legislators to highlight the social contributions and political agenda of the industry -- an economic powerhouse that employs thousands and has annual gross revenues exceeding $12 billion. The three-day event also includes a "Community Forum" where a panel of free-speech activists hold discussions such as "The First Amendment: Who Needs It? And Why?" Panelists include representatives from the California First Amendment Coalition, the First Amendment Project and the Center for Investigative Journalism as well as educators and legislative staff.

At a news conference, Kat Sunlove, the coalition's legislative advocate, said that the FSC's four-year lobbying experience demonstrates that ``California legislators are ready, willing and able to consider our point of view. We have shown them we are a major economic, physical and emotional component of their constituencies. They want to know more about how we contribute to society and the economy.''

``California legislators now take us seriously, since they are aware that there is tremendous voter support for adult entertainment, as evidenced by the billions of dollars consumers spend on our slice of the entertainment pie,'' Sunlove added.

Using California as its role model for the nation, the coalition plans to conduct a state-by-state campaign to organize supporters into viable, effective lobbying organizations. ``Naturally,'' Sunlove stated, ``we welcome the support of everyone who shares our point of view."

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