This post originally appeared online at The Examiner.
Today the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to affirming sexual freedom as a fundamental human right, is celebrating Sexual Freedom Day with an all-day event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
Sexual Freedom Day highlights “the intersections between government policy and lawmaking, marriage, reproductive rights, personal relationships, child rearing, sexual orientation, gender identification, sexual expression, and sexual practice,” with Panelists including Bil Browning, Kenyon Farrow, Nina Hartley, Amber Hollibaugh, Mark Kernes, Ricci Levy, Dan Massey, Mia Mingus, Zack Rosen, RJ Thompson, Carmen Vasquez, Lawrence Walters, Lisa Weiner-Mahfuz, and Elizabeth Wood.
The Woodhull Freedom Foundation will also distribute its annual Vicki Awards today, given to individuals or organizations whose work and/or life embodies the mission and vision of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation to affirm sexual freedom as a fundamental human right. This year’s honorees are Bina Aspen & Martine Rothblatt, Dr. Deborah Taj Anapol, Kushaba Moses Mworeko, and Susan Wright.
- Rothblatt, CEO of United Therapeutics, one of the creators of Sirius Satellite Radio, and author of Your Life Or Mine: How Geoethics Can Resolve The Conflict Between Public And Private Interests In Xenotransplantation, is a male-to-female transsexual. She and her wife Bina Aspen are vocal advocates for transgender issues.
- Anapol is the founder of Love Without Limitsand author of Polyamory in the 21st Century (2010), Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits (1997) and The Seven Natural Laws of Love (2005) and cofounder of Loving More Magazine.
- Mworeko is a gay man and international gay rights activist from Uganda currently seeking asylum in the United States after his country introduced laws making it a crime not to report gays and calling for the execution of homosexual men and women.
- Wright is the founder of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and is a popular author of science fiction, art books, and pop-culture books.
Today’s events in DC conclude with w press conference at 3pm ET to release and discuss the foundation’s State of Sexual Freedom in the US, 2010 Report.
These are interesting times for sexual freedom, to be sure. This week alone…
- we’ve seen a Florida appellate court declare the state’s ban of adoption of children by “homosexuals” unconstitutional;
- watched Democrat leaders in the Senate drop the ball on the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell debate in the Senate (despite all of Lady Gaga’s best efforts and just days after a federal judge in California ruled the Clinton-era anti-gay military policy unconstititional);
- learned of the suicide death of 15 year-old teenager Billy Lucas in Greensburg, Indiana after he was bullied for perceptions that he was gay in a school where both his peers and school administrators were well aware of the constant bullying (check out powerful responses from Dan Savage’s new It Gets Better Project and Cyndi Lauper’s Give a Damn Project);
- discovered that although 97 percent of American teenagers receive some formal sex education, more than a third of them never hear anything about contraception;
- and observed as the Alliance for Open Society International (supported by the ACLU and 24 other organizations) sues the United States Agency for International Development over the devastating effects of USAID’s international policy against funding “any group or organization that does not have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking.” Yes, folks, US involvement in the international war against the spread of HIV/AIDS is being waged, as a matter of policy since 2003, by refusing to support organizations engaging sex workers — the population most at risk of contracting and spreading infection — in the battle.
Next week we head into the American Library Association’s annual Banned Book Week, where almost all of this year’s most frequently challenged books are on the list specifically for content about sex and sexuality, and next month is National Coming Day (October 11).
Today, meanwhile, is a very good day to ask yourself: What are you doing to stand up for sexual freedom in your community, in the United States, and around the world?