National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce Fights 2257

Joanne Cachapero
LOS ANGELES — (NGLTF) The National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce has voiced concerns about the potential impact of 2257 regulations on social networking sites like Manhunt.com or AdultFriendFinder.com, where users post explicit photos of themselves online.

In a statement posted on OutInAmerica.com, the NGLTF gives a brief overview of 2257 regs and raises the prospect of social networking sites being required to keep records of users personal information and copies of photo identification.

“These sites will have the same record keeping requirements as other adult businesses. For sites like Manhunt and AFF, it is virtually impossible to comply. The regs seriously compromise their business model,” Free Speech Coalition executive director Diane Duke told XBIZ.

In July, the Federal Register published amended 2257 regs. Since then, the Justice Department is required to accept public commentary for a period of time that will end Sept. 10.

The NGLTF is calling for concerned individuals to contact the Justice Department by email (for contact information, see below).

“The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is involved in this fight because we believe sexual freedom is a fundamental human right and we don't think the government has any place in relations between consenting adults,” the statement read.

“These regulations are part of our government's hypocritical and punitive views about sex, sexuality, and reproductive rights. All of this – from abstinence-only sex education programs to the elimination of funding for accurate and explicit HIV prevention programs – fall hardest on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people,” the group said.

Issues pertaining to how 2257 impact secondary producers, as well as amendments that would include simulated sexual activity under the definition of “explicit” material, are pointed out by the NGLTF as having a chilling affect, not only on the adult entertainment industry but on networking sites, that might be considered secondary producers under 2257.

The advocacy group also raised concerns about no-warrant investigations of adult producers that may result in individuals’ personal information being collected by the government.

The NGLTF goes on also to say that while the government claims 2257 is being implemented under the guise of protecting under-age individuals ostensibly being exploited in adult productions, that clearly is not the case.

“Obviously, none of this has anything to do with child pornography. Instead, it is a blatant attempt to end the ability of consenting adults to use adult social-networking sites to meet other people for sex. Obviously, if these regulations go into effect, they will kill this industry,” the NGLTF said.

“I have been in contact with Matt Forman, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force,” Duke said. “They launched their campaign to get comments in by September 10th. The more pressure we can put on the DOJ at this time the better. It is important that they understand that we will not allow the anti-adult entertainment zealots in the government to systematically dismantle our industry. We are a vital industry, we have friends, we have a large consumer base and we will put up a fight.”

The Justice Department can be contacted about 2257 issues via regular mail, email or FAX.

Written comments may be submitted to: Andrew Oosterbaan, Chief, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington, DC 20530, Attn: ‘‘Docket No. CRM 104.”

Comments may be submitted electronically to: Admin.ceos@usdoj.gov or to www.regulations.gov by using the electronic comment form provided on that site. Comments submitted electronically must include “Docket No. CRM 104” in the subject box.

Facsimile comments may be submitted to (202) 514-1793. This is not a toll-free number. Comments submitted by facsimile must include “Docket No. CRM 104” on the cover sheet.

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