UNC Explores Sexually Explicit Speech, 1st Amendment Rights

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The First Amendment Law Review will host a presentation at the University of North Carolina featuring a roster of prominent free speech advocates and opponents, scholars and activists.

Held in conjunction with UNC's School of Law, FALR's eighth annual symposium, entitled Sexually Explicit Speech and the First Amendment, will be held Feb. 18-19.

Slated to kick off the event by delivering the keynote address is Hustler mogul Larry Flynt, who will speak on Feb. 18, at 8 p.m. in the Great Hall.

“We cannot underestimate the significance of the 1st Amendment; our freedoms depend on it," Flynt told XBIZ. “I enjoy it a great deal because I’m speaking to the future leaders of the country. Many of them are very naïve about the significance of free speech.”

The symposium continues at 9 a.m. on Feb. 19 at the UNC School of Law, where the first panel, Issues in Free Speech and Sexually Explicit Content, will feature noted 1st Amendment attorney, Larry Walters, of the Walters Law Group, along with Mary Beth Buchanan, the former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania that prosecuted Extreme Associates, Karen "Red Rose" Fletcher and counterculture comedian Tommy Chong, among others. Joining them will be attorney Jeffrey Douglas and William & Mary Law School professor William W. Van Alstyne as moderator.

"It is an honor to be invited by UNC to participate in this high-level, academic discussion of important 1st Amendment issues relating to erotic content, along with my colleague Jeff Douglas," Walters told XBIZ. "The inclusion of Mary Beth Buchanan on the panel, as a former federal obscenity prosecutor, will make for some fascinating conversation, given the obviously different viewpoints at play."

The second panel, Free Speech and Censorship of Sexually Explicit Language, will also be moderated by Van Alstyne, and will feature Free Speech Coalition Executive Director Diane Duke along with Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television Council, and Katharine Bartlett, a professor of law at Duke Law specializing in gender studies.

A third panel will conduct an in-depth discussion of Flynt's role in free speech and feature Dean of Washington & Lee School of Law, Rodney Smolla, a 1st Amendment scholar and advocate.

Further information is available online from the symposium website.