CANOGA PARK, Calif. — The Free Speech Coalition issued a statement today where the adult entertainment trade group stands in the legal controversy surrounding Dallas’ City Council’s move to 86 the porn expo from future events at the city-owned convention center.
The FSC called on the City of Dallas to reverse its vote and allow Exxxotica to take place on its planned dates in May.
Exxxotica, which has other adult consumer shows in New Jersey, Florida and California, came to the Dallas convention center last August for three days.
The August edition of Exxxotica was successful, according to the show's promoter, J. Handy. However it was met with protest from some in the community who said the event's sponsors included online escort services, which contribute to sex trafficking.
Later, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings requested a resolution be drawn up to bar the expo from the convention center. City Council later voted, 8-7, to bar the event at the convention center.
Handy and his company, Three Expo Events LLC, later sued the City of Dallas.
Today's FSC’s statement follows:
The Free Speech Coalition condemns Mayor Mike Rawlings and the seven members of the City Council of Dallas, in their bigoted, biased and unconstitutional attempt to deprive the Exxxotica Expo of the right to assemble at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center, a public event space, this spring.
Exxxotica is the largest event in the U.S. dedicated to love and sex, and one of the foremost ways adult entertainers can interact with fans. Despite an 11-year history of respectful, legal events, including a successful show without incident in the same Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center only last year, the City Council this year voted to block it by instructing the center not to enter into contract with the show’s producers, Three Expo Events LLC.
They have done so at the behest of an influential oil magnate, Ray Hunt, and legions of anti-porn activists — and against the unwavering advice of legal counsel, who have routinely attested to the illegality of this action. These same individuals and groups have unfairly and libelously linked the show and adult entertainment to crimes and issues without substantiation.
Too often, public officials only believe in free speech when they agree with what’s being said. Unfortunately for them, that’s not the way the Constitution works. Unfortunately for us, the councilmembers will pay very little for their uninformed, bigoted stand.
The real losers will be the taxpayers, who will pick up the bill for lawsuits and damages that will no doubt follow, and the people at Exxxotica, who stand to lose an important event after over a year of planning, as well as those wishing to attend and exhibit at the event. Attendees and exhibitors alike are being denied their right to free speech..
Those cities around the country who have hosted Exxxotica over its 26-show history have praised the event, and routinely welcome it back. There is no increase in crime, let alone trafficking. There is no fire from the sky, nor brimstone, despite the protestations of religious groups who gather to shame the attendees and participants.
The City Council does not have to like sexual speech, or even sex. There’s no requirement that they or the moralists attend the show. They are free to stand outside and protest, or to write op-eds, or preach against it from the pulpit. What they may not do is ban the performers, exhibitors, educators and producers from holding the show at a public venue such as the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
It is important for the Free Speech Coalition to stand with, and speak up for, all those who would be silenced by the voices of bias and ignorance.
We call on the City Council of Dallas to reverse their vote, and to allow Exxxotica to take place on its planned dates of May 20-22, 2016.