Woodhull Issues Statement on Censorship at Utah Pride

Apr 25, 2016 9:25 AM PST

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Woodhull Freedom Foundation today issued a statement regarding the recent decision by the organizers of Utah Pride to exclude operators of the MormonBoyz.com and MormonGirlz.com websites from participating in this year’s festivities.

“As president and CEO of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, I have spent more than a decade fighting for recognition of our fundamental human right to sexual freedom,” Woodhull President Ricci Levy said. “Woodhull works at the intersection of sexual and human rights, and from that vantage point, I am used to seeing censorship, fear, marginalization and outright bigotry and censorship.

“But I see those actions from outside our movement, not inside it from the very people and organizations dedicating to protecting and advancing our freedoms.”

With the statement, Levy also released a letter the organization sent last week to the Utah Pride Center’s executive director, urging the group to reconsider its decision.

The Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s letter addressing discrimination and censorship said:

Rather than simply express our outrage at your censorship of MormonBoyz.com, I feel compelled to ask you the reason you excluded a part of Utah’s diverse LGBTQQI community from a celebration that honors that very community.

The foundation for “Pride” celebrations is positive — dignity, equal rights, community, and a celebration of sexual and gender diversity. No where in the vision of “Pride” is there room for shame and social stigma. Your recent decision to exclude an adult business from your Pride festivities is counter to everything we have all worked so hard to achieve for ourselves, our communities and our sexual freedom movements.

By excluding MormonBoyz.com you are placing yourself in a position where you are inflicting the same discrimination, marginalization and hatred we’ve all worked so hard to defeat. In the case of our opponents, those actions against our fundamental human rights are all couched in moral, cultural, and religious prejudice. That’s why I’m asking you the reason for your actions.

MormonBoyz.com is an active part of Utah's diverse LGBTQQI community with a long commitment to sexual health, PrEP awareness, and community empowerment. From the sex workers at Stonewall, to the free speech battles waged by posing strap magazines, to money raised for HIV, the adult industry has been a critical ally in our movement for health and equal rights. We urge you to reconsider your decision to exclude MormonBoyz.com from your pride festivities and let this celebration be one of inclusion rather than exclusion, one that celebrates freedom of sexual expression, freedom of speech and our most fundamental human rights.

The nonprofit Alexandria, Va.-based Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance works to advance the recognition of sexual, gender, and family diversity, not just recognizing diversity but working for justice through advocacy, education and action in the framework of human rights.

Last week, the Free Speech Coalition also denounced Utah Pride's move against the website operators, as well.

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