i know there is already a thread started about this, but i felt it was important to start a new post given this new information i received in an email this morning.
Please, anyone here in Iowa write the Board of Regents. The following email says it includes 2 sample form letters, i did not paste that portion, but if you are interested in them just contact me and i will send them to you.
This is a HUGE step in Iowa, and for the community as a whole i feel.
Subject: NCSF Call for Action Cuffs appeal to the Iowa Board of Regents
NCSF Call for Action Cuffs appeal to the Iowa Board of Regents
Many in the SM-leather-fetish communities are familiar with the progress
of the case concerning Cuffs. For those of you who aren't, here is a short
Cuffs is a student organization at Iowa State University, "an educational and social discussion group for people interested in BDSM, fetishes and other expressions of safe, consensual and non-exploitive human sexuality". ISU found them guilty of assault for having a demonstration on safe SM practices - in this particular case, for demonstrating the safe zones for flogging on a fully-clothed individual.
In Iowa, assault has an exemption for "voluntary participants in a sport,
social, or other activities." The only time SM activities have been tested in the
Iowa courts for falling under this exemption was in the 1985 case of State vs.
In that case, a pimp beat up his prostitute and shot a gun at her because
she had stayed out all day with a client doing drugs and stiffed her pimp. The
pimp claimed that the beating was a SM birthday present. The Iowa Court of Appeals
decided, in a 3-1 vote, that the activity did not fall under the exemption for assault.
However, the decision stated that the majority "believe it is more appropriate that
its meaning be interpreted on a case by case basis" and that "the sadomasochistic activities involved in this case expose persons" to the unreasonable risk of serious injury. Just as importantly, it cited that the state's responsibility in looking after the "moral welfare" of its citizens outweighed personal privacy rights - the exact argument recently overturned in Lawrence vs. Texas(Texas sodomy case).
At ISU, one person (Bethany Schuttinga, Director of Judicial Affairs for the university) served as investigator, prosecutor, judge and jury, and found Cuffs guilty of assault a process so inherently flawed that it has already come up for change this fall. The case has been winding its way through the appeals process, and is scheduled to come before the Iowa Board of Regents at their Nov. 3 & 4 meeting. However, the Board of Regents does not have to even hear the appeal.
We are asking members of the Iowa SM-leather-fetish communities in particular, (though everyone is welcome) to write to the Board of Regents and ask them to hear this appeal and obviously to rule in our favor. Below are three sample letters to the Board of Regents, two of which have been written in such a manner that the person sending the letter would not be outing themselves.
Please take the time and effort to contact the Board of Regents in this cause. It will be most effective if you send in your letter with your full legal name and address, and if you personalize it a bit. Please send them in anytime up until the November 3rd date!
Board of Regents, State of Iowa
11260 Aurora Avenue
Urbandale, IA 50322-7905
Phone (515) 281-3934 / Fax (515) 281-6420