WASHINGTON — Free Speech Coalition (FSC) has announced it has retained the services of a federal lobbying group to represent the adult industry trade group in discussion with government officials regarding legislation that will impact adult businesses and workers.
Free Speech Coalition has hired Clarity Consulting, Inc., a DC-based government affairs firm, to advocate for the adult industry before Congress and Executive Branch regulatory agencies. Clarity will represent the adult industry in discussions with legislators and regulatory agencies on a number of impending issues, including a spate of new bills threatening the rights and livelihoods of adult businesses and workers. Clarity will also work to ensure that members of the adult industry have fair and open access to banking and financial services.
“In the past six months, we’ve seen a wave of new, bipartisan legislation that could devastate our industry and our workers,” says Michelle L. LeBlanc, CEO of Free Speech Coalition. “We’re seeing Section 230 proposals on both the right and the left that would result in the wholesale deplatforming of adult businesses. We’re seeing anti-trafficking initiatives that target our banking access. We’re seeing calls for criminal investigations into legal adult businesses. We need to fight back.”
In January, FSC convened a Legislative Committee to monitor legislation that could impact adult businesses and their workers. More than a dozen bills have since been identified and analyzed, with additional regressive legislation like SISEA and the EARN IT Act expected to be reintroduced later this year. Similarly, omnibus bills like the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) are both up for reauthorization, and are likely to include attempts to crack down on the adult industry under the guise of trafficking.
Members of the FSC Legislative Committee successfully secured meetings with House and Senate offices, including those of Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). But it quickly became apparent that in order to effectively combat the rapidly emerging legislation, FSC would need a stronger, more dedicated presence in Washington.
Clarity brings over four decades of experience navigating legislative and regulatory processes in Washington. Principals Shawn Delaney and Keith Nelson are attorneys who have served in numerous official capacities, including as state and federal prosecutors, as well as positions in the House, Senate, the White House, the Department of Justice and various other federal agencies.
FSC has established a separate defense fund outside of member dues to support this essential lobbying and advocacy work. We are asking those who are passionate about our industry and willing to fight for it to contribute directly — FSC membership is not required. If you are interested in becoming more involved with FSC’s advocacy work, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Our voices need to be heard on Capitol Hill,” says LeBlanc. “Whether you are an adult business or performer, you understand the effect of deplatforming. You understand the effect of banking discrimination. You understand what happens when the religious censors target a business. None of us are immune, and we need to be all in on this fight.”