Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Sexuality and Discrimination Stories Needed for ECHR Legal Action

Readers may be interested in, and able to help this appeal for people to come forward issued by the Consenting Adult Action Network (CAAN). I'm a member of the network and support their work. If you can help them, I hope you will.

Do you have experience of being discriminated against or abused due to your consensual adult sexuality (or sexual interests)? Do you have experience of being afraid because of your sexuality (or interests), please tell us that too (for example if you believe the only reason you haven't met discrimination is because you keep your interests secret, or have lied about them)? Please talk to CAAN!

PLEASE SHARE THIS REQUEST WIDELY You can use this public web link to tweet or share it:

As part of Consenting Adult Action Network's ongoing discussions with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, one fair point was raised - we do not have properly documented evidence of instances of human rights abuse and discrimination against consenting adults on the basis of interest or private practice of BDSM/fetish and other interests which are not already under the law illegal to discriminate on the basis of, such as swingers, poly people, and so on.

EHRC want evidence of people being denied human rights afforded to others. So CAAN is putting together an initial handbook about discrimination and human rights abuse faced by people with an 'alternative' sexuality,who are not already acknowledged under laws which protect 'orientation' (ie the gender of our partners). We need your evidence.

There are several areas where we feel that such discrimination is worth documenting:

- in your personal life: friends, relatives and colleagues simply dismissing you as a “perve”, or being afraid to come out, or worse, attacks against you because of your interests;

- in your work life: being warned that your private sex life may be conduct that brings your company into disrepute, or being sacked because of your sexuality or interests;

- in your legal relationships: the threat of your private sex life being introduced into divorce proceedings, or losing contact with children because of it.

- you may have experiences in other areas, please still submit your story.


Please give as much information as possible. We've created a structure below in case this is helpful to some people, but really we just want your stories as you give them, so don't feel you need to use the below structure. Please feel free to write as much or as little as you like.


1. Contact details (email address or other). If you really don't wish to be contacted we will respect that, but may not be able to use your story if you cannot verify certain things which may arise in followup.*

2. Who are you

a. name (if you wish to give it)

b. pseudonym

c. role, if relevant (eg Freda Bloggs, primary school teacher)?

3. Who has discriminated against you or denied your human rights on the grounds of your sexuality and sexual interests? Or who do you fear will do so?

4. Describe the discrimination or abuse you have experienced, or that you fear you will experience.

5. Where did this happen, or where do you fear it will happen? If it has or could occur in more than one location, please let us know. eg in the workplace, and at a work social event).

6. When did it happen, or do you think it will happen? If it happened more than once, please state for each incident.

7. Why do you think it happened? what things have made this discrimination possible, what is the cause?

8. What details may we use? Let us know what details maybe used and what not. eg your name, name of employer, etc.

*You do not have to give contact details or real names,but it may be helpful.


Please send your response to

Background reading:

i. Our proposal to the EHRC - just to be clear, we have not proposed that BDSM be recognised as an orientation, we have asked that EHRC support us to fight for all consenting adults to have sexual rights and equality, whatever their interests:

A Case for Sexual Rights: CAAN - The Case for Sexual Rights

ii. CAAN have sent three letters to EHRC and had three replies, if you wish to see these letters, please contact us asking for this at

iii. CAAN's website is here:

iiii. CAAN's statement of principles:

"We believe in the right of consenting adults to make their own sexual choices, in respect of what they do, see and enjoy alone or with other consenting adults, unhindered and unfettered by government."

"We believe that it is not the business of government to intrude into the sex lives of consenting adults."

Share this:

Copyright © 2014 Law and Sexuality. Designed by OddThemes | Distributed By Gooyaabi Templates