The Free Speech Coalition (FSC) is now taking a proactive approach to the financial and discriminatory challenges faced by businesses in the adult industry. In the last few weeks, FSC members have had more than a dozen face-to-face meetings with members of the House of Representatives and the Senate. As part of their lobbying efforts, they organised a reception at the House of Representatives sponsored by Segpay. The aim was to bring legislators and staff together to talk in a comfortable environment.
Alison Boden, the head of the FSC, highlighted the importance of collective action, explaining that when the organisation and the industry unite their voices, legislators sit up and take notice. She stressed the need to recognise that adult entertainment businesses are legitimate companies that deserve the same rights and protections as others. Many legislators are unaware of discriminatory practices in the financial sector, but show their willingness to help find solutions to this problem.
The FSC has been actively working with the offices of the Senate and House of Representatives since its initial lobbying efforts in December. In March, it released a comprehensive report, called “Financial Discrimination and the Adult Industry”, which highlights the negative impact of account suspensions, payment problems and denials of credit and insurance in the adult industry.
To lend weight to their cause, FSC members, including industry experts and representatives from various organisations such as Segpay, APAG, BIPOC Collective, Spectrum Boutique, Pavilion Financial Planning, Filthy Communications and MintStars, joined FSC Executive Director Alison Boden, Director of Public Affairs Mike Stabile and Board Treasurer Cathy Beardsley to participate in the discussions with Congress.
Cathy Beardsley, CEO of Segpay, acknowledged that financial discrimination poses significant challenges for businesses in the adult industry. As a payment processor, Segpay has witnessed the extensive efforts that industry players have to make to ensure the necessary stability of their banking operations, as well as the burdensome, steep fees that impact on their livelihoods.