“Hunt Club” swingers’ parties and freedom of association both under attack in Flori-duh

Meet The Hunt Club of BrevardNot *that kind* of swinger

Today’s Central Florida news is all abuzz with stories of a salacious “sex club” operating in Melbourne, Florida. The Hunt Club of Brevard describes itself as follows:

The Hunt Club is a private, members only, on premise group dedicated to helping its members explore the alternative lifestyle in a safe, secure environment where they can be themselves along with others who share common interests. Think of it as a dinner party with a little extra. We are not a business, merely a group of people who want to make new friends and have parties. (source)

Enter the neighbors – and law enforcement

Operators Richard Spalding and Kirsi Page deny that anything illegal goes on during these parties. By all reports, the noise level is kept low enough to satisfy the lightest sleeper, everything occurs behind closed doors, and they go so far as to keep all parked cars off the street and behind a gate.

“What you see when you come to a party is a group of adults mingling, flirting, laughing and sometimes dancing. The parties are very quiet, to the point that you cannot hear any noise out on the street in front of our house,” Page stated. (source)

Nevertheless, the thought of a party where people were having non-missionary sex was just too much for a few of her neighbors in Melbourne’s Oak Grove Acres subdivision.

Prompted by complaints from neighbors, two undercover Melbourne police officers — one male, one female — posed as a couple, and toured the house in late-March, Police Chief Don Carey said.

No lawbreaking activities were noted, Carey said — “they were consenting adults doing stuff in private that wasn’t criminal” — and the police investigation was closed with no charges filed. (source)

I’d like to call for a round of applause for Chief Carey. Usually when the neighbors complain and cops get sent to one of these places, they just can’t resist the temptation to engage in circus-atmosphere raids with film crews in tow. The cops then throw down some ludicrous charges to justify the circus, a few city council members use it as a campaign stop, the swingers pay a bunch of attorneys fees, and they ultimately prevail. (examples)

Larry Groves was likely one of the complainers. Last Friday night, he was with a group of neighbors exercising their First Amendment rights by protesting the club’s activities.

One large sign displayed the message “The Hunt Club Not Wanted Here.”

Despite their efforts, Groves said more than 20 vehicles pulled into the driveway and parked in the backyard.

“Some of the cars left, and came back with their tags taken off. Some of them didn’t care,” he said.

Groves said he is worried about crime and sexual predators.

“This is a dead-end cul-de-sac. We don’t have any bylaws in the development here that prevents anything like that. It can happen in any neighborhood in Melbourne,” he said. “Whether they broke the law or not, the intent is not good for a quiet community. We’re trying to protect our investments and our lifestyle and our morality level.” (source)

Mr. Groves (the ass hat of the week, by the way) should have removed his head from his ass before speaking to the press. Crime and sexual predators? “Our” morality level? Lions, and tigers, and bears!

Florida is home to dozens of swingers clubs. Not one has been the subject of a sexual abuse allegation, let alone a conviction. (compare that record to Central Florida’s Catholic churches). With respect to “crime,” it seems that the Hunt Club doesn’t even want its guests to have a DUI, let alone commit crimes. See Hunt Club Etiquette.

I think that it is safe to say that either the newspaper mischaracterized Groves’ statements or he is a liar. The Hunt Club is a party, not a crystal meth lab or a gang hangout.

What really rubs me the wrong way is Groves’ claim that his neighbor’s parties impact his “lifestyle” and “morality level.” It seems that if he would mind his own business, his lifestyle would be just fine. As far as his “morality level” goes, if his morality is so fragile that it can not stand in opposition to that of the Hunt Clubbers, then his “morality” is false indeed.

A freedom of association issue

The Melbourne Police, despite their principled position that nothing illegal goes on at the Hunt Club parties, have not taken the swingers out of their crosshairs.

“It’s my opinion that the people there are operating a business out of their home. They’re violating the zoning in that area, because they’re not allowed to have customers in their home,” [Chief] Carey said. “It is a business. If they feel differently, they can challenge us in the courts.”

I think that Chief Carey has this one wrong, and if the Hunt Club challenges him in the courts, they should prevail. The Hunt Club is clearly not a business. It is a group of like-minded individuals gathering on a regular basis for a common purpose. That is called “freedom of association,” and we fought a Revolution to secure that right.

Whether Mr. Groves like it or not, the same First Amendment that protects Groves’ right to protest the existence and location of these parties gives the Hunt Club party participants the right to peaceably assemble — whether that assembly is to discuss the bible, make quilts, or to simply be around others who don’t mind having multiple sex partners. The Constitution doesn’t care why you are peaceably assembling — just that you are peaceably doing so.

Free speech and group association are inseparably intertwined, one being undeniably enhanced by the other. See NAACP v. Ala. ex rel. Patterson, 357 U.S. 449 (1958). The Constitution not only protects the freedom of citizens to join together to discuss and further their common beliefs, but affirmatively demands it. Moreover, the right to associate for the advancement of beliefs is “an inseparable aspect of the ‘liberty’ assured by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which embraces freedom of speech.” Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652, 666 (1923).

The Hunt Club’s members believe that polyamorous relationships are the way to go — and they get together to further that belief. They have a right to assemble for this lawful purpose. Mr. Groves has a right to protest. No government official has the right to get in the way of either one. Perhaps the club’s website puts it best:

I have to ask myself what about the groups that have bible study in their homes and take donations or the chamber groups that have network meetings at their homes and also take in donations… is the chief going after them??? (source)

No, no he isn’t.

28 Responses to “Hunt Club” swingers’ parties and freedom of association both under attack in Flori-duh

  1. George Fox says:

    It’s amazing that we were able to finally strike down sodomy laws. The “think of the children” crowd loves to tell other people how to live their lives. I bet if we introduce internet voting and bring in ALL the people into the political process, politicians will suddenly have a change of heart.

  2. Al Jones says:

    Thank you for such an eloquent defense of this situation. Although I do not live in Florida or ever visited the Hunt Club, I am a swinger in another state and if the police and prosecutors win against the Hunt Club, how much longer before other states feel they can also trample our rights.

    Someone once said, I forget exactly who, a freedom once given up is all but impossible to regain. It may be just a small victory, but ever since the patriot act, we Americans have steadily been losing more and more of our rights. At what point do we say “stop!”? Enough is enough.

  3. Judith L. Farley says:

    Right-On !
    Well said.
    Amen.

  4. 1234 says:

    I live in Florida, near the hunt club. My husband and I have attended other clubs but not the hunt club for fear of the repercussions that could be taken upon us by the religious right down in melbourne. These clubs really do exist all over Florida and none of them are having problems like this… hopefully the Hunt Club will fight it all the way! Very well written article as well.

  5. DMS says:

    Too bad for the hunt club. They are getting the boot. Looks like the horndogs will have to find a new hangout.

  6. Debbie says:

    Ya gotta love white folks for their level of self-righteousness and sexual perversion.

  7. Bill N. says:

    Good luck Hunt Club. We are members of a local swing club here in Pa. I just saw the pathetic display of your neighbors on CNN. These individuals along with the CNN reporters have no idea what the lifestyle is all about. If I were in your area I would visit your club and stop so your neighbors could get a good look at my license plate because I am proud to be in the lifestyle. Please continue your fight and good luck.

  8. Sean S says:

    I live in Kansas and the local police have been cracking down on the clubs and parties here. That is why me and my wife have stopped going and just get together with a few close friends for play time.
    I believe in America and the idea of freedom but unfortunently there are too many out there that belive that they know better than I do as to what is right and what is wrong and feel that they must force there beliefs on to us.
    My wife and I are very happy together and love to play with others, to bad most people can understand that.

  9. non-swinger says:

    I just wanted to give a response from someone who isn’t involved in the swinger lifestyle. I think you gave a very good defense, and I think it’s ridiculous that people can’t just respect other people. Why do these neighbors care what hobbies or lifestyles other people have? And the law enforcement involved? Like the author said, if they are peacefully gathering, why should people care? I hope the Hunt Club gets through this, and its members can enjoy the lifestyle they choose without being harassed.

  10. Non-swinger,

    You’ve put in a nutshell exactly what “freedom” means.

    Too bad that so many others didn’t get the memo.

  11. j. diehl says:

    trying to get in touch with richard spalding and kirsi page can you help me with that . it is urgent i speak with them
    j diehl

  12. Sparky says:

    This makes me mad! I’m mad because I live less than a half mile away and wasn’t invited to any of their parties! Live and let live man. Small-minded idiots really tick me off….

  13. Bob says:

    “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”…. Private property used to be important in this country also, but there are all kinds of assaults against the right to enjoy, enhance, and make use of private property. The visitors should be able to park on the public street that their vehicle registration fees help pay for. But out of consideration, they park inside the yard, behind a gate. That’s a level of concern for the neighbors that goes above and beyond the necessary. So what if some money exchanges hands behind doors of their quiet party. If the visitors are breaking the law by speeding, that is something the police should deal with. But what about idiot complaining neighbors who appeared in videos to be sitting in the middle of the street, the police should deal with that too…. A few years ago in Capitola California, a man sitting in a spare bedroom working on his laptop, was busted for a “zoning violation” by an overzealous city employee who walked by on the sidewalk and saw the man through the window, and decided that doing work at home was a violation…. In some California neighborhoods repainting the door of your garage requires permission from neighbors 13 doors in either direction. Replacing a water heater that no one can see requires a permit from the city that can cost as much as the heater. Yet no city employee actually assists in the installation….. By the way, imagine these people were taking care of the kids of consenting adults behind their closed doors, they would be caused just as much problem for running an unlicensed daycare…. The infringenments on our rights of private enjoyment are varied and constantly expanding…. The real issue is that the city isn’t putting their hands in the pocket of these people for extra money to support their bloated beauracracies. If only they got more money out of these swingers (who might be even more despicable home schoolers stealing money from the public schools by keeping their kids at home), then the kids of the neighbors wouldn’t be failing their lessons in the public schools that trained their parents to be such idiots…. I want to see a new political party: “The leave-me-alone-itarians”…..

  14. Damien says:

    Man oh man, you ought to see the cat fight going on over at this other web site about swinging. Dude, hilarious

    http://411chatter.com/135/the-hunt-club-of-brevard/

  15. Starlost says:

    There is nothing wrong with the Hunt Club only the fact that their neighbors have forgotten what freedom is. Does this party invade their yards no. Does it destroy their way of life no. Are they having swingers out in public view for all the children to see no. They are doing what they want to do in which by no means is harming anyone whatsoever. Does it affect the value of the property in the area no. Hmm theres a thought Start buying up the land around the hunt club and expanding it. Turn it into a real swingers paradise. Given enough money the bible thumpers and advocates to take away your freedoms will move on to some place else and bother someone else. It’s a shame that todays society feels they have the right to stop anyone from enjoying themselves. Grow up people the swingers are on private property. It’s NOT a business it’s a gathering. A constitutional right to gather in public or private cannot be taken from an American citizen. No matter what other American citizen feels. If it’s not your cup of tea you have the constitutional right to not partake of the party. But you do not have the right to shut it down simply because you don’t like swingers. Next you’ll probably go after Bowlers that gather and talk about bowling, or private Golf Clubs, or Hunting Clubs. I’ll bet they themselves have been involved in a variety of clubs and would not like it or tolerate it if some group started saying they can’t be doing that here. Get over it already, The term alone PRIVATE property means just that it’s private it’s none of your business. It’s not unlawful, It’s not Illegal and it doesn’t matter in the least if it does not fit in with your Morals or Religious beliefs. These self righteous twits are probably the same ones that would ban a Gay or Lesbian Rally, I’ll bet they even support burning a cross in a yard to get their Beliefs approved. Well guess what There are more folks in this country that have served in our Military Branches just so we as a whole nation can have Liberty and Justice and Freedom of expression and Freedom to gather and freedom of speech and freedom in the pursuit of happiness. This club is not going against any of these freedoms in fact it’s the exact opposite they are embracing these freedoms and you should admire them for it admire them for being diverse Americans, Admire them for practicing Freedom in all it’s glory.
    But the sad truth is you can’t admire them because to do so would mean your also an American and that just can’t be tolerated evidently by you. Anyone that practices the above freedoms is an American in good standing which your obviously against.
    Ya know what if you don’t like our freedoms being upheld and practiced by our citizens then there are plenty of other countries where your ideas fit in perfectly I’m sure. Why don’t you move to one of them… America could definately do without your kind of rights basher within our borders.

  16. Not a Swinger says:

    I think “The Hunt” Clubs neighbors have nothing better to do than to go tattle on somebody, stay up all-night on the lookout, and inducing fear in others by writing down license plate numbers. Grow up people! Your undying curiousity of the swinger lifestyle – is proof in and of itself that you have a deep down interest in the unknown.

  17. Dan & Cindy says:

    You know it seems to us if these neighbors were truly “concerned” with there neighborhood they would have handled this a little differently rather than to invite every media hound in the country into there backyards ? And as far as property values goes now that they have drawn all this attention to this little cul de sac in Po Dunk Melbourne FL. I bet you there property values have truly bottomed out now. Another thing that truly baffles us , we have traveled all over this country from large cities to small towns and we have “NEVER” ever seen anyone from any strip club or swing club or any kind of adult establishment run out the front door and grab someone walking by on the street or sidewalk or even driving by for that matter and try to entice or persuade them to come inside or to join in or to convince them that what they are doing inside is right wrong or indifferent. It just doesnt happen. But on the other hand we have been approached numerous times in our lives by religous fanatics of one faith or another on the streets ,in our home, and yes even walking down the street about how wrong we are for not getting involved in “there” beliefs and following what they believe to be our best interest. So I guess if The Hunt Club threw up a cross in the front yard and passed around an offering plate during the night then that would be just fine … My point is people have the right to there own beliefs , religions, ways of life , whatever if its good for one then its good for all. Im not particularly fond one way or the other of religion , but you dont see me running around my neighborhood standing in front of all the churches holding up signs or righting down license plates of people attending services , or having “meetings” , or choir practice numerous times a week because “I” think what they are doing is wrong or a waste of time or against my beliefs or feelings .. No because thats what being an american is about. Its about having the right to make these decisions for myself as to what “I” believe to be in “My” or my families best interest.. Not what someone else decides for me would be more appropriate… Now someone correct me if I’m wrong here but I believe “Swinging” started with God did’nt it? Was’nt Mary married to Joseph when God mysteriously decided to make her pregnant with his son Jesus? At least thats the way I remember it being dictated to me when I was a youngster growing up when I was forced to go every week. Anyways leave these people alone let them live there lives and you live yours. God forbid they start digging into your past and your lives. Its not about what you think is right or wrong for them . Get a life of your own and you will have plenty enough to keep you busy , you wont even notice your neighbors. Live & Let Live Its worked for thousands of years now.

  18. Aaron says:

    Unbelievable. It’s so upsetting to continuously see people who claim to be “moral” but violate the morals the United States was founded on. This doesn’t effect the neighbors at all, they just don’t like it, and they’re going to do whatever they can to stop something perfectly legal. I’m sick of it, I’m sick of seeing people overly and irrationally concerned with the possibility that someone or their children might live their lives unlike they do. It’s ludicrous and disgusting, just shutup and let people do what they want. The morality of others behavior doesn’t trample on your morals, just shut up.

  19. Debbie says:

    I’m not a swinger, and I don’t understand or want to understand the lifestyle. However, I believe that consenting adults have the right to do whatever they want to do. These clowns in Florida, and let’s not forget that it’s Florida, have nothing better to do than to try to dictate morality to others. I lived in Florida, and I can tell you that these wonderful, “moral” people think nothing of smacking their children, their wives. They think nothing of killing other living beings. I’ve seen some of this white trash purposely hit gopher turtles on the road. They need to straighten out their own trashy lives before telling others how to live.

  20. Joe says:

    Sure are a lot of gay liberals responding to this article. People openly committing adultery is promoting good moral values? Consenting adults doing nothing illegal? What’s next the Donkey Screw Club where everybody shows up and does a different animal each week?

    People comparing the neighbors to the KKK is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. That’s just what gay liberals do to get minorities on their side. I’m not falling for it.

    Somehow, the argument was made that protesting some filth in your neighborhood goes against what this country was founded upon. Yeah, the founding fathers, deeply religious, would really think that “swinging” was “OK.”

    The problem here is not that it was just some social gathering or “club.” What they are doing equates to a “strip club” and those aren’t allowed on neighborhood streets either. The “club” is masquerading as a private residence. You can’t even run a barbershop out of your home. I don’t have a problem with adults living their own perverse little lifestyles. They’ll be the ones who have to answer for the life they’ve led. Just keep it out of my backyard – and my neighbor’s.

  21. I have news for you “Joe”, the “Founding Fathers” didn’t need swingers clubs. They simply purchased slaves and fucked them silly, eight ways from Sunday, as a matter of right. I’m sure that with your low level of education, the name “Sally Hemmings” does not ring a bell, but with the wonders of internet search engines, you can learn who she is in a very short period of time.

    With respect to “gay liberals” responding, I don’t see one comment above that discusses the sexual orientation of the author. However, homophobia and projection are textbook symptoms of repressed homosexuality (the only unhealthy kind). It is obvious that you spend a lot of time fantasizing about other men. That’s fine, but for god’s sake, just go blow someone and be done with it! You’ll be less frustrated, and you can start the coming out of the closet process.

  22. soontobegoneswinging says:

    Wow!
    I was born in a comunist country, cuba, these neighbor look like the CDR organization (defense comitte of the revolution) just a bunch of unhappy and fustrated people with nothing to do, spying on neighbors’ activities and calling the secret police, the sad part is is that deep inside is always about something they wish they’d could do or have but did not have the guts to do it.

  23. ComfortableWithMyself says:

    Deep down, these neighbors are actually titillated by what they think is going on inside that house…so much so that they can’t think of anything else. It’s SO obvious. Why else would they gather in the street? They’re hoping to get a glance during a raid or a peek inside. I’m surprised that they don’t form a posse and break the door down, all while capturing everying on video. And you know why? Because they are afraid of their own sexuality, which has been suppressed by their “moral” and “religious” upbringing. Think I’m wrong? Then explain to me why internet porn is so extremely popular with your “average”, middle-class neighborly type that stays up all hours while his or her spouse is sleeping or away. The ones complaing the loudest are the biggest hypocrites, secretly desiring that which they condemn. Classic psychology!

  24. moise and vanessa says:

    me and my girl r looking 4 a place like u’rs we will like more info please send 2 my e mail thank u

  25. michael says:

    when is u next party?

  26. Wow! We are so impressed with the police chief and his sensible handling of th case. Compared to the stories of what has happened at other clubs, it was handled extremely well.

    There will always be people like Mr. Groves…..unfortunately

  27. 42adult says:

    Providing that police chief is still active, I would be interested in property ownership near/next too the club.

  28. Raymond says:

    I wish to let anny women who are in need of a slave .I wish to serve you in any way .woman only

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