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International Gay Rodeo Association
Rodeo Production Guidebook
Guidelines & policy statement governing First Amendment Expression at IGRA sanctioned events.


The purpose of these guidelines is to provide operating procedures for First Amendment exercise during an event recognized and sanctioned by the IGRA. These proposed guidelines should be adopted yearly at the IGRA Annual Convention. The language was submitted and reviewed by the IGRA Board of Directors and legal counsel. These guidelines will not be in conflict with the policies of the facility in which the Association is renting or sub-leases for its events.


Article I


The IGRA hereby finds that the following guidelines are intended to set forth in writing, the Association's long-standing policy governing the conduct of recognized Member Associations, the IGRA itself as well as the public under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the appropriate provisions of the local State/County or Province Constitutions of which an IGRA Sanctioned event is being held. These guidelines are not intended to enlarge upon or create any rights guaranteed by existing law nor waive any defenses available to the Association, nor do they represent any admission that the facilities of the Association are open as a public forum for First Amendment expression purposes.

It is the policy of this Association to allow within the parameters set forth herein reasonable access in designated free speech expression zones for demonstrations as allowed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and similar provisions in the local State/County or Province Constitutions. These provisions are intended to act as guidelines for reasonable regulation of time, place and manner of speech.


  1. "Public Forum" - A public forum is an event wherein the facilities are available to members of the public for a free and open discussion of issues or for public debate.

  2. "Limited Public Forum" - A limited public forum is an event wherein the public is allowed access to a facility or facilities for specific purposes and where any public debate or discussion of issues is focused on a particular subject or subjects. A limited public forum is not intended to generate a "public forum" as the term is defined above.

  3. "Commercial Activity" - Commercial activities that conduct whose purpose is expression of ideas, demonstrations of products, or the sale of any products or commodities in a transaction involving the exchange of money or credits with the intent of engaging in business or commerce.

  4. "Non-commercial Activity" - Non-commercial activities are those activities whose purpose is expression of ideas or cause, which do not involve sales of any goods or products.

  5. "On-site" - On-site means any activities occurring within the grounds or parking lot of the facility rented or sub-leased for an IGRA Sanctioned Event.

  6. "Off-site" - Off-site reefers to the public and private or public lands surrounding such facilities.

  7. "Enclosed Facility" - An enclosed facility means any/or all enclosed or semi-enclosed biding or structure (including Tents/booths & Canopies).

  8. "Free Expression Zone" - A free expression zone is a designated area located on-site as established by the rented/sub-leased facility or by the IGRA and/or its recognized Member Association, at which members of the public shall have reasonable access in accordance with these guidelines for purposes of conducting demonstrations.

  9. "Demonstration" - Demonstration means individual or group display of signs other than specifically allowed herein, picketing, leafleting, collection of signatures or marching and any group activity involving the communication or expression, either orally or by conduct of views and/or grievances, and which has the effect and intent or propensity to express that view or grievance to others. Demonstration does not include one-on-one voluntary discussions or individual wearing of buttons or symbolic clothing.

  10. "Fighting Words" - Fighting words ar those words which when addressed to the ordinary person are, as a matter of common knowledge, inherently likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction.

  11. "Obscene" - Obscene means any sexually explicit material or communication, which appeals to prurient interests and is offensive or abhorrent to the prevailing concepts of decency or morality in the community in which the Association exists.

  12. "Sound Devices" - Sound devices include any loudspeakers, megaphones or other devices which amplify or transmit sound waves. Included in this definition are forms of sound which are not mechanically amplified such as group chanting or singing.

  13. "Spontaneous" - Spontaneous means that conduct or activity which is not premeditated and is based upon impulse or arises from inherent qualities without external cause, or is self-generated.



  1. Findings: The Association finds it necessary to create free expression zones at events where on-site demonstrators are expected or in the act of demonstrating. Designated free expression zones are designed to balance the interest of the demonstrators in being given reasonable access to the patrons of our events, and the safety of the patrons and prevention of accidents or congestion which could lead to injury. That is why parking lots or narrow walk ways should not be used for free expression zones.

    Further, the Association finds that these guidelines should protect the interests of patrons against harassment or messages, which they choose not to hear is of equal concern as interests of those presenting the message. Consequently, the Association has attempted through these guidelines to balance the interests of those who wish to engage in activities under the first Amendment versus the patrons of our events who may not wish to receive or participate in that message.

    The Association's solution to the balancing of interests is designation of free expression zones and restrictions on activity outside of these zones to enable reasonable access to those utilizing the facilities while at the same time protecting the rights of those using the facilities.

  2. Free Expression Zones: The Association shall designate free expression zones on-site for purposes of demonstrations. These Zones shall be selected by the Association or by the facility rented/sub-leased by the Association. These Zones shall be designated on a map. These areas selected shall be selected to provide maximum reasonable access by those involved in demonstrations to member of the public utilizing the enclosed facilities of the Association or the rented/sub-leased facility, while promoting public safety as well as safety of the demonstrators and shall interfere to a minimal extent with the free flow and passage of individuals to and from our events.

  3. On-site Registration: Organizations or individuals desiring to demonstrate on-site should register with the Association.

    The purpose of registration is not to censor or in any way review discretionary the content of the speech involved, but to allocate sufficient space for the activities and to provide the participants with copies of the rules governing the use of these free expression zones. Registration will be granted on a first-come, first-serve basis. A request for registration may be made in person prior to the planned event if feasible, but not more than 30 days prior to the planned events at the office of the Association. Registration can occur on the day of the proposed event, as set forth. Information provided shall include:

    1. The time of the planned demonstration or event:
    2. The nature of the planned activity:
    3. The approximate number of persons proposed. Provided no more than 10 hall be allowed for each zone:
    4. A designated contact person including a means of communication to said person such as an address and phone number;
    5. If materials are to be passed out, a sample of these materials.

    If same day notice is given, it will be up to an Employee of the Facility, member of the Association's Executive Board, Trustee or Rodeo Director (or combination of) to determine if sufficient space is available, and if the employees of the facility or volunteers of the Association can reasonably accomplish the necessary preparations for the demonstration.

  4. In evaluating the registration and demonstration, the Association will not discriminate on the basis of content of the ideas or beliefs. The Association may, however, require certain organizations or individuals to demonstrate in different areas or to maintain a reasonable distance from one another if there is a possibility a certain group may engage in conflict or disruptive activity with the potential for violence or if groups with competing views or incompatible philosophies have requested the use of the same general area on the same date and during the same hours.

  5. Any organization or individuals seeking to engage in on-site demonstrations shall ensure that their conduct and the use of any signs, banners or other demonstration techniques do not result in risk of injury to patrons or property. Demonstrators shall comply with the following restrictions:

    1. No signs or banners may be used which exceeds the free expression zone;
    2. No signs or banners or individual activity shall at any time obstruct freedom of passage;
    3. The applicants understand that the views they express are not necessarily the view of the Association and are not to be represented as the view of the Association;
    4. No one shall block the movement of patrons, concessionaires, employees, lessees, contestants, volunteers or those providing emergency services;
    5. Patrons declining to listen, converse or provide a donation or a signature or accept any item offered may not be pursued once the individual has clearly indicated he or she wishes t be left alone;
    6. No one utilizing the free expression zone shall leave said zone for purposes of demonstrating or continuing any activities originated in the free expression zone;
    7. No one shall utilize signs or displays which emply fighting words, obscenities, gruesome, grisly or repulsive displays;
    8. No one shall utilize sound devices without special prior written approval of the Association and the use of any permitted sound devices shall not create a nuisance or noise of sufficient volume to impinge upon the hearing of the patrons more than a few feet away from the free expression zone, or shall be used to broadcast any fighting words or obscenities.

  6. If a demonstration cannot be held as proposed, the Association ill attempt to identify alternative areas, including off-site areas, for the organization or individual if access cannot be granted.

  7. If a limited public forum event occurs, on-site demonstrating shall be allowed with preference given to organizations or groups with related subject matter to the event and thereafter to anyone as space allows.



  1. Findings: The Association finds that the congested nature of our parking lots, vendor area, & contestant area, limited ingress and egress, the number of patrons at various events, no demonstrations can be allowed within an enclosed facility. The Association further finds that there are no public forum events held at or within an enclosed facility, or on-site.
  2. As an alternative, the Association has provided on-site demonstration access through free speech zones. It is the intent of the Association that these zones will act to provide reasonable access to those patrons utilizing the enclose facilities, rendering the need for demonstrations within the enclosed facility to be unnecessary.
  3. Anyone desiring to engage in demonstrations in an enclosed facility shall do so only under an agreement for exhibit space, if the event is one sponsored and controlled by the Association. If the event is not one sponsored or controlled by the Association, then demonstrations within an enclosed facility shall be allowed only if the Association allows it. The Association also recognizes that it acts as a leasing agent, leasing the Four Corners of the specific area within that facility. The utilization of the enclosed facility space is subject to reasonable control by the Association.
  4. Anyone desiring to engage in demonstrations in an enclosed facility in an event controlled or sponsored by the Association shall execute the appropriate agreement for exhibit space and be subject t the terms and conditions therein generally applicable to anyone entering into such agreements, including but not limited to, the providing of insurance, the providing of a hold-harmless agreement and such other reasonable condition as may be imposed, The association maintains the right to assign space within its enclosed facilities pursuant ot agreement for exhibit space based upon its past practices of granting such space on a seniority basis and providing first preference to those exhibitors who by subject matter are related to the overall theme or subject of the Association's sponsored or controlled event.
  5. If exhibit space is not available to those wishing to obtain said space in an Association-controlled or sponsored event, the Association shall make reasonable efforts to provide on-site space in a free expression zone, subject to the provisions in Article III.



  1. Any person engaged in off-site demonstrations in the immediate area adjacent to the rented or sub-leased facility shall demonstrate to the authorities and rodeo officials the requisite county or city permit allowing said demonstration, if said permit is required. The local authorities will determine trespassing violations.



Any person or persons engaged in demonstrations that violate these guidelines shall be subject to the following administrative remedies:

  1. If no registration has been obtained, no demonstration shall occur until said registration is obtained. Failure to register shall be cause for ejectment from the grounds.

  2. If registration has been obtained and an organization or individual is engaged in activity in violation of these guidelines, a warning shall be issued. If the violation continues, the activity shall be stopped and said continued violation shall be cause for immediate ejectment from the grounds by the Association or its authorized agent.

  3. Anyone displaying fighting words, obscene material or grisly, gruesome or repulsive displays shall be subject to having said materials or displays seized by the Association and its agents. Upon demand, said material or displays may be returned to said organization or individuals after the event is over and/or the demonstration in concluded.

  4. Anyone utilizing any sound devices without prior written approval of the Association or its authorized agent shall immediately cease using said sound device or shall have said sound device confiscated by the Association or its agent. Upon demand, said sound device will be returned to the individual or organization after conclusion of the event or demonstration.



  1. Findings: the purpose of these guidelines is to assist the management and staff of the Association in the handling of any spontaneous activities, which may occur within enclosed facilities. These guideline memorialize a long-standing unwritten policy of the Association and are not intended to enlarge upon or expand any rights under law or waive any defenses available to the Association.

  2. Spontaneous activity within an enclosed facility can often be the natural result of the nature of the entertainment, sport or other event occurring within the facility, and certainly is not prohibited by the Association. However, to promote public safety, prevent confrontation and insure equal enjoyment for all patrons attending an event, the Association does adopt the guidelines to ensure that such spontaneous activities do not create any public danger or threat to safety or health, or interfere with the rights of the lessee, Association or other patrons.

  3. The following restrictions shall apply to any spontaneous expressive activity within any enclosed facility of the Association.

    1. No sign or display shall be larger than 2' x 2'.
    2. No freedom of movement shall be blocked by any spontaneous activity.
    3. Any spontaneous activity shall not be the cause of complaints from patrons nor interfere unreasonably with the activity occurring within the facility.
    4. The use of sound device is expressly prohibited, including group chanting.
    5. Any signs or displays of any nature, which utilizes fighting words, obscene matter or gruesome, grisly or repulsive displays are prohibited.
  4. Anyone violating these guidelines shall be subject to immediate ejectment from the enclosed facility and removal from the grounds of the Association. Wherever possible, employees or Agents of the Association shall endeavor to give warning to persons engaged in conduct in violation of these guidelines and allow said persons a reasonable opportunity to conform their conduct to the guidelines.

  5. The Association's employees and agents shall be governed b considerations of public safety and the prevention of violence in carrying out the guidelines herein.
First posted May 16, 2015
Last update Jan 1, 2016