Tuesday, June 12, 2007

ohio: no nudes is good nudes...

...and the governor is a weenie

Dispatch.com, May 9:

Representatives of a conservative Cincinnati-based group pushing for stricter strip-club regulations have assured Ohio lawmakers that eight other states have implemented similar laws.

But a check of those states by The Dispatch found only one, Tennessee, that has enacted a state law resembling the combination of restrictions proposed by Citizens for Community Values.

Senate Bill 16, created by the group's petition drive, says dancers, both when they're nude and when they've put their clothes back on, must stay at least 6 feet from patrons. It also prohibits nude dancing, or operations of adult bookstores, between midnight and 6 a.m.

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on the bill today, but not before Rep. Louis Blessing, a Cincinnati Republican who is committee chairman, tries to reduce the 6-foot distance requirements.

"The distance is ridiculous, and requiring a bubble after they're dressed and fully clothed, I don't know what the purpose is of that," Blessing said, adding that he doesn't think it's constitutional.

Gov. Ted Strickland, speaking about the bill in public for the first time yesterday, said state government has better things to do than to focus on strip clubs.

If the bill gets to him, he said, he would have to "conclude for my own satisfaction whether or not there are constitutional issues here that in my own mind could result in me not keeping faith with the oath I took."

Toledoblade.com, June 8:

Ohio's adult entertainment industry has created a political action committee called Citizens for Community Standards, a play on the name of the conservative Cincinnati-based Citizens for Community Values that championed the new law limiting the hours of such businesses and imposing a stricter "no-touch" rule.

Sandy Theis, a consultant for the clubs, said the money behind the effort to put the issue to voters on Nov. 6 will initially come from club owners, but she believes there will be public support.

"I was surprised at the public support for the dancers and their opposition to pesky conservatives from Cincinnati telling the rest of the state what to do," she said. "People don't like that."

Citizens for Community Values gathered enough signatures of valid voters last year to force the issue into lawmakers' laps. The group had threatened to take its proposed law directly to voters if lawmakers failed to act.

The resulting law requires strip clubs, X-rated theaters, adult book and video stores, and other "sexually oriented businesses" to close their doors between midnight and 6 a.m. Clubs with liquor licenses allowing them to remain open until 2 a.m. could do so, but no fully nude entertainment would be permitted during those two extra hours.

Performers or patrons who violate a tougher "no-touch" rule while the performer is still nude or semi-nude could be charged with a fourth-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine.

If the touch involves a "specified anatomical area," defined as the genitals, pubic region, or a portion of the female breast, the charge would be elevated to a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Critics of the law have questioned its constitutionality and have argued it could make criminals of people who simply shake hands or tap another on the shoulder while a dancer is still undressed.

The measure overwhelmingly passed both chambers, and Gov. Ted Strickland, while questioning the bill's necessity, opted to allow it to become law without his signature.

"The law is clearly constitutional," said David Miller, vice president of Community Values. "Numerous cases attest to that. Our own governor said that if he thought it was constitutionally suspect, he would have vetoed it."

The law is set to take effect Sept. 4 unless the repeal effort succeeds in filing at least 242,366 valid signatures of registered voters, including 1,000 to initially put proposed petition language before the attorney general.

Dancer Bianca Tate said she recently drove across the state to dance at a club in Kentucky to help pay her bills because business is already off at Cleveland's Hustler Club where she usually works. She said some patrons have assumed the law is already in effect.

"There is a lot of misinformation out there," she said. "Some of the customers are afraid to walk in the door."
From Focus on the Family's Citizenlink:
"These provisions will effectively curb much of the crime that does take place in these establishments," said David Miller, vice president for public policy at CCV. "We'll see less prostitution."

This is the same old bullshit we always hear about strip clubs. I cannot speak to individual situations, but in general the belief that there is prostitution in strip clubs is outdated.

The majority of strip clubs now represent multi-million dollar investments and these owners are not going to allow themselves to be put out of business by permitting illegal activity.

I'm sure there are exceptions, as with anything. I have visited dozens of strip clubs across the US over 20 years and have never once seen evidence of prostitution.

All of these clubs employ beefy security types at the entrances and throughout the premises. Nothing that would endanger the patrons, the dancers, or the owners' pocketbooks is likely to occur.

The truth is these Fuck-us-on-the-Family people want to legislate their morality. It has nothing to do with crime.

1 comment:

Deliciously Naughty said...

Actually, Massachusetts has a 6 foot no touch rule, which is why we go to strip clubs in Rhode Island.