Adult businesses head to U.S. District Court

From Vote No On Issue 1 Committee press release:

CLEVELAND -- Adult businesses filed a lawsuit in Federal court today that seeks to block enforcement of uniform, statewide restrictions on gentlemen's clubs and adult bookstores on constitutional grounds.

The new law would wipe out many locally passed restrictions on adult businesses.

Filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, the lawsuit seeks a temporary and permanent injunction. It asserts that the restrictions violate the United States and Ohio constitutions because they are unconstitutionally broad, unconstitutionally vague and trample on the rights of free expression guaranteed by the First Amendment.

"As we've said from the beginning, this law is unnecessary and unconstitutional,'' said Luke Liakos, president of the Buckeye Association of Club Executives, Ohio's trade association for adult businesses. "It's un-American to limit free speech just because it offends the moral code of a small but noisy group of censors.''

The lawsuit came just after Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner told the Vote No on Issue 1 Committee that it lacked the signatures needed to ask Ohio voters to repeal the restrictions. Te Committee is challenging her conclusion in a separate, pending case.

The federal law suit contends that lawmakers who approved Senate Bill 16 had no evidence that adult businesses cause the negative secondary effects claimed by the bill's supporters.

SB 16 seeks to close most adult businesses at midnight and would make it a crime for customers of adult cabarets to touch entertainers who are nude or semi-nude. Jail time and fines apply -- even if the touching is simply a pat on the back, touch of the elbow or handshake. Such restrictions, according to the lawsuit, "will have a substantial and detrimental effect on the plaintiffs' businesses and their First Amendment rights."

To read the act on the State of Ohio site, visit:

Posted by KO