To the editor:
The ill-titled “Community Defense Act” is a bill currently in the Kansas House of Representatives which aims at increasing regulation of adult-oriented businesses across Kansas. The regulations are such that many adult businesses would be seriously hurt or even closed. This bill is misguided and harmful to Kansas communities.
To begin with, communities are not threatened by adult-themed businesses such as strip clubs. These businesses provide a legitimate service to members of the community. No one is forced to go to or work at adult businesses, and the scope of the business is never pushed on the community. The fact that such businesses are able to flourish is a clear indication that they are wanted in communities in which they exist. Such businesses are demand-driven in nature. If Kansas communities do not want adult-themed businesses, a clear way to prevent their success is to not frequent them. Clearly this is not the case for many communities, including Lawrence.
Additionally, this bill would seriously harm the lives of women who work for these businesses. Threatening the jobs or wage rates of hard-working capable women who choose to be in an industry that some people might not like is a frightening affront to the well-being and autonomy of those women. If the proponents of this bill really want to help women working in adult businesses, they would stop stigmatizing their jobs and respect their choices.