Archive for Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kansas Senate vote ends debate on limiting adult businesses

May 4, 2011, 8:35 a.m. Updated May 5, 2011, 1:19 a.m.


— A bill that includes tougher, statewide restrictions for strip clubs, adult video stores and shops selling sex toys won’t pass this year after the Senate blocked debate on it, according to Kansas legislators who support the measure.

The Senate voted 22-17 against a request from Sen. Steve Abrams, an Arkansas City Republican, to pull the bill out of committee, where it has languished. The House approved the same legislation twice, and social and religious conservatives in both chambers have grown frustrated that it hasn’t moved in the Senate.

The proposed “Community Defense Act” would limit the hours and location of sexually oriented businesses, ban total nudity and impose a “no touch” rule for employees and customers. Strip clubs and adult cabarets still would be allowed to serve alcohol.

“I believe that there’s nothing to be done this year,” Abrams said later. “I don’t think there’s any way to pull it out of committee.”

Supporters contend the bill would prevent blight and crime and help small communities that want to keep out sexually oriented businesses but can’t afford to defend against legal challenges. The Jefferson County Commission faces a federal lawsuit over its denial of permit to a company that wanted to open a private adult club outside Meriden, a town of about 800 residents, about 10 miles northeast of Topeka.

“I think we’re done,” said House Federal and State Affairs Committee Steve Brunk, a Bel Aire Republican, whose panel sponsored the legislation.

Last year, the House passed similar legislation, and it failed in the Senate on a 20-20 vote. Critics contend that regulating sexually oriented businesses is best left to cities and counties, which can tailor rules to local conditions. A few also have mocked the bill’s supporters as obsessed with a relative handful of clubs, stores, and arcades when more than 100,000 Kansans remain unemployed.

“These communities have been able to regulate this industry over the last 40 to 50 years,” said Senate President Steve Morris, a Hugoton Republican, who voted against pulling the bill from committee.

Supporters of the bill cite the lawsuit over Jefferson County’s decisions as an example of why legislation is necessary. Highway Four Properties, a partnership, filed it in March in U.S. District Court in Topeka, a month after the county commission refused to allow its club, which would have nude or semi-nude female dancers.

In recommending denial of Highway Four’s permit application, the zoning commission cited potential negative effects, such as an increase in law enforcement calls and drunken driving.

The company contends such fears are unfounded and that the county’s existing zoning rules — requiring a special permit for any sexually oriented business — restrict people’s free speech rights. The lawsuit argues that nude and semi-nude dancing are “expressive communication,” benefiting society by helping people consider issues of “sexual candor” and “contemporary concepts of physical attractiveness.”

Brunk said backers of the bill are trying prevent small communities such as Meriden from being “overrun” by the adult entertainment industry. He said Morris’ opposition to the bill is a key factor in its stalling in the Senate.

“Very much so, he has sided with the porn industry on this issue, not protecting those little towns,” Brunk said.

Morris dismissed such statements. He said senators offered House members compromises that they refused.

The proposed Community Defense Act’s restrictions would apply to a wide range of operations, including non-academic semi-nude modeling studios and “sexual encounter centers,” defined as business allowing patrons of the opposite sex to wrestle or tumble together semi-nude.

The measure would require sexually oriented businesses to remain closed from midnight to 6 a.m. and prohibit new businesses within 1,000 feet of the property line of existing similar businesses or any school, library, day care center or house of worship. Semi-nude dancers at clubs would have to keep at least 6 feet away from customers.


arlo 7 years ago

Dear government please stay out of my bedroom and return to the jobs you are elected to do. Thanks.

jhawkinsf 7 years ago

Are you selling sex toys out of your bedroom? :-)

somedude20 7 years ago

Are you interested in buying some from them? =)~

somedude20 7 years ago

Just don't buy from the "used" section

Hal Larsen 7 years ago

Nothing like someone else's morality and ideology being shoved my throat. Hey they said "no touch".

tolawdjk 7 years ago

Remember, its about "jobs, jobs, jobs."

Just not those associated with the sex industry.

somedude20 7 years ago

Don't be haters as I am sure that "God" or "Jesus" is talking to these people and telling them to make the rest of us morally better! Too bad that G-Dog is not telling them to fix what they said they would while running for election. I am sure that they did not lie to us as that would not sit well with the Jesusnator.

bolshavik_vw 7 years ago

Leave this alone, Let people be free to do,buy whatever they wish, Let Adults be Adults. If they want to be illresponsible and wreck their own lives and relationships, then let them,. Let women go into the Clubs with their Husbands, if this makes their Husband mad, well then they were going there to violate the law of Monogomy and they are not much of a Husband in the first place.

Liberty275 7 years ago

My wife would sit there reminding me my lap dancer could be my daughter. Then I'd remind my wife the lap dancer could be her daughter. At that point, some hell would break loose.

somedude20 7 years ago

I think if you said that phrase to your wife the baby making factory would permanently close but would be free to reopen with said lap dance

Liberty275 7 years ago

Skygod approves of sex toys. You right wing loons may now get back to the business of fostering employment instead of trying to outsource big sex toy (as in big oil or big pharma) to Japan. Seriously, do you want "Hello Kitty" printed on every personal massager sold in America?

somedude20 7 years ago

better that than "Smelly Cat" (from Friends)

William Weissbeck 7 years ago

Boy, this is another one of those big government job killing bills. Oh, whoops - it's from the GOP.

Dan Spurgin 7 years ago

"stores that sex toys" ---> Hmmm.... maybe there should be regulations on stores that sex toys. I don't want my local restaurant sexing up some bean babies while I'm trying to eat.

tolawdjk 7 years ago

You can't tell me that a Barry White version of Tickle Me Elmo wouldn't fly off the shelves.

Betty Bartholomew 7 years ago

Perhaps better legislation would be that if a community of fewer than X people turn down your application for an adult oriented business, then that can't be challenged in court. Or that you cannot spend more on your legal fees than the community can afford to spend on theirs so that it remains a fair court fight.

(And surely there are more lucrative areas than towns like Meridan to set up shop, anyhow.)

somedude20 7 years ago

“Community Defense Act” Ha! Funny. We need a defense act to protect us from those Kansas Senate jagaloons

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