Recently Bill SB 16 passed in the Ohio Senate and will be sent to the house for a vote next. The bill call prohibits all dancers working in strip clubs from â€œtouchingâ€? any patrons and they must remain at least six feet away from them. It also calls for all strip clubs to close at 11:00 pm. This legislation will not surprisingly shut down most if not all strip clubs in Ohio.
This legislation was introduced by the activist group Citizens for Community Values. In addtion to not liking strip clubs, they also are against hotels that show adult movies, gambling and of course homosexuality. The refer to strip clubs on their website as, "And they have tried to paint nude strip clubs and other sex businesses as safe places of entertainment, rather than as the hotbed of criminal activity that our courts have recognized them to be." The group got a petition signed that introduced the bill to be voted on.
This is another example of a small special interest group going out of its way to influence public policy that the majority of the public does not agree with. There is already legislation for each community to decide if they want adult establishments, such as strip clubs in their community. This new legislation is unnecessary and takes away power from local governments. This new state wide regulation is totally unwarranted. There is also the freedom of speech issue that such a law would violate.
The CCV says they are trying to reduce â€œprostitution and violence towards womenâ€?, but shutting down strip clubs will not address either of those issues. All that will happen are the thousands of people that are employed by the stripping industry in Ohio will lose their jobs and patrons will go to other states for their entertainment. The CCV is on a religious moral crusade to get rid of something they donâ€™t like. On their website they have information how you can get a similar bill submitted in your state. This is an example of rabble rousing for an issue that doesnâ€™t exist. If stripping was such a problem wouldnâ€™t legislation have already been proposed without waiting for a special interest group to submit it?
Several of the senators have said they felt pressure from them to pass the bill. The CCV has the voting record on their homepage so people can see who they should vote for. I for one will not vote for any of the senators who voted for the bill as, I do not feel that they had their constituentâ€™s wishes in mind as much as their own reelection campaigns. Politicians need to stop listening to these special interest groups with their lobbyists and listen to the people who voted for them in office.
With this link you can find you local representative and email them your opinion on the bill. Here you can find the contact in formation for you state senator to contact them as well. Show the politicians that you have an opinion too and that a small minority does not speak for the majority of the public.