Thursday, October 05, 2006

Kentucky District Court Ruling on Regulation of Sexually-oriented Businesses

In a case possibly having national significance, the U.S. District Court for Eastern Kentucky ruled last Saturday that Kenton County’s annual $3,000 licensing fees and “distance restrictions” on nude or semi-nude dancers and customers, were constitutional. (Opinion, Part 1 Part 2)

The Supreme Court has held that communities have the right to zone, license, and regulate sexually-oriented businesses to protect their citizens from adverse secondary effects often associated with those types of businesses. (Article) Kenton County Attorney Gary Edmondson, however, told the Enquirer that to his knowledge “no other court in the nation has been asked to decide whether a community’s prohibition of erotic dancers co-mingling with patrons is an extension of their free speech.”

At issue with the current case was Kenton County Ordinance 113.35(A)(10), requiring that “entertainers maintain a minimum distance of five feet from areas on an establishment’s premises being occupied by customers for a minimum of one hour after that entertainer appears …”

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