Recently Upheld Laws In Tampa, Louisville, more stringent

For Immediate release
Contact David Miller, Vice President, Public Policy  513-733-5775

Courts uphold two more ordinances regulating sex businesses.

Tampa, Louisville laws more stringent that Ohio’s new law.

Cincinnati, OH — On Friday of last week courts in Florida and Kentucky upheld ordinances that place regulations on sexually oriented businesses – ordinances that are more stringent than the regulations established by Ohio’s recently enacted Community Defense Act (Sub. S.B.16).

Judge Richard A. Lazzara, District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, upheld the constitutionality of a Hillsborough County, Florida ordinance that requires dancers at bikini clubs to maintain a 6-foot distance from patrons and that prohibits the selling or drinking of alcoholic beverages at adult businesses.

Meanwhile, a 3-judge panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld a Louisville, Kentucky Metro ordinance that requires dancers in sexually oriented businesses to wear minimal covering, prohibits physical contact between dancers and patrons, and prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages in such businesses.

“That’s two more political subdivisions that have exercised their constitutional right to regulate the operation of these businesses, which bring so much harm to our communities,” said Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values, the organization that represented voters and worked with Ohio’s legislators toward passage of the Community Defense Act.

“Both of these very recently upheld laws,” Burress noted, “contain regulations more stringent than the law passed earlier this year by 75 percent of Ohio’s legislators.”

That Ohio law, although enacted on June 4th, did not go into effect 90 days later, on September 4, as scheduled, because sex business owners initiated a referendum petition.  If the supplemental signatures handed in to Ohio’s Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner on Friday of last week prove to be sufficient, Sub. S.B. 16 will qualify for Ohio’s November 6 ballot, and will appear as Issue 1. Ohio’s Sub. S.B.16 establishes two regulations on a statewide basis.  One prohibits physical contact between nude employees and patrons.  The other limits hours of operation to 18 hours per day, requiring sex businesses to close between midnight and 6:00 AM, when the criminal activity associated with such businesses peaks.

The law also provides state assistance and protection for local communities in establishing their own ordinances to zone, license and regulate sex businesses.

In 1986, in the landmark decision Renton v. Playtime, Inc., the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that communities cannot prevent sexually oriented businesses from locating within their boundaries, but also ruled that communities have the right to regulate the operation of such businesses to protect themselves from adverse secondary effects.  Those adverse effects included increased crime and decreased property values.

“There is absolutely no doubt,” said Burress, “that every provision of our (Ohio) law is constitutionally sound.  Hundreds of communities across the nation have enacted even more stringent laws, and, like the laws in Florida and Kentucky, many have been challenged by the sex industry but upheld by the courts.”

For additional information on Ohio’s Community Defense Act (Sub. S.B.16), visit