August 20, 2008

From the Desk of Phil Burress
President of Citizens for Community Values

Citizens’ E-Courier · August 20, 2008

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Ohio’s Ban on Nudity in Bars

A rule that bans nudity in establishments holding a liquor license has been upheld by the Circuit Court of Appeals

Rule 52 originally was enacted by the Ohio Liquor Control Commission in February 2004 to protect Ohio communities from the high incidence of undesirable secondary effects associated with nude dancing in an environment where alcohol is served – effects that include prostitution, drug trafficking and assault.

On the day that Rule 52 was to go into effect, however, strip club owners filed suit in federal court, claiming that the rule was “overbroad and unconstitutional. The club owners immediately were granted a Temporary Restraining Order, and later a preliminary injunction, to prevent the Rule 52 from being enforced while the overbreadth question was debated. In January 2007, the federal district court granted the sex business owners a permanent injunction, agreeing that Rule 52 was unconstitutionally overbroad.

The case finally was argued before a panel of three judges on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in March of this year.

In a 2-1 decision handed down on Friday, August 15, the Appeals Courtupheld Rule 52, reversing the lower court’s decision that Rule 52 was constitutionally overbroad.

Delivering the court’s opinion, Judge Eugene E. Siler, Jr. wrote:

“Invalidating Rule 52 as overbroad would impose substantial societal costs because it would hamper Ohio’s legitimate interest in curtailing the negative secondary effects, such as prostitution and drug trafficking, associated with an environment mixing alcohol with nudity and sexual activity.

This is a just, excellent and important decision for Ohio’s families and communities.  The Court recognized that Rule 52 is in the best interest of Ohio communities and understood that the sex business owners’ overbreadth argument was based on highly improbable scenarios.

Judge Siler wrote:

“(A) law is not invalid simply because some impermissible applications are conceivable.”

He stated further:

“Rule 52 has a minimal impact on the marketplace of ideas because persons desiring to perform mainstream works of art involving nudity and sexual activity may do so in an establishment that is not licensed to sell liquor.  In the alternative, they may perform their works in an establishment licensed to sell liquor if they wear clothing…and avoid sexual conduct or sexual contact.”

This decision to uphold Rule 52, combined with last week’s decision by federal district court Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr. upholding the constitutionality of the Community Defense Act, has the potential to significantly curtail the multiple ills inevitably associated with unregulated sex businesses.

But as in all endeavors, the potential can be far removed from the reality.

The key to converting the potential of any law to reality is enforcement!

Both Rule 52 and the Community Defense Act have been enacted – and now upheld – due to the documented negative effects that unregulated sex businesses bring to our families and communities.

We must let our local law enforcement agencies and the Ohio Department of Public Safety know that rigorous enforcement of CDA and Rule 52 is a priority to us.

Stay tuned to these E-Couriers as we present convenient ways to express our support to law enforcement!

Racketeering added to charges against CityBeat advertisers.

On June 6, 2008, a coalition of civic leaders, including five of greater Cincinnati’s most respected law enforcement officials, hand-delivered a letter to the editor and general manager of CityBeat, a tabloid distributed throughout the Tri-State area.

That letter compassionately and courteously requested that CityBeat eliminate the adult services category of ads in both its print and online editions, due to the degrading, sexual nature of the ads and because that category of ads had become a vehicle for advertisers to prostitution and other illegal services.

You may recall that just two weeks prior to that public request, federal agencies conducted a raid of massage parlors in the greater Cincinnati area – parlors that the federal agencies said were serving as fronts for prostitution.  Charges in connection with the raids included prostitution, promotion of prostitution, soliciting prostitution, tax evasion and money laundering.  Virtually all of those parlors were regular advertisers in CityBeat’s adult classified section.

On Thursday, August 14, four Korean women arrested during the raids were indicted on racketeering charges.  The addition of racketeering charges is significant in that the defendants charged will face double the recommended prison sentence if found guilty.

Meanwhile, CityBeat’s management continues to maintain that the tabloid accepts only ads of legal businesses.

Meanwhile, also, CityBeat’s management continues to pursue their frivolous lawsuit against the civic leaders who signed the letter requesting that the paper eliminate their adult services category of ads.

Pray that the management of CityBeat might feel remorse for the devastation brought to so many through those degrading, exploitative ads.

To order a packet of information, appropriate for delivering to businesses that serve as distribution points for the tabloid, call us at (513) 733-5775, or e-mail info@ccv.org.

FINAL CALL!

Leadership Institute Training
in conjunction with
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Grassroots Campaign School
Westerville Church of the Nazarene
355 Cherrington Road · Columbus, OH  43081

August 23, 2008 · 9:00am – 5:00pm
Cost: $20 (includes meals and materials)

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