Politics & Government

Adult entertainment businesses challenge new Missouri law

JEFFERSON CITY — Amy, Betty and Cindy Doe just want to dance.

The pseudonymous Ms. Does are three Kansas City-area erotic dancers named in a lawsuit challenging new restrictions on adult businesses in Missouri that are set to go into effect later this month.

In addition to the dancers, several adult clubs and retailers, a cabaret owner and an industry trade group brought the case against the state.

They're asking a judge to find the new law unconstitutional and to prohibit the state from enforcing it. They also may seek a preliminary injunction to allow businesses to operate normally while the court considers the lawsuit.

"This lawsuit is necessary because the legislature didn't do the right thing," said Dick Bryant, a Kansas City attorney representing the industry. "They weren't financially responsible and didn't follow the Missouri Constitution."

Lawmakers who sponsored the bill and supported its passage, however, called the suit baseless.

"They're throwing everything they've got against the wall to see what sticks," said Sen. Tom Dempsey, a St. Charles Republican.

The suit was filed Tuesday in the circuit court in Jefferson City, which typically hears cases concerning state government. It concerns Senate Bill 586 and 617, which passed this year and was signed into law by Gov. Jay Nixon in June.

It is the latest move in a years-long effort by lawmakers to tamp down adult bookstores, video galleries, strip clubs and cabarets in Missouri.

The law includes numerous and strict limitations on adult businesses. Among them, it:

• prohibits performers at adult clubs from appearing nude;



• requires "semi-nude" dancers to perform only on stage and forbids them from touching patrons;



• prohibits the sale of alcohol at all adult businesses;



• restricts hours of operation; and



• limits where the businesses may be located.



To read the complete article, visit www.kansascity.com.

  Comments