Lap dances, nudity to end at Louisville strip clubs - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Lap dances, nudity to end at Louisville strip clubs

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By Valerie Chinn,

Louisville, KY (WDRB-TV) After years of legal battles, big changes are coming to Louisville strip clubs. The adult entertainment ordinance will soon be enforced.

Scott Lindsay, the manager of the Godfather, says he's already making plans. He says the ordinance turns topless clubs into bikini bars.

After six years of legal battles, a Kentucky Supreme Court ruling is changing how clubs do business.

Click here to read the KY Supreme Court ruling.

Scott Lilly with the Jefferson County Attorney's office says the 2004 Metro Louisville Adult Entertainment Ordinance will now be enforced within 90 days. Full nudity will no longer be allowed.

Lilly says the clubs will have to pay a yearly $1000 licensing fee. Every employee, including dancers, will have to pay $25 per year to be licensed.

The ordinance requires dancers to stay at least six feet away from customers and they must be on at least an 18-inch platform. Lilly says they can no longer offer lap dances. Clubs must also be closed from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. And they can no longer serve alcohol once their license is up for renewal.

Attorney Frank Mascagni represents the Deja Vu and PT's. He says, "My clients will have to sell Coca-Colas at $10 a glass. Will have young ladies or young men appropriately dressed with pasties or G-strings, don't see how that will be economically feasible."

Attorney Mike Hatzell, who represents several clubs, says those clubs plan to have the women wear enough clothing or have enough coverage so they'll be classified more as a bar and won't have to follow the ordinance. The County Attorney's Office says that means the women will have to wear a bikini or more.

Lindsay says at his club, a way to follow the ordinance is to wear opaque latex body paint which matches their skin color. With the body paint, he says people won't be able to see what's underneath. Dancers will also wear pasties, even though some look natural. He says with the pasties and latex paint, it looks like the women are topless, but they're not.

In 30 days, adult entertainment businesses will receive a letter from the County Attorney's office.

They'll have 45-60 days to make changes to abide by the ordinance. Then, the office says, it will be enforced by IPL -- Inspections, Permits, and Licenses -- and police. Clubs say they fear many will shut down.

Lindsay says, "It takes away revenue streams for single mothers, girls working their way through school, college. It takes revenue away from us." He says 50% of sales are from convention business. He says the ordinance will change how much money they make.

Mascagni says within 30 days, he'll be making a request for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. But he says there's no guarantee the it will even hear the case.

The County Attorney's Office says it is going ahead with the plans for the ordinance.

Mascagni says, "This isn't pornography and this isn't child sex. This is a lawful business. It's a shame that my clients can't run a lawful business in this community." He says pressure from religious, moral groups, and politicians have hurt his clients' businesses.

The only part of the ordinance the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional was the no touching rule for employees touching customers. The Supreme Court says it was "too broad."

MaryAnn Gramig, the Director of Policy & Operations for ROCK says, "Louisville's protective ordinance ensures that as the U.S. Supreme Court has stated, communities have a constitutional right to prevent the negative effects associated with sex businesses such as increased crime, including those of a sexual nature or drug-related, retarded economic development and other harms.  The sex businesses' bottom line is to keep dollars rolling in by exploiting women in any way that is profitable.  While these businesses do have a right to exist, as this ordinance provides, it must be within the confines of the law - just as every other business has to do.  When sex businesses so object to having to operate in a legal manner, serious red flags are raised and it should make the citizens of Louisville even more thankful for government officials willing to stand up and do the right thing - protect our children and families.  ROCK has been proud to stand with Louisville since the beginning of this case and will continue to do so as citizens look forward to full enforcement of the ordinance." 
ROCK is a non-profit organization that says it exists to defend and sustain the founding principles upon which our country was built. 

Click here to read a past story on the adult entertainment ordinance.

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