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Strip Club Legal Issues

Pro and con arguments


Free speech - First Amendment

Proponents of strip clubs and adult entertainment argue that they are a form of free expression, so banning them would be a violation of the First Amendment.


"Secondary effects" of strip clubs "effects that include may include increased crime (studies vary on this point), an increase in rates of sexually transmitted disease, and the possibility of an objectified view of women where images promoted on billboards and in advertisements promote the idea that women are tools for sexual gratification rather than friends, lovers, mothers, or equals. Such an objectified view could increase the potential for rape or domestic violence against women."

Zoning laws:

  • Most cities have passed zoning regulations regarding strip clubs, in which new clubs cannot operate within a certain distance of schools and residential neighborhoods.
  • In many cities both in American and overseas, strip club legal issues are being hotly debated. Here are some examples:
  • In late 1999, the Canadian Supreme Court made a landmark decision regarding lap dancing. They ruled as follows: The bottom line is touching dancers by customers including sexually is legally supported as long as it does not involve "masturbation, fellation, penetration or sodomy."
  • From 1988 to 2005, Seattle has had a moratorium on new strip clubs.
  • In 2004, 800 of the roughly 4000 adult clubs in America launched voter registration efforts, registering an average of 200 voters per club.
  • In May 2006, the Scottish Executive's Working Group on Adult Entertainmen proposed a set of 11 new rules, restricting the adult entertainment industry. However, many lap dancers were against the new proposals, saying that they're unworkable.

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