Adult Businesses Try To Halt New Law

7 years 10 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, August 31 2010 Aug 31, 2010 Tuesday, August 31, 2010 8:39:24 AM CDT August 31, 2010 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Adult businesses pled their case on Thursday in a Cole County courtroom against the new "strip club" law. Missouri lawmakers passed the bill in June which prohibits nudity, alcohol, and physical contact in all adult businesses. Several businesses in the industry filed the lawsuit on August 10th to try and stop the bill from going into effect.

The adult industry said it will hurt their business if the law goes into effect on Saturday. Passions Adult Store owner Nellie Symm-Gruender said, "We will have to layoff employees for the cabarets. It means that they are going to have a very difficult time operating." Symm-Gruender said, "This is a frontal assault on the adult industry."

The prosecution said the law violates First Amendment rights. The defense argues it doesn't hurt personal freedoms because it doesn't stop businesses from operating. It only places restrictions on the business.

Adult businesses' attorney Raymond Vasvari said if the judge sides with the industry no one will suffer. It will just allow time to gather the facts. Vasvari said, "A temporary restraining order allows him to render a preliminary decision and have everyone sit still, until he has time to hear evidence and secure witnesses and make a reasoned decision."

The state believes the judge's decision will support Missouri lawmakers. State attorney Scott Bergthold said, "We think the more he looks at it in detail and the weight of case authority in appellate courts on these issues, I think that goes well for us."

The judge said he has a lot of papers and information to sift through Thursday night, but believes he will make a ruling as soon as Friday morning.

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