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Artistic and Livelihood Rights versus Morality Issues in Anti-Lap Dancing Ordinance - Assignment Example

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Castaway Beach shows the stark contrast between its reputable more-than-a-hundred-year history and its disreputable, yet flourishing, sex industry. Majority of the city’s business have moved to other more upscale communities ten years ago. …
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Artistic and Livelihood Rights versus Morality Issues in Anti-Lap Dancing Ordinance
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Artistic and Livelihood Rights versus Morality Issues in Anti-Lap Dancing Ordinance Castaway Beach shows the stark contrast between its reputable more-than-a-hundred-year history and its disreputable, yet flourishing, sex industry.
Majority of the city’s business have moved to other more upscale communities ten years ago. With a diminishing tax base, the city direly needs new livelihood sources.
City council members and residents are divided on whether the emerging businesses of strip bars and pornographic moviemakers can save the city’s economy.
A coalition of councilmembers and community activists voted on a law that bans touching between entertainers and patrons in any Castaway Beach business, called the anti-lap dancing ordinance.
They emphasized that the city’s sex industry harms community health, safety, and morals. They also believed that said ordinance was the first step to killing this industry.
Mary Macy, 40, a former city council member said: “Adult entertainment businesses are a blight to any neighborhood. They attract a variety of criminal activity, including prostitution and drug use.”
Council member Tonis Zaslow, 35, believed that they are not against new businesses, but opposed to the negative effects of the sex industry on their culture and health.
Zaslow said: “This is just good government. We need to protect citizens from the transmission of sexual diseases, litter and condoms in our streets, drugs sold to children.”
What several saw as depraved, others perceived as fun and legitimate livelihoods.
George Rappaport, dressed in a business suit, thought that the ordinance was a killjoy: “I love lap dances. Who doesn’t? I say you’re banning this because you’ve never had one. You guys and gals should get one before you vote.”
Bambi Newman, 27, is an actress, a stripper, and a single mom with a daughter. She argued that lap dancing is her right to artistic expression and a source of legitimate livelihood.
She said: “Dancing and entertaining is the only way I am able to put food on the table. Many of fellow dancers are just like me— working moms. Please don’t take away my livelihood.”
Even students are making money out of the strip-club business. They disliked being labeled as prostitutes too.
Valerie Dawson, 22, a graduate school student of dentistry said: “This is what I do to pay the tuition for grad school. Most of us would never think of becoming prostitutes. Those girls are at the escort services.”
Affected business owners were enraged and willing to bring down the ordinance.
Ken Majors, owner of Peppermint Giraffe Gentlemen’s Club, 51, vowed: “We’ll beat this. They tried to do this in two other California cities and the voters threw it out just like that.”
Majors knew what was needed to repeal the ordinance: “We’ll get the 30,000 signatures in two weeks. We’re having a party to gather signatures. Come and bring your friends.”
An ordinance can be rescinded if a petition to put the issue to a city-wide vote is signed by at least 30,000 registered voters.
The signatures have to be gathered and certified by the city clerk within 30 days of the council vote.
Subsequently, the issue is put on the next city ballot. The ballot is then suspended—not put into effect—until the vote. Voters then vote to rescind it.
Lap dancer Bambi Newman’s daughter, eight-year-old Sesi, said in her pink “Hello Kitty” jumpsuit: “I don’t think anything my mom does hurts anyone.” Read More
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