Reeling from the effects of the recently enacted adult entertainment ordinance — which effectively prohibits nudity, alcohol, lap dances and anything resembling fun within strip clubs across the city — the owner of one Louisville strip club is getting hounded by a coalition of right-wing Christian “family values” groups to drop their billboard advertising because it erodes societal values.
Brian Franson, owner of downtown Louisville’s P.T.’s Showclub, forwarded to LEO a letter (PDF!) he received from the right-wing Ohio-based agitprop outfit Citizens for Community Values, which scared god-fearing citizens into voting booths last fall in order to combat the scourge of transvestites plaguing Ohio’s Wood County shopping mall dressing rooms and spent over $1 million to keep nefarious gays from getting married via a 2004 ballot initiative. (Yeah, they really are that classy)
Highlights of the four-page missive include labelling strip-clubs as “sexually oriented businesses,” which CCV patronizingly acronyms into “SOBs,” (zing!) as well as a propagation of the logical fallacy that only strip clubs and “adult” businesses promote human trafficking. Following this rationale to its extreme conclusion, we should also prevent restaurants, massage parlors, spas, farms, construction firms and any other industry that relies upon cheap, undocumented workers to take out billboard ads, because they too are responsible for more instances of human trafficking combined relative to nudie bars alone.
Further, the letter cites a 1986 Supreme Court decision, Renton v. Playtime Theatres, in order t to claim that businesses like strip-clubs lead to “increased crime, decreased property values and urban blight” [sic] while failing to note that the dissenting opinion correctly asserts that the court provides no evidence (as none exists) to substantiate these claims.
In fact, it’s lost on groups like CCV (and their moral equivalents within Louisville’s Metro Council, which started this anti-sex league ball rolling years ago) that by pushing businesses and their employees/patrons into the peripheries of the economy, where the social safety net does not exist, the effect is actually increased crime and prostitution. Just ask the Louisville Metro Police Department.
Missing from the letter’s 40-plus underwriters (featuring luminaries from the usual rogue’s gallery of right-wing extremism) is the head of the Freedom Heritage Forum and known supporter of Kentucky Senate President David Williams, Frank Simon.
“No, I wasn’t aware of it,” Simon tells LEO of CCV’s letter writing campaign. “But yeah, I would think that removing the advertisement for strip clubs on billboards would be a good thing.”
Information on CCV is scarce, but their website lists some pretty hefty right-wing lobbying giants like Focus on the Family, Ronald Reagan’s Family Research Council and the American Family Association, whom Simon serves as director of its Kentucky chapter.
So, yeah: One big, incestuous conservative plot to treat adults like the children they’re ostensibly protecting while increasing crime at taxpayer expense. Double-plus good!