We’re approaching the end. Of what? Exotic dancing in Ohio! In my series of articles about this trend in Ohio ‘morality’, I’ve patiently waited for this legal battle to finally conclude. Well, apparently it has. In a recent report, the Supreme Court ruled that stripping wasn’t protected under 1st amendment and strippers can no longer touch patrons. This was the last-ditch battle of strip-club owners against a well-connected church PAC based in southern Ohio. No surprise it was a loss, but still sad to see that this is what our state has come to. I guess that was that.
And, this comes on the heels of the Ohio courts revisiting the long-standing ban on alcohol in strip clubs for all of Ohio. It’s been almost a decade since the law was passed, but it was unenforceable due to constant legal hassles over it’s constitutionality. Now, the last nail has been put in the strip-club coffin. They reaffirmed that anyplace having nudity cannot also have alcohol. This relegates all strip-clubs to bikini juice bars (not even BYOB, I guess). The courts have put their feet on the throat of this industry (term “industry” used loosely), and only need to wait patiently for it to die.
To understand the impetus behind this, you have to understand the group responsible for pushing the exotic-dancing issue in the state capital to begin with. This pro-life group, the Citizens for Community Values, is actively campaigning to outlaw adoption by unmarried couples and outlaw adult shops of all types. They routinely send protesters to harass companies that provide benefits to domestic partners. And they hate strippers with an unnerving passion. This is the organization that now has control over Ohio’s legislature.
Once the public has gotten used to the idea of regulated strip-clubs, they won’t be as shocked when the CCV and their judges move to completely ban nudity in Ohio. That is the logical progression of all these legal maneuvers, and the overall intent of the CCV. Then they can lower the coffin of sexual freedom and expression into the ground, and cover it with dirt till it’s all forgotten. And who will care if the occasional artist gets jailed for displaying a nude painting in an Ohio gallery (recent censorship case in an art exhibition at Bowling Green State University- Firelands campus in Huron, Ohio illustrate this behavior has already begun), or someone is fined for wearing a bikini deemed ‘too inappropriate’ on a local beach. Ohio will have what it’s always wanted: Christian Shahira law for all Ohio. Allahu Akbar!
Abdicating rights to appease the righteous indignation of any minority fundamentalist group is wrong, whether they carry a bomb, or just a pile of cash and a cross.
UPDATE: New Ohio executive decision allows small community governments to divert state and federal funds in legal actions specifically against strip-clubs and in defense against claims from strip clubs. The the government’s ‘Drug War’ is the only other example of public funds blatently targeted against a specific industry. Interestingly, the adult entertainment industry in Ohio is not officially illegal. But it violates the new Ohio Christian Shahira Law, so all the government’s resources can now be used against it.