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Sunday, December 4, 2022
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Sexually Oriented Business Ordinance on Hold


Judge reviewing a case while writing in a notebook at a desk with a gavel and scales on it. | Image by Armmy Picca

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A Dallas city ordinance requiring businesses of a sexual nature to close between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. has been placed on hold while a judge determines whether the law is constitutional. 

As previously reported by The Dallas Express in March, lawyers for both adult entertainment clubs and the City of Dallas had the chance to argue their opposing views on the ordinance.

The Dallas city council voted unanimously for the order in January because they believed it would help reduce crimes that often occur around these businesses when they are open between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. 

A judge will decide whether forcing these operations to close between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. would violate sexually oriented businesses’ rights under the Constitution’s First Amendment. The businesses targeted by this ordinance include and are not limited to strip clubs, adult bookstores, and cabarets. 

U.S. District Chief Judge Barbara Lynn oversees reviewing of the evidence and the arguments for and against this case. The City of Dallas has agreed not to enforce the ordinance while Judge Lynne examines both sides of the issue. 

According to Daniel Linz, a witness for the club owners, the city should evaluate its population, demographics, hotels, fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, and nightclubs located near adult entertainment clubs. He stated that the strip clubs were not to blame for all or even most of the crimes and said the city’s analysis was “not scientifically valid.”

Nonetheless, the City of Dallas officials claim that these establishments attract significant crowds after other entertainment businesses and bars close at 2 a.m. Lawyers for the city added that there are inadequate police officers to ensure safety in these places during those hours, particularly because the adult businesses have ignored police safety recommendations.

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