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Florida Residents Protest Adult Video Store

Alachua, Florida- A few hundred Alachua residents protested an adult video store in their city last night. The group came out in opposition to Adult World, a store which opened on Saturday and closed the same day after the owners were arrested.

The protest was outside the Alachua City Commission meeting. Inside the meeting, commissioners revised an ordinance banning adult video stores, under which the owners of Adult World were arrested. The changes allow for the stores but only in certain areas. Gary Edinger, attorney for the Adult World owners, defends the store. He says all the talk shouldn’t matter since Adult World is not strictly an adult video store.

Edinger says the store added a front section of videos for all ages. He says because of that the state statute and city ordinance does not apply that led to the arrest of Adult World’s owners don’t apply.

On Saturday Alachua Police arrested the three people running Adult World, an adult video store in Alachua.

The store opened in defiance of an ordinance prohibiting adult video stores in the city’s commercial-highway interchange district. But Gary Edinger, the attorney for Adult World, says that ordinance doesn’t apply to them because it’s unconstitutional.

“We’ve opened up essentially ignoring unconstitutional ordinances, which is our right,” Edinger says. “When the city eventually has a new law in place it would not have any application to this store because it’s opened right now.”

But Alachua City Manager Clovis Watson, who spearheaded the arrest of the three employees, says they must follow the ordinance right now. He also says they’re not following zoning rules (because they’re too close to a school) and don’t have a license.

“If they open up again today, or Monday, or Tuesday, or any other day, we’ll make an arrest every day unless we are told otherwise by a judge,” says Watson.

Edinger recently asked a judge to let them open the store in spite of the ordinance, because Alachua city officials were going to reconsider the law. The judge, however, denied the request and allowed a moratorium while the city ironed out the ordinance. On Saturday, Adult World opened anyway.

The city will hear the final reading of a proposed ordinance Monday night. But Adult World would still not be able to operate, because of its location, under the new law.

“We will protect our children,” Watson says. “We will protect our citizens. And we will do what’s right, not what’s easy.”



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