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Louisiana Parish Deals w/ Adult Entertainment

Louisiana- Officials in one Louisiana parish have adopted new rules for regulating sexually oriented businesses. The pro-family legal group behind the model ordinance says it can be adapted for use by any community dealing with the problem of “adult” entertainment in their area.

For several years, citizens in Tangipahoa Parish have expressed concern over an increase in “adult” bookstores along area highways. Earlier this month, the Parish Council adopted an ordinance that enforces comprehensive regulations on sexually oriented businesses. Mike Johnson is with the Alliance Defense Fund, which helped officials draft the ordinance.

“[The adult entertainment business] brings a number of harmful secondary effects to a community,” says Johnson, ADF’s senior legal counsel, “and that’s why the courts have said that a city or a town or a county is well within its rights to regulate these businesses very heavily.” And in doing so, the attorney says a community, more often than not, comes down on the side of families.

“When lawmakers have to choose between protecting our children and protecting a sexually oriented business, the choice is obvious,” he says. “Our children’s safety comes first.”

The new law, adopted during a Council meeting on November 13, took effect immediately. It outlines what owners and employees of sexually oriented businesses may or may not do, and it enacts permit and licensing requirements; criminal background checks; hours of operation limitations; and health code, architectural, and signage requirements. According to Johnson, such ordinances are constitutional.

“I think the message here is that other local groups and other communities ought to feel empowered by this and really could take the same action as these concerned citizens did,” he says. “This is an ordinance that can be duplicated in other cities and counties nationwide — and the time for it is certainly now.”

The Tangipahoa ordinance is modeled after one available through the Community Defense Counsel, which is a resource of the Alliance Defense Fund.The move toward enforcement of comprehensive regulations on sexually oriented businesses in the parish began with the efforts of the Christian Community Network, a group of local residents.


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