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Six-Foot Rule Ordinance Battle Goes On in El Paso

El Paso- The city of El Paso and some strip clubs battled it out in Judge William Moody’s courtroom for more than seven hours last Friday. The defense wanted extra time before the next pending court case on the six-foot rule ordinance.

“Give us a chance to present our evidence. Let us maintain the status quo that has been in the city of El Paso for the last 30 years for another 17 days,” said Luke Lirot, the defense attorney for two strip clubs in El Paso.

The center of Lirot’s case: He said if you start the ordinance now, for the next two and a half weeks something major will be lost.

“The speech that is inherent in the expressive performances, you can never get that back, so that is irreparable harm,” said Lirot.

The defense did not get its way. The judge decided he would not grant the temporary restraining order, and at midnight on Friday night, the city ordinance went into effect.

“It is done. It must take effect tonight, and they must abide by the law of our representatives,” said Eduardo Rivera with the St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.

Rivera wants the ordinance now, because he believes it will make a difference.

“It is important for the community to be protected from influences that may not be suitable for our children,” said Rivera.

Club owners, their families and friends filled the courtroom, except for one man who said he attended to keep tabs on the city, as a taxpayer.

“I’m interested in how the city spends my tax money. So I am here today to find out how much really, to get a feel of how much it’s going to cost the city to fight this,” said Sal Gomez, from East El Paso.

KFOX asked the city to comment about the case, but it said it can not talk about impending cases.

In 17 days, the two sides will do it all again. This time, the club owners will ask for an injunction that will essentially let the clubs operate as they do now until the full trial finishes.

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