January 14, 2000 09:00am
BILLS RESTRICTING ADULT CLUBS OK'D
by: Nedra Pickler
(LANSING, MI) -- Two bills that would restrict adult entertainment were approved last week by a state House committee.
The vote followed a hearing that focused on the [alleged] detrimental effects of strip clubs, porn shops, adult book stores and massage parlors. Those who work in the industry decried the hearing as unfair after they were not given a chance to speak against the bills. A lawyer for adult businesses called it "a disappointing, staged event."
One of the bills would require strip clubs and massage parlors to undergo health inspections to prevent the spread of disease and to obtain a license from the state. The other bill would allow private citizens to collect attorney fees and court costs when they win a nuisance complaint against the adult businesses.
The measures are part of a controversial 13-bill package being considered by the House Constitutional Law and Ethics Committee. "I have a special place in my heart for women in the industry who would like to get out, but are trapped by addiction or the need for money," said Candice Carpenter-Pugsley, a former dancer who now works for the American Decency Association and came from Indiana to testify.
Rep. Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, chair of the committee, said the committee was overwhelmed with support for the bills. But Allan Rubin, attorney for the Association of Club Executives, which represents owners of strip clubs and pornography stores, said more than 100 people turned in cards to testify against the bills, then weren't given time to speak.