Adult Entertainment And First Ammendment Rights The essence of the American dream stems from freedom. Before this nation was even called the United States of America, religious separatists ventured across the Atlantic Ocean so that they would be free to practice a religion that was not controlled by the state. Today, we find ourselves in a constant battle with ethics, morals and values in the United States. Seeing that we are a nation that is culturally diverse myriad of cultures and religions has been mixed together and the final outcome is the society that we live in today. A serious conflict between the “morally correct” and the “ethically deficient” is the topic of sex and sexuality.
Most of the arguments against adult entertainment stem from the belief that it is morally wrong. Maybe in another country where a certain distinct religion was the foundation of our beliefs I would be less likely to fight these ideas. However in the United States the mixture of different cultures, belief systems, and constitutional rights allows me to think that people should be allowed to chose what they want to believe. Recently, Orange County Sheriff’s in Central Florida raided and now are threatening to shut down Rachel’s Men’s Club. Of course the reason behind the closing down of the club has substantial legal grounds.
The only reasons this club should be shut down are because of the sale of drugs on the premises and illegal sexual conduct occurring with the dancers. Unfortunately, business such as Rachel’s are at a disadvantage because of the type of services they are providing to the public. It is hard to believe someone that you know is involved with something that isn’t the easiest service to explain to your children. On the other hand, it isn’t fair for the owners of these establishments to make a good living because they are constantly fighting against the onslaught of protesters that believe that this type of service and activity is immoral and that it should not take place anywhere. These people have the absolute right, based on the first amendment, to voice their opinions without question, but to place a person at a disadvantage because they own a certain type of business is against the foundations on which our nation was established. Current laws in Seminole and Orange counties prohibit adult entertainment establishments from being located within one mile of any residential area.
Further, recent changes in county codes have limited full nudity in Seminole County. Having instituted this law prior to the foundation of an adult entertainment facility in the county it is fair to say that any business man would have equal opportunity to commercial property that is within the boundaries that the law requires. Unfortunately to better suit the growing nature of society residential areas expand quickly and sometimes without regard to these businesses that were founded legally. Should these business be forced to move because the residence moved closer to them or should the residences have foreseen this matter before it occurred? In New York City, Mayor Rudolph Guliani believed that since citizens moved into the area and the business were creating a public nuisance they should be shut down. In 1998, the adult entertainment facilities of Times Square, New York were forced to shut their doors. Instead of silhouettes of women lighting up the night sky, the famous Mickey Mouse silhouette would gleam across the horizon. Should Americans be forced to live by the same kind of morals and ethics deemed politically correct by the government? Is the Disney Corporation the standard the way that everyone should live their lives? In 1993, Disney’s Buena Vista Studios produced The Program.
The movie deals with issues that effect the lives of many young Americans such as sex, sports, social life, alcohol, and peer pressure. One scene in particular came under great scrutiny and when the film was released on VHS it was removed from the film. The scene involves several of the main characters that decided that they would lie in the middle of a busy road as part of a dare. Ultimately, this scene led to teenagers reenacting the scene which could have gotten them in a tragic accident. I am not condoning Disney or saying that they should limit their creative abilities, but if government officials want show us that the type of family atmosphere Disney provides is the correct type of morals we should have they must be willing to admit that Disney isn’t absolutely pure. Furthermore, I would like to take this opportunity to point out that some religious believers boycott Disney because of their actions.
Every year Disney hosts “Gay Day.” This day celebrates sexual diversity in the country, but also brings great controversy. The majority of the morals and ethics that people believe we should live by come from the most published book in the world, The Bible. The Bible states that homosexuality is immoral and is an abomination in Leviticus 18:22. Therefore, if we turn to Disney for our guidelines of cultural standards but also the Bible; then who are we left to believe? Thus, I would like to eliminate Disney and their background on good family values. Many opponents of adult entertainment clubs believe that they are a breeding ground of disease.
County codes explain that they must control any spread of disease in these types of businesses because of the skin to skin contact. Unfortunately, the counties have neglected to realize that the customers are fully clothed while in the club and there is no genital contact whatsoever. People have a better chance of catching a lethal disease from a public restroom then they do from visiting an adult entertainment club. Thus I believe that shutting down these facilities on the grounds of health issues is unfounded and unwarranted. The first amendment provides the many freedoms we as Americans live and breathe on a daily basis.
Many citizens commonly use our freedom of speech and expression when their views differ from that of the cultural norm. The infamous Larry Flynt fought for his first amendment rights to continue to publish his adult magazine Hustler. Mr. Flynt spent over ten years fighting legal battle after legal battle including two stays in state prisons and hearings before the Supreme Court. His efforts show that everyone has the choice to do, say and act as they would like to in our free society.
For those of us who may not like the type of material that is produced by the likes of Flynt, we must understand that we cannot stop them and then we can only tolerate them. On the other hand, I do not believe it is right for extremists to be peddling on to freethinking people the types of morals that we should have. I know that our founding fathers believed in our nation and had a great vision of its’ citizens thinking and making their decisions without consequence from a higher authority. If you believe that everyone should have the same morals and should not behave in a manner that would contradict these moral; you should go live in a country where church and state are still connected. Bibliography Bloodsworth, Doris.
“Court Records: Rachel’s had hidden cameras.” The Orlando Sentinel. 11 Sept. 2000, D1+. —. “Rachel’s worker denies videotaping system in club.” The Orlando Sentinel.
13 Sept. 2000, D3. Langford, Lawton. Code of Ordinances County of Orange, Florida. 16 May 2000. 13 Oct. 2000.
—. Code of Ordinances County of Seminole, Florida. 14 Apr. 1998. 5 Nov.
2000. Leigh, Carol. Sanfrancisco Task Force on Prostitution. 9 June 1996. 10 Oct. 2000.
Smolla, Rodney. Jerry Falwell v. Larry Flynt: The First Amendment on Trial. Univ of Illinois Pr, 1990. Stutzman, Rene.
“Rachel’s fights for its life.” The Orlando Sentinel. 14 Nov. 2000, D1+. Social Issues.