IL: Elk Grove gay bar Hunters Nightclub imposes new rule on cross dressers

Patrons are now required to supply ID that matches their ‘gender presentation’

Brian Cox and Lisa Black
September 21, 2009

An Elk Grove Village gay bar popular with cross-dressers now requires them to show a valid photo ID that matches their “gender presentation.” Put another way, they now need a photo ID that shows them in drag.

Hunters Nightclub reluctantly imposed its new ID requirement because cross-dressing prostitutes were advertising on Craigslist and mentioning the establishment, said manager Peter Landorf.

“They’re implying they’re coming here,” said Landorf, whose new rule could cut down on his cross-dressing clientele. “If it is prostitution in any form, that could cost me my liquor license.” Continue reading


Legal Prostitution Under Pressure in Rhode Island



PROVIDENCE — Rhode Island has a long tradition of going its own way. Founded by religious outcasts, it was the last of the original 13 colonies to join the union and the state mascot, which sits atop the State House, is a bronze figure named the “Independent Man.”

But there is one distinction about which many in the state aren’t proud: Due to a legal loophole, prostitution is legal in Rhode Island as long as it happens indoors.

Now, Rhode Island lawmakers are pushing to criminalize indoor prostitution, saying it damages the state’s reputation, disturbs neighbors, encourages sex trafficking and puts women in potentially dangerous situations. Nevada is the only other state that permits prostitution, and even there it’s not legal in the three most populous counties. Continue reading

Prostitution legal in Rhode Island? What happens in Pawtucket stays in Pawtucket

June 18, 4:41 PM · J. Doug Gill – Strange News Examiner

Thanks to a loophole created by a legislative mistake 30 years ago, Rhode Island prostitutes can legally ply their cash-for-sex trade as long as the transaction takes place indoors.

The loophole, which went largely unnoticed until Providence police raided several spas and massage parlors in 2003, was part of legislation passed in the 1970s.

Rhode Island’s law criminalizing prostitution was changed then after a group called Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics (COYOTE) sued in federal court charging the Providence police were discriminating against women in their arrests. Continue reading


Police are taking unprecedented steps to keep prostitution offenders off the Strip
Feb. 15, 2009
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

WORKING GIRLS: Las Vegas’ 50 most prolific prostitutes

Call it a unique kind of most wanted list or simply an attempt to clamp down on the area’s worst-kept secret.

Working off a roster of the reputed 50 “most prolific prostitutes” in Clark County, Las Vegas police and prosecutors are taking unprecedented steps to keep repeat prostitution offenders off the Strip.

Some are criticizing the law enforcement crackdown as overly aggressive. And it comes at a time when some policymakers are talking about eventually legalizing or decriminalizing prostitution in the Las Vegas Valley. Continue reading

Pa. town sued after rejecting pole-dancing studio

It’s not Porn, but the idiots who run this town think it is….

PITTSBURGH – A suburban Pittsburgh woman has sued a town that refused to allow her to open a pole-dancing studio on the grounds it was a sexually oriented business.

A federal lawsuit filed Thursday in Pittsburgh by the American Civil Liberties Union claims Adams Township officials violated Stephanie Babines’ right to free expression by denying her an occupancy permit.

Babines, a computer analyst from Cranberry Township, alleges “the small-town municipal officials do not approve of the type of dance she teaches. They believe it is ‘provocative,’ full of sexual ‘innuendo,’ and too dangerous for their township.”

Babines claims her studio does not fit the definitions of adult business in the township’s zoning code and wants a judge to rule that barring a dance studio that doesn’t involve nudity violates the First Amendment.

“My classes are a specially designed exercise for women that allows them to have fun, feel confident about their bodies and express their sexuality,” she said in a statement. “This is not a strip joint or gentleman’s club.”

Although Babines’ classes include pole-dancing, power lap dance, strip tease and “SeXXXercise,” they are all taught and done fully clothed, the lawsuit states. Men can’t take the classes, and no spectators are allowed.

The occupancy permit was denied because “we recently received information that would classify your business as an ‘adult business’ because of the content of your advertising and information” on Babines’ Web site, township code enforcement officer Gary Peaco wrote to Babines in March.

At an appeal hearing in May, Peaco testified he didn’t need to interview Babines because her Web site’s “pink-and-black color scheme … and the high-heeled shoe in her logo” indicated to him she planned to run a sexually oriented business, the lawsuit states.

The hearing included testimony from Babines’ students, including “a self-described Christian grandmother,” all of whom said the routines were not sexually explicit, the lawsuit states.

Babines operates a dance and fitness program called “Oh My You’re Gorgeous,” and teaches pole-dancing in a Cranberry Township studio and at homes. She wanted to expand her business and leased a former children’s clothing store in nearby Adams Township, about 25 miles north of Pittsburgh.

She said she spent about $10,000 installing flooring, mirrors, poles, dressing rooms, additional walls and other amenities. She wishes to use the space to teach dance and fitness classes and hold bachelorette parties where she would teach pole dancing, as well as sell “non-sexually explicit merchandise such as poles, high-heeled shoes, feather boas and T-shirts.”

Peaco said he couldn’t comment on pending litigation. Township solicitor Charles Flach did not return a call seeking comment Thursday afternoon.

Yet Another Obscenity Trial? We Should Be Ashamed

By Dr. Marty Klein, AlterNet
Posted on August 29, 2008, Printed on August 29, 2008

Last week I traveled 14 hours to Staunton, Va., to testify in an obscenity trial. A guy was accused of selling DVDs in his shop that showed adults having sex with each other — which, of course, he had.

Staunton is the kind of small town in which locals enjoy being helpful to strangers. In fact, when I pulled into a gas station needing directions, the mechanic fixing a flat asked me where I was from, shook my hand and introduced himself, welcoming me to the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.

But I couldn’t have coffee with the guy. I was in Staunton to defend the Constitution from his neighbors. Maybe even from him.

I am desperate for you to understand this: An American city, in the year 2008, asked a jury of seven men and women to declare that a movie of adults having sex could be illegal. City prosecutor Ray Robertson said that some movies — these movies, for sure — could be so dangerous that they fall outside the protection of our glorious First Amendment.

What could these films contain that make them so treacherous? If the films called for organized revolution, they would be legal. If the films said blacks were lazy, Jews were cheap or Catholics were disloyal Pope-lovers, they would be legal. If the films said our two-party system was corrupt, and that censorship laws were destroying democracy, they would be legal.

The indicted films didn’t say any of these things. But the government said these films were so dangerous that adults must be prevented from buying them.

In the United States. In 2008. Films that simply showed adults having sex: no kids, no animals. Not even a pretend rape. Just a few hours of boobs, boners and butts, waxed vulvas and a few pints of ejaculate (much of it on women’s faces or chests). And hours of smiles.

To a casual observer, the bust looked simple enough: A small-town cop buys a DVD and gives it to the DA, who convenes a grand jury, which issues an indictment, and a small-time businessman gets hauled into court.

That would be bad enough. Remember, this is America.

But something more sinister was afoot: The federal Department of Justice was involved in this. Attorney Matthew Buzzelli, part of the DOJ’s medieval Obscenity Prosecution Task Force, was serving as co-prosecutor, even though there were no federal indictments. Prosecuting a tiny shop in tiny Staunton is part of a bigger plan to attack smut across the country. “They’re interested in how we do here,” said local prosecutor Robertson.

Now let’s roll in the irony.

Staunton, Va., is just a few miles from Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson — author of the Declaration of Independence. And it’s only a few miles from Montpelier, the home of James Madison — who wrote the Constitution.

Staunton itself, in fact, is the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson, who guided the United States into and out of World War I. His presidential library is on North Coalter Street, two blocks from the courthouse. James Monroe’s estate is less than an hour away. Founded more than three centuries ago, Staunton is thick with the perfume of history. The history of freedom.

The trial to decide whether one adult can sell a movie to another adult of other adults having sex was taking place in the shadow of Jefferson and Madison. If anyone noticed the depressing irony of this, they didn’t mention it.

The government claimed the movies should be criminalized because:


  • They depict sick behavior. 


  • They appeal to sick people. 


  • Watching movies like this makes people masturbate and makes them watch more movies, rape women and molest children. 


  • Criminalizing the movies is part of protecting American society from moral depravity.


The first three points are demonstrably not true. The government couldn’t prove any of them, so they just asserted them, over and over.

The fourth claim is merely overheated rhetoric, a judgment about personal morality that any American is free to make. The idea that anyone could enforce that judgment on another American, however, is repulsive.

And yet that’s what the government did — it lied repeatedly about the first three claims and asserted the jury’s responsibility to pursue the fourth.

In fact, the government used the slimiest tactic imaginable. Although every actress in “Sugar Britches” had proven she was over 18, the government said one looked much younger (small breasts, shaved bush, etc.). Therefore, according to the argument, the film appealed to pedophiles; it encouraged them to molest children and was thus so dangerous it had to be banned.

Judge Thomas Wood had already warned the prosecution not to make this a trial about child pornography. He became so angry at its repeated references to children that he threatened the government with a mistrial if they continued.

Without this inflammatory strategy, the government had nothing of substance to say. Its “expert,” sexual trauma specialist Dr. Mary Anne Layden (who said porn is the “most concerning thing to psychological health that I know of today” and porn addicts have “more trouble recovering from their addiction than cocaine addicts”), had no peer-reviewed studies and no nonclinical samples.

Similarly, federal attorney Buzzelli claimed the films were designed to appeal “to an unhealthy interest in sex.”

Prosecutor Robertson argued that “You’ve never seen anything immoral in Staunton until this store came here,” and “It was wrong for this community, obscene for this community.” He urged the jury to exile the store and its products: “Go where they allow it … where they don’t care about the morality or the decency of their community. … Don’t turn Staunton into Las Vegas.”

From small town to the mighty feds, that was the case: These films are immoral and so should be illegal.

To decide if the movies were dangerous, the jurors had to watch the movies. In broad daylight, fully clothed, sitting next to strangers, right after breakfast, they had to watch three hours of porn. Some of them had never watched porn in their lives and assumed, quite reasonably, that they would die some day without ever doing so.

Naturally, those men and women hated the experience the government put them through. Think about how you’d feel being forced to listen to hours of Bill O’Reilly, or whatever sounds to you like fingernails on a blackboard. Then multiply this by a thousand. That’s what it must have been like for those jurors.

After that, they were supposed to imagine a normal person watching one of these films for a few minutes, getting excited and happily climaxing — and then going back to a normal life, normal marriage, normal parenting.

Jury members were the only ones on Earth forced to watch the films. Then they were supposed to decide if their neighbors could be allowed to watch them voluntarily. How completely mixed up is that?

In the end, the clerk who sold the films to the cop was acquitted. The guy who owns the store was convicted of selling obscene material to a consenting adult. He will be punished. He has already spent tens of thousands of dollars defending himself. He has been dragged into court, branded a danger to his neighbors and their children, and threatened with spending month after terrifying month in jail.

The people on the jury will go home to their lives. They’ll have a story to tell their friends. They’ll have watched porn when they otherwise wouldn’t have. Or they’ll have watched familiar porn in a very unfamiliar situation.

But these seven people decided that there’s a movie so dangerous that it challenges the entire basis of American democracy. It is so dangerous, it must be wiped out from the community. It must be kept away from adults, who are allowed to drive, to vote, to own guns, to raise children, to do surgery and to serve in the Army.

The movie is that dangerous, said the jury.

So people of Staunton, don’t shake my hand, don’t welcome me to your pretty little town, don’t be so damn friendly. I hate what you did to my country last week. You spurned Jefferson, denied Madison, spit on the America you claim you love.

After the trial I walked down Market Street, back to the Stonewall Jackson Hotel. Bumper stickers exhorted me to Support Our Troops and Bring Democracy to Iraq.

I packed my things and drove to Monticello, as I’d planned. But I had trouble enjoying the tour of the place where Jefferson dreamt up America. My heart just wasn’t in it.

Editor’s note: To get provocative, compelling articles about sexuality in your mailbox, sign up for our free Sex and Relationships newsletter.

Dr. Marty Klein is a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified sex therapist, and sociologist with a special interest in public policy and sexuality. He has written six books and more than 100 articles about sexuality.

© 2008 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
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ACLU questions legality of APD prostitution web page

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina recently sent a letter to the City of Asheville questioning whether posting photos of prostitution suspects on the police department’s web site is unconstitutional.

ACLU legal director Katie Parker said the web page could violate people’s due process rights since police said the photos are meant to shame suspects, effectively punishing them before they are tried in court.

“What we think is important here is the purpose for why the police department is doing this and they’ve acknowledged the reason they are doing this is to punish, to deter crime,” said Parker.

APD announced the start of the online prostitution blotter in February. The web page contains photos of people arrested during police prostitution stings, including alleged customers.

Complaints from the Asheville community prompted the ACLU letter, sent on March 6 to Assistant City Attorney Curt Euler, Parker said. The civil rights group does not currently plan to file a lawsuit against the city as no one has come forward as a plaintiff, she said.

The letter urges the city to reconsider the web page and the police practice of sending postcards to people whose vehicles are seen driving through high drug or prostitution areas.

Though media outlets often publish names and photos of people arrested by police, Parker said it is unconstitutional for government to use this method to deter crime or otherwise punish those who have not been convicted of crimes.

Parker expects a reply from the city by early next week.