Morality Tales: Stripping no, Cruelty yes

Those concerned about the law predicted the loss of 3.000 jobs and millions in state revenue. They said the provisions of the bill would be enough to decimate an entire industry. They challenged the Constitutionality of the law.

No, I'm not talking about Proposition B, the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention act. I'm talking about SS SCS SBs 586 & 617 passed in 2010, otherwise known as the Adult Entertainment Law. The law has since been challenged in court and is expected to eventually make its way to the Missouri Supreme Court.

We're told that Proposition B would cost jobs and that's why the legislature can't allow it to proceed. We're told it will cost revenue for the state, and that's why we can't allow it to proceed. We're also told that it would decimate an entire industry, and that's why it can't proceed. Most importantly, we're told that Proposition B is somehow Unconstitutional, and that it is the legislators obligation to not allow the bill to proceed.

But the representatives heard the same thing about the Adult Entertainment Law.

  • That it would cost jobs, but they allowed it to proceed
  • That it would cost the state revenue, but they allowed it to proceed
  • That it would decimate an industry, but they allowed it to proceed
  • That the law is Unconstitutional, but they allowed it to proceed.

People were told that the Adult Entertainment Law was necessary because the adult entertainment industry is responsible for crime and divorce and broken families, but the facts do not prove out the statements.

We're told that Proposition B isn't necessary because most breeders are really terrific, providing a wonderful home for the dogs, but the facts don't prove this out, either.

So why is is OK to apply strict new business regulations for one industry, but not another? Why is it OK for the state to add stringent new laws for adult entertainment venues, when no regulations are being broken, but it's not OK for the state to add stringent new laws for an industry notorious for violating existing laws?

I have some guesses to share.

For one, the adult entertainment group didn't get the Missouri Farm Bureau or Cattlemen's Association on its side. It didn't get Forrest Lucas of Lucas oil to brag about how he wants to "bloody the nose" of the prudes.

The adult entertainment group didn't build their strip clubs in former hog barns, or in the middle of corn fields.

The strip clubs didn't feature acts with dogs crammed into wire cages 6 inches longer than they are, desperately licking frozen water. Or dogs in plastic igloos, huddled in straw, shivering—with artfully matted fur, bloodied raw wounds, or dead puppies scattered about. No, the strip clubs wouldn't feature such acts.

They have standards, you know.

I think the real reason, though, is that the Adult Entertainment Law wasn't passed by the people of the state. If it had been, the legislators would have sneered at our gullibility, as they happily ripped it apart.