ED Publications

ED September 2014

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Page 34 of 75

Club Bulletin September 2014 35 www.ExoticDancer.com "go-to" government expert Richard McCleary, Ph.D., to admit as much in the challenge to the "breast coverage" restrictions of the infamous "Rule 52." Theoretically, these regulations have been upheld as "time, place and manner" restrictions; a unique excep- tion to freedom of expression. These "TPM" regulations are usually allowable if the government can show that the restriction is reasonable, and not based on the "con- tent" of the message. Unfortunately, these restrictions result in the eradication of freedom of speech, leaving no time, no place, and no manner in which this enjoyable form of expression can be presented. Simply stated, in many jurisdictions in the country, there is no such thing as a "topless bar." This is not only a significant cultural loss, but the fact that this form of entertainment has been effectively eliminated in many places is a harbinger of tyranny and oppression. To show how ridiculous it is for the judiciary to be- lieve that requiring performers to adorn themselves with "pasties" does not affect expression, imagine a serious Shakespeare play where the actors all have to wear a red clown nose throughout their performance. Obviously, it would destroy the experience. I believe that the only remedy to battle the outrageous restrictions that elimi- nate expressive nudity, limit hours of operation, prohibit alcohol, prevent dancers and patrons from being close enough to share a conversation and otherwise destroy, entirely, the "gentlemen's club experience," is to continue to fight for our civil rights just as other discriminated minorities have done. But I have a dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed—that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness includes the unfet- tered ability of exotic dance performers to determine for themselves how they wish to present their bodies in an aura of expression. I have a dream that one day in the "places of public assembly" in Ohio, Texas, Florida and everywhere that freedom matters, the censorship over adult entertainment will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my friends in the gentlemen's club industry will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the expansiveness of their pasties, but by the content of their character. This is my hope. Hopefully, if we all work together and battle the unending efforts to chip away at our rights, someday we may be "free at last." Luke Lirot has represented countless clients in the realm of First Amendment litigation, as well as a wide variety of other types of litigation, including Constitutional Law, Civil Rights, Criminal Law, Entertainment Law, Land Use Law and Personal Injury. Lirot is a past president of the First Amendment Lawyers' Association. He can be reached at luke2@lirotlaw.com or by calling (727) 536-2100.

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