A Kansas House committee is scheduled to hear testimony on a bill that would place restrictions on sexually oriented businesses (SOBs).
Republican Representative John Barker of Abilene has agreed to hear Bill 2043 on Thursday, March 11. Barker is the Chairman of the House Federal and State Affairs Committee. The hearing will be live on Youtube.
The committee, comprised of 22 members, will hear testimony at 9 a.m. from Phillip Cosby, Director of the American Family Association of Kansas and Missouri and Johnson County Sheriff Calvin Hayden. Both are in favor of the bill.
“We have the opportunity to restrict the negative impacts of strip clubs and pornography outlets in Kansas,” stated Cosby, . The organization works to promote a Biblical Sexuality standing against a sexualized culture.
The bill would implement statewide time, place, and operations, placing limitations and restrictions on sexually oriented businesses. Those restrictions and limitations include:
- Closing at midnight
- No total nudity
- No alcohol
- Must be 1,000 feet from residences, schools, and houses of worship, day care facilities, libraries, public parks, and other SOBs.
- Employees may appear semi-nude only on a fixed stage
- Employees may not offer lap dances, no touching
- No unobstructed views inside the premises of an SOB (No VIP rooms)
- No minors under the age of 18 allowed on the premises
- No gambling
- No promotion of sales of sexual relations
- No commercial exploitation of a child (amateur night)
The Community Defense Act passed in the Kansas House during the 2011 and 2014 sessions but was defeated in the Senate each time, once on a 20-20 tie vote. Cosby believes there’s no reason not to pass the legislation.
“It is way past time to aggressively confront the social and moral harms that the hyper-sexualized culture visits on families and communities,” Cosby says. “While this Bill addresses the brick and mortar strip clubs, much of our problems with pornography and sexting are now on the internet. This is one place we can make a difference and raise the conversation about the wrong direction our culture is going.”
In an interview with Metro Voice, Sheriff Hayden echoed his concerns speaking specifically to a certain area in Johnson County – near 175th Street and Highway 169. In that area, there are two sexually oriented businesses.
“We had more than 152 calls to that area in the past year. Problems ranging from aggravated battery, traffic offenses, to a call on March 3 that had a person leaving one of the clubs being robbed of $2,600 and 99 Oxycodone pills,” said Hayden.
When asked how he thought the bill would help with the crime situation in the area, Hayden said that controlling the sale of liquor on the premises and shutting down at midnight would help with those deterrents.
“Anything we can do to help deter assaults, battery, destruction of property would help,” states Hayden. “We haven’t had any sex trafficking calls to the area, but it also has the potential for that, which we want to stop.”
Covid restrictions prevent the public from attending hearings at the state capitol but are broadcast live on the State Legislature’s Youtube channel. Thursday’s hearing will be broadcast at 9 a.m.
–Amy Buster | Metro Voice