The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

Grand Rapids Allowed to Enforce Obscenity Ordinance

Posted by thelamp on September 7, 2006

 There’s a bit of good news for families living in the Grand Rapids area. The Michigan city will be allowed to enforce an obscenity ordinance designed to restrict sexually-oriented businesses, a federal court ruled late last week.

This is an issue of great concern for CMC members and others offended by indecency. Pastor Rod Parsley, founder and president of the Center for Moral Clarity has called for vigorous enforcement of all obscenity laws, whether at the federal or local level.

On April 25, the City of Grand Rapids adopted a zoning ordinance that places restrictions on sexually oriented businesses, as defined in the statute, expressly for the purpose of controlling the deplorable secondary effects of such establishments.

City officials are convinced that there’s a correlation between porn shops, strip joints and other undesirable behavior. Consequently, the legislative record includes a series of affidavits by investigator Tim Reilly who recorded his observations at numerous sexually oriented businesses.

The investigator’s observations included evidence of body fluids on the walls and surfaces of closed peep show booths, as well as evidence of sexualized physical contact between patrons and performers at live show settings.

The Grand Rapids City Commission made specific findings that sexually-oriented businesses “are often associated with a wide variety of adverse secondary effects including, but not limited to, personal and property crimes as well as prostitution. The Commission also found that illegal and unsanitary acts occur at unregulated sexually-oriented businesses.

To curb the possibility of those ill effects, the Grand Rapids ordinance has four principal restrictive components: a prohibition on total nudity; regulations on partial nudity, including a six-foot buffer zone between performers and patrons and a no-touch rule; an open-booth rule for adult arcades; and a restriction on the hours of operation between 2 and 7 a.m.

The ordinance contained a 180-day grace period for existing businesses to modify and comply. After filing, the parties stipulated to a temporary restraining order that expired on July 14. The temporary restraining order was extended until Aug. 25, when the targeted businesses asked a federal court for continuation of the stay of enforcement. But the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan ruled in favor of Grand Rapids’ city officials.

The federal judges made a decision Christians can live with. If a community has to put up with porn palaces, they should at least be allowed to regulate them.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: