October 16, 1997 in Washington Voices

More Regulation Needed For ‘Adult’ Businesses

Penny Lancaster
 

The health, safety and general welfare of our community is compromised when erotic dance clubs and adult bookstores are allowed to flourish without regulation.

Commissioners John Roskelley and Kate McCaslin are right and Jack Burns, attorney for Deja Vu, is wrong (“Hands-off law proposed for adult arcades,” Valley Voice, Sept. 27). The majority of people in this county do not want business as usual in nude dance clubs and peep show booths.

According to several studies, communities with “adult” businesses had 40 percent more property crime and 500 percent more sexual offenses than similar neighborhoods without such businesses.

Spokane has faced a growing problem with the breakdown of families, unwed mothers, a rise in welfare, crime, drugs, domestic violence and youth violence.

Frequenting places where erotic behavior is flaunted, men and women are dramatically more likely to engage in adultery, fornication and deviant sex. This ultimately leads to increased incidents of rape, pedophilia, incest and domestic violence.

Maybe that is why 1,600 people signed a petition asking for more regulation of these sexually oriented businesses.

Spokane has endured the unrestrained activities at Deja Vu for approximately the last 10 years. I realize women have a right to dance on stage, but they do not have a constitutional right to be totally nude or to have sexual contact with patrons.

Public nudity is a threat to the integrity of the family. It devalues marital intimacy, breeds disrespect for women, and it holds a woman’s sensuality in contempt. Men who pay women to undress and perform sexually explicit acts are devaluing themselves, the woman, and weakening any bond they might have had with their own wife.

Hopefully, this proposed county ordinance, which is due to come before the commissioners at the end of this month, will limit sexual contact, and fewer men and women will be attracted to this destructive industry.

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