profrv at nex.net.au
Tue May 11 05:59:26 PDT 1999
Vegas Dancers to March September 1
The issue's so important, former dancer Treasure Brown has decided to
postpone her wedding because of it. The issue being that of lap dancing and
the fact that as of Sept. 1, ordinances go into effect in Clark County,
Nevada prohibiting it. Clark County is better known as Las Vegas. Here's
what happened a couple of weeks ago and which prompted Brown, who likes to
refer to herself as an "undercover lobbyist" to form an alliance known as
WEADS, Women and Entertainers Anti-Defamation Society.
From the Gene Files: Vegas Imposes Lap Dance Rules
Bugsy Siegel would be turning over in his grave to know what a pussy ass
town Las Vegas has become. Clark County commissioners want to impose rules
on lap dancing. Speakers in opposition to the measure said strip clubs are
not the dens of prostitution described by police, and they reminded
commissioners that this is Sin City, after all, not Disneyland. Other
opponents of the ordinance said lap dancing puts food on their table and
restricting it would jeopardize their livelihood.
"How will I eat? How will I support my children?" stripper Brianna Wildman
asked through tears. But in the end, commissioners voted 5-1 to adopt lap
dance rules. Though they were far less stringent than those introduced two
weeks ago. That proposal would have prohibited a dancer's groin from ever
touching a customer's body. The rules commissioners passed yesterday allow
dancers to grind against a customer's leg, but bar more intimate contact.
"The industry has worked with me not in creating a deal, but a compromise,"
said Commissioner Yvonne Atkinson Gates, who proposed the ordinance.
A cluster of strip club attorneys had come to the commission meeting
prepared to argue that the proposed ordinance would put their clients out
of business. They changed their minds after reading the new draft.
"When they started out saying you've got to be 6 feet from the customer,
and you end up with the girl being able to grind against his leg, you've
come a long way," said attorney Peter Christiansen, who represents Jaguars,
the $15 million strip club that recently opened on West Desert Inn Road.
Christiansen and several other strip club attorneys said the ordinance will
force only minor changes in their clients' day-to-day operations. "We can
live with it," said John Moran Jr., who represents The Library Gentlemen's
Club on Boulder Highway and Strip Tease on Valley View Boulevard.
Several attorneys said the only provision with a substantial impact is the
prohibition against anyone under 21 working at a strip club that serves
alcohol. Currently, the minimum age is 18. Dancers who are 18 to 20 years
old now have three choices: change their profession, work at one of the
all-nude juice bars or get a job at an alcohol-serving topless club in the
city of Las Vegas.
"The only real effect of what they've done is forced the youngest dancers
to go totally nude to make a living," said one strip club attorney who
spoke on condition of anonymity. Several commissioners said this was not
their intent. But Atkinson Gates said she was not sympathetic to the
dancers' plight. "They can get another job. They can do something else for
a living," she said. "I don't buy that argument."
Atkinson Gates said she introduced the legislation because she believed
some of the acts commonly performed in strip clubs "are downright wrong,
"You're confusing sex with titillation," Dr. Jeff Arenswald told Atkinson
Gates. "You have some repressed sexual ideas."
The comment prompted Gates to grab a gavel and yell, "I said shut up!"
across the commission's chambers. She later apologized for the outburst.
Commissioner Erin Kenny did not attend the meeting, at which Chairman Dario
Herrera cast the sole vote in opposition to the new rules. Herrera said
restricting what is allowed in county strip clubs could give a competitive
advantage to strip clubs located inside the Las Vegas city limits, where
the county rules would not apply.
Lap dances previously were illegal in unincorporated Clark County, though
the prohibition was not enforced because a district judge struck down the
rules as too vague. Police officers testifying in support of the ordinance
said enforcement would be aided by specifying what is and what is not
permissible. They predicted this will quell secondary problems with drugs
and prostitution in the clubs."
Gene sez: Long before the ordinance was even to go into effect, cops
started rousting clubs in the city, particularly the Olympic Garden Club
More from the Gene Files: What you'd normally think is a joke, ain't. Las
Vegas which came up with a cockamamie lap dancing ordinance a couple of
weeks ago is cracking down on it. Six strippers from Olympic Garden Club
learned that this week when they got fired for dancing too close to
customers. Undercover police sent a notice of noncompliance to the club,
when officers observed contact between the dancers and customers. The
club's owner says he immediately fired all six dancers. Strippers say
they'll protest the regs, when they take effect Sept. 1.
Gene sez we spoke to Brown Wednesday afternoon to get an update about a
proposed march on the Las Vegas Commissioners' building.
Gene: They've already started hassling dancers.
Brown: Every little jurisdiction has its foibles. Ours is that the city of
Las Vegas is different than Clark County. Actually when you're in Las
Vegas, you're in Clark County. Las Vegas the city is really small. Clark
County's laws are using some hate speech in their description of dancers. I
want to start seeing these studies on secondary effects of dancing ended.
You couldn't say these things about any other group. I'd like to see you
try to say that gay men spread AIDS. Or make comments about any minority
group's lifestyle. Quite frankly dancing is a lifestyle as well. Our
organization's idea is that you have to have reasons for passing a law. The
reasons would be to promote public health- to stop drug abuse, to limit
prostitution. How dare they classify a group. How dare they do it. I think
dancers are the last whipping boy and we're mad as hell and are not going
to take it any more.
Gene: What's the game plan with the organization.
Brown: The march and rally? We're going to march to the county commission
building. We're going to exercise the second half of the first amendment-
the right to peaceful assembly to air grievances with the government. We're
going to have an old fashioned Civil Rights march. Quite frankly our civil
rights have been violated. We're going to have this march Sept. 1 when this
ordinance goes into effect.
Gene: Shit's already started at the Olympic Garden.
Brown: This is all the doing of one particular vice cop and I can't
remember his name off the top of my head. He never states his name and
works in an undercover capacity. He's all super sleuth. But this is is
whole bailiwick. Metro is a consolidated unit- they serve the city of Las
Vegas as well as Clark County. But they're two separate jurisdictions with
different judges what not, and different courts. God bless mayor Goodman
who defended the dancers and said they're a beautiful part of Las Vegas.
Nevertheless, vice cops went into city clubs and began wilding for lack of
a better term. They started to arrest any and every girl in the city.
Olympic Garden is very much in the city. They're rousting them everywhere
and arrested a lot of city girls but club owners like to keep a lower
profile. Peter of Olympic Garden is a really good guy, a beautiful human
being. He really likes his dancers. They're more than just little money
makers. Then they stopped with the arrests. They took a hiatus because
they're getting a lot of bad press and it's a beautiful thing.
Gene: Sept. 1 it heats up again.
Brown: I don't know. There's been a lot of pressure. We've been acting in
cooperation with the Las Vegas Dancers Alliance. I would compare that
alliance with the ACLU and the ADL. Yesterday the County Commissioners had
a sneaky meeting at six in the morning. I went down there and was the only
person from our industry who went to the meeting. They discussed the
ordinance. The one lady commissioner [Yvonne Atkinson Gates] wasn't there
to vote. They decided pretty much to gut the law. They've taken out the
silly, silly things like no tipping in the G-string. And they're going to
work on the language of the ordinance about how you can dance. Because the
wording is pretty much that you can rub on a customer's leg. It's in
legalese but you can rub on a customer's leg. One county commissioner
pointed out, where does your leg stop? The vice cops are saying you know
where your leg stops. Actually, no we don't. And they're probably going to
be the ones ruling on where your leg stops. I'm sitting there thinking your
penis sits on tops of your legs, so... My frustration is just say what you
mean. I've had a semester of law school and I think legalese nonsense is
one of the grievous of our nation.
Gene: That's the whole gimmick about the law. That's what you as as client
are paying for- the translation of all that mumbo jumbo. They created a
language that's foreign enough where people don't get it, so you have to
hire a lawyer to help you get it.
Brown: I completely agree and you've got vice cops writing law which is
really kind of scary. A law school is simply a trade school for people who
have really useless bachelor's degrees. You do learn something there. And
when I hear a vice cops saying, 'I wrote the law the way I want it
written!' I'm thinking and you are a fine Harvard scholar, aren't you.
They're just asinine. And the vice cops are not interested in stopping the
law being broken. They're interested in arresting girls. They made that
very clear when I had real teachers tell them you need a class to explain
to these women exactly what you mean along the lines of an alcohol
awareness class. They were not at all interested in any sort of class. They
want to arrest girls.
Gene: Are you going to use the upcoming strippers' expo as an attempt to
sign on girls.
Brown: That's serendipity that we chose the First. And yes, any one who
wants to share their solidarity with us, we would appreciate that. Let me
put this out to any woman in the industry who's ever danced here- if you
have ever been a dancer at all and you want to support your right as a
woman not to be defamed, we would so appreciate any support at our rally
afterwards. After we go to the County Commissioners we're going to have an
after party at Talk of the Town. We're going to have a serious local
demonstration at the commissioners' building. The march starts 3 pm at
Garces and Las Vegas Blvd. right across the street from Showgirl Video. A
march down the boulevard is about half a mile. We were going to make it
Gene: But that's murder on the stilettos.
Brown: That would have been like the Bataan Death March. We're putting the
call out to any twentysomething who's envious that she didn't get to march
at a real life demonstration. Here's your chance.
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