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In Bleeding Kansas, Porn War Continues

Anti-adult advocates not giving up the fight

In Bleeding Kansas, Porn War Continues
TOPEKA, Kans. - The Wichita Eagle reports that Kansas' porn wars may never see an end as family values advocates, elected officials and local governments continue their attacks on adult-oriented businesses.

But for every move the forces aligned against adult businesses make, First Amendment advocates, business interests and John and Jane Q. Public respond and kill most of the bills designed to put an end to the sex business in Kansas.

Neither side appears willing to concede defeat.

Phillip Cosby, executive director of the Kansas City office of the National Coalition for Protection of Children and Families, asked if tough laws enacted against adult businesses will ever pass in the state confidently told the Eagle, "It's inevitable."

Charlie O'Hara, a Wichita attorney countered and told the paper, "They [anti-adult bills] usually fail because the Constitution usually doesn't support the law. It violates the Constitution. But they always come up with different theories."

Even now, a new bill is languishing in a House committee in Topeka. The confident Cosby, who testified in its favor, doesn't expect it to get a vote this year., although he has hopes for next year.

The proposed bill is based on laws that, according to Cosby, withstand constitutional challenges and have been approved in Indiana, Ohio and New York.

Under Kansas' version of the bill, strippers may no longer be fully nude, they must remain at least 6 feet away from patrons who place their money on the stage, and some clubs would be required to build taller stages.

Explicitly stated in the proposed bill is that "employees of a sexually oriented business would be prohibited from knowingly or intentionally touching a patron or the clothing of a patron."
In addition, there would be no alcohol served in strip clubs and operating hours would be from 6 a.m. to midnight.

Violators could face Class C misdemeanor charges.

And if you think the Internet is safe from Kansas watchdog groups, you'd be wrong.

O'Hara told the Eagle, "I don't know how these fundamental people plan to stop the Internet, but I suppose that's the next step."

While Cosby concedes that the state probably can't regulate the Internet, he said that something needs to be done about the Internet and that the government has the tools to fight electronically-transmitted sexually explicit imagery. He told the Eagle, "Don't tell me that they can't address Internet situations."

But even if these proposed bills fail again, people like Cosby refuse to give up. "We'll be back next year," he vowed to the Eagle. "And I believe we'll push it even further. It needs to be a public discussion in what has happened in our culture."
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