Maybe Wichita Will Be The Place

The Christian press has been trumpeting the idea that Wichita, Kansas will soon be rid of all its adult businesses, thanks to an ordinance passed two years ago prohibiting such businesses from being within 500 feet from any church, school, public park, day care center, residential area, "Old Town" Wichita or another adult business. In the real world, 500 feet probably wouldn't be such a big deal, but I can imagine that Wichita has a church or two on every corner — which would amount to a zone-out of adult businesses.

Well, as the tuna commercials say, "Sorry, Charlie"; adult businesses have a right to exist in every municipality, and if Wichita can't find a place for a few of them, then its ordinance is unconstitutional. Couple that with the fact that there is no evidence that adult businesses hurt the community, nor any scientific study that demonstrates that porn hurts anyone who looks at it, including kids, and Justice Kennedy's admonition in City of LA v. Alameda Books that, "a city may not regulate the secondary effects of speech by suppressing the speech itself," and that, "A zoning measure can be consistent with the First Amendment if it is likely to cause a significant decrease in secondary effects and a trivial decrease in the quantity of speech" — which Wichita's clearly won't — one can only hope that the battle being fought by Circle Cinema, one of the few adult businesses left in town — four just closed and two are "negotiating" with the city to stay open — and its attorney Chris O'Hara will lead to a case where all the arguments used for why adult businesses are bad for a community will finally be laid to rest.

Of course, I'm also hoping to see humans set foot on Mars within my lifetime ...


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