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Missouri Family E-News August 16 2010
Sex Industry Files Suit Against New State Law

Attorneys for the pornography industry have gone to court to challenge Missouri's new law regulating sexually oriented businesses. That law adopted new restrictions on the operation of nude dancing clubs, and so-called "adult video stores" and "adult video arcades." The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit is Michael Ocello, the owner of several so-called "gentlemen's clubs," who also happens to be a member of the Mehlville School Board in south St. Louis County. He is joined in the lawsuit by 12 sex shops and strip clubs in the state, and three women who claim to be exotic dancers. The suit was filed in the state circuit court in Cole County, where Jefferson City is located. The suit claims that the new statute "will impermissibly reduce the quantity and accessibility of adult expression in the state of Missouri." The plaintiffs allege that the law impermissibly restricts "the right to disseminate...sexually candid and erotic literature." This claim is patently false. The new law does not in any way regulate the items sold in sexually oriented businesses. The suit also contends that the new law impermissibly restricts "the communicative message, artistic experience, and essential nature" of exotic dancers. This is also a meritless claim. The new statute still allows exotic dancers to "perform" in states of very substantial nudity. What the law does do is prohibit contact between dancers and patrons, bans the sale of alcohol on the premises, and shuts down sexually oriented businesses at midnight. Such businesses cannot be located within 1000 feet of any church, school, day care, public park, personal residence, or any other sexually oriented businesses. Federal courts have ruled all these provisions are constitutional in order to stem negative secondary effects of such businesses on adjacent property owners and communities. The lawsuit takes particular aim at the fiscal note for the bill prepared by the staff for the Missouri Legislature. The plaintiffs argue that the fiscal note underestimates the economic impact of the new regulations. They contend that the new law will force closure of most Missouri strip clubs and put more than 1000 people out of work, both highly dubious claims. "The fact that they are leaning their legal arguments on the fiscal note is encouraging to me," says Senator Matt Bartle, one of the chief sponsors of the legislation. "I think it's a recognition on their part...that the underlying bill is itself constitutional." The pornography industry is being represented by attorney Richard Bryant of Kansas City, two Ohio law firms, and attorneys James Deutsch, Marc Ellinger, and Thomas Rynard of Jefferson City.

Akin Backs Resolution Opposing Ruling on Prop 8

Missouri Congressman Todd Akin has voiced his strong opposition to the recent order by a federal judge redefining marriage in the state of California. Akin has joined his colleagues in introducing a resolution condemning the decision of U.S District Judge Vaughn Walker striking down Proposition 8. California voters approved Proposition 8 to establish in California's Constitution the traditional definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The California Supreme Court had previously ordered marriage to be redefined to include individuals of the same gender. Walker ruled that the decision of California voters to retain traditional marriage violated the equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution. The Congressional resolution takes Judge Walker to task, stating that he failed to conduct himself in an impartial manner during the course of the proceedings and failed to decide the case as a matter of law. The resolution condemns actions by Walker during the trial and his decision to impugn the personal and religious motivations of the 7 million Californians who voted for Proposition 8. The resolution states, "In America, we respect and uphold the right of a free people to make policy choices through the democratic process. If a handful of activists are allowed to void a a constitutional amendment protecting marriage, we have eliminated the core of the American democratic system and will deny more children the mom and dad they deserve." Sadly, Akin is one of only 17 members of Congress to sign onto the resolution sponsored by Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas. Meanwhile, the American Family Association is mounting a nationwide campaign calling for the impeachment of Judge Walker. The U.S. Constitution says that federal judges hold office only "during good behavior," and if they violate that standard can be impeached. AFA believes, as we do, that Walker has made a mockery of our system of justice with his arrogant and prejudicial abuse of the rule of law. We agree with AFA that "this unconscionable expression of judicial activism and tyranny cannot go unchallenged." You can join the AFA campaign by using this link: Impeach Judge Walker
Governor Nixon Grants Special Employment Rights to Homosexuals

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has issued an executive order granting special employment rights to homosexuals in state government. Executive Order 10-24 establishes a new "Fair Practices Code" for the executive branch of Missouri government. Nixon's order adds "sexual orientation" to the list of employment protection categories included in Missouri state government's anti-discrimination policy.
State Attorney, Chris KosterCurrent Missouri law states that it is unlawful to discriminate against individuals in employment situations based on a person's "race, color, religion, national origin, sex, ancestry, age, or disability." All those categories describe immutable personal characteristics with the exception of religion, which is a constitutionally protected freedom.

State Attorney, Chris Koster The Governor has now included for the first time a person's behavior, in this case a person's sexual preference, as the basis for discrimination claims. This is the second time in the last decade that a Missouri Governor has done an end-run around the Legislature in establishing employment policy for state government workers. In 2001, Governor Bob Holden issued an executive order granting collective bargaining rights to state employees. Like Holden, Nixon's actions come without the benefit of any hearings or input from the Missouri Legislature, which is the branch of government constitutionally empowered to make laws for the state of Missouri.

State Attorney, Chris KosterThe new executive order applies to hiring, recruiting, training, benefits, promotions, transfers, layoffs, demotions, terminations, and rates of compensation in state government. As a result, homosexuals will now be able to lodge discrimination claims if they are not hired for state government positions, if they are not promoted when vacancies occur, or if they are subject to adverse employment decisions. Nixon's order also mandates that new "workforce diversity" programs with "workforce diversity action goals" will be implemented in all departments of state government. The State Workforce Diversity Council is charged with ensuring that all state employees "are educated on issues involving diversity." State employees shall be required to participate in periodic training covering " cultural and workforce diversity." Similar programs in the public and private sector have been used to indoctrinate employees in the social approval and moral acceptability of the homosexual lifestyle. Nixon's order also requires all state institutions of public education to adhere to similar "nondiscrimination" policies. The executive order also goes so far as to apply to all health care facilities licensed by the state of Missouri.

State Attorney, Chris Koster As expected, homosexual rights organizations are jubilant over Governor Nixon's actions. "We are excited because this order is a major stepping stone to achieving a statewide nondiscrimination ordinance affecting the Missouri Human Rights Statute," says A. J. Bockelman, executive director of PROMO, the leading homosexual advocacy organization in Missouri.

State Attorney, Chris Koster "Gay rights" advocates have been unsuccessful in recent legislative sessions in seeking to include the term "sexual orientation" in the state's employment discrimination and public accommodations laws. Bills which have been filed on behalf of homosexual activists would grant special employment privileges to individuals based on "sexual orientation" that would apply in both the public and private sector. The homosexual lobby has been pushing similar legislation in Washington known as ENDA, the "Employment Nondiscrimination Act." Nowhere in Nixon's executive order is the term "sexual orientation" defined.
State Attorney, Chris KosterSadly, there has been no response from the Missouri Legislature to Nixon's unilateral action. We know of no legislator who has voiced objection to the unjust policy provisions of this law. Nor are we aware of any legislator who has objected to the Governor's breach of the separation of powers in invading the legislative province of the General Assembly. Yet you can make your voice heard. You can let the Governor know of your thoughts on this issue by using this link: Contact Governor Nixon
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