Court rules in favor of licensing for Kenton Co. sexually-oriented businesses - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Court rules in favor of licensing for Kenton Co. sexually-oriented businesses

Posted by Trina Edwards - email

COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - A federal district court has ruled against Kenton County sexually-oriented businesses who claimed that forcing them to obtain a license was unconstitutional.

In August of 2004, the Kenton County Fiscal Court passed an ordinance that regulated the adult entertainment business in Kenton County by requiring sexually-oriented businesses to obtain a license to operate and to provide services in or for a sexually-oriented business.

Shortly after the ordinance was passed, four businesses - Plaintiff Rodney's, Viva LaFoxx, The Pad and The Venus Lounge - filed suit, claiming the ordinance violated First Amendment and other constitutional rights. Plaintiffs raised First Amendment and due process challenges to the commingling restrictions set forth in the ordinance. The contended that the commingling process is an extension of the erotic dance itself, and therefore a part of their protected free expression.

After a long battle, the Kentucky Eastern Division of Federal District Court ruled in favor of the county. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals had previously upheld co-mingling restrictions and the District Court has now upheld the $3,000 licensing fee for businesses and $155 licensing fee for entertainers.

Kenton County attorney Garry Edmondson says the fees cover background checks for the employees.

"This ruling helps pave the way for how sexually-oriented businesses can be regulated, something the courts across the country have had a problem agreeing on," said Edmondson.

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