Sex Toy Shop Sues S.C. Town in Federal Court

Lila Gray

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Taboo, formerly Columbia's last adult retailer, has filed a federal suit against the city, which voted earlier this month not to extend its business license.

Shortly after Taboo opened in December of 2011, city officials hired an out-of-state attorney to revise the city’s zoning laws, dramatically limiting where adult businesses can operate.

Taboo was grandfathered in for two years; but after losing a recent appeal to extend its license, Taboo’s owner Jeff White is being forced to close up shop and send his four employees packing.

The lawsuit alleges that the City of Columbia “has engaged in a series of shifting, arbitrary, and dilatory tactics to prevent vesting of the business license because the City objects to the plaintiff’s use of the property to sell lawful adult material even though such material is protected by the First Amendment,” the Free-Times reported. 

"I'm closing my doors. I have to tell my employees they will be out of a job Dec. 31, and I am moving away from the city of Columbia because I am so frustrated,” White said when the city rejected his appeal earlier this month. “If they want me to fold, I will fold."

White also said that he has been unsuccesful in finding a new venue in the Columbia area to move his business.