Hundreds Petition Against Sex Shop

Gretchen Gallen
UNITED KINGDOM – A proposed sex shop hit a roadblock this week after a local newspaper, the North Devon Journal, organized a petition of hundreds of angry residents.

The proposed sex shop, which had plans to locate on Paiges Lane in Barnstaple, has raised grave concerns over the effect it could have on local culture. Barnstaple is one of the oldest towns in Britain, dating back 1,000 years, the town claims.

While some locals feel the shop would have an adverse effect on children, others with strong religious affiliations were angered by the mere idea of an adult entertainment business setting up shop in their town.

A common sentiment was that the availability of sex toys and porn videos is acceptable in big cities, but not in small towns. Some locals said they had a hard enough time keeping their children out of the local pubs and that a sex shop might tip the scales.

Referred to as the BRASS campaign, the Journal collected hundreds of signatures from residents opposed to the shop and gave voice to what it describes as "floods" of letters expressing outrage over the sex store.

"It degrades women with the sort of videos they sell," said one local resident. "Ann Summers is one type of thing - but this is hardcore porn. I am not a prude at all but it shouldn't be in the town. People can get it from catalogues and I have no problem with that. I also think it promotes sex as respectable - rather than couples in love - and it's not."

Another resident voiced concern over the potential for exposing children to adult material.

"I have young grandchildren and I wouldn't want them to go there," she told the Journal. "They're bound to want to see it, kids do that sort of thing and I don't think it creates a good impression."

Local businesses adjacent to the location on Paiges Lane have also started a campaign of their own to prevent the sex shop from opening, which has gone so far as to involve the Environmental Health department of the town council.

"I have had support exclusively from people who are against the shop opening. Everyone agrees it's not the sort of thing Barnstaple wants or needs," a local businessman stated. "The plan to open a sex shop is yet another attack against marriage and family life and a further rebellion against God's clearly revealed will with regard to human sexuality and its rightful context."