Appeals Court Halts Strict Strip Club Ordinance

Rhett Pardon
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Nude dancing will go on in Louisville, at least for now.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals on Wednesday ordered the city, 2-1, not to enforce its tough new adult entertainment ordinance that outlaws nude dancing until a ruling is reached on whether it is constitutional.

A number of strip clubs, including P.T.'s Showclub and Déjà Vu, appealed Jefferson Circuit Judge Steve Ryan’s ruling last December that upheld one of the strictest ordinances in the country.

The ordinance prohibits nude dancing, requiring dancers to stay at least 6 feet from customers while performing and orders adult businesses to close by 1 a.m. It also disallows any of the clubs to renew current liquor licenses and forced dancers to wear G-strings and pasties.

Both the county attorney’s office and the clubs have petitioned the Kentucky high court to decide the law’s constitutionality.

The ordinance has forced many strip clubs to contemplate relocating across the Ohio River to nearby Southern Indiana, or face extinction. Louisville’s City Council began work on a draft of the ordinance in 2003 after a spate of adult bookstores opened around Jefferson County just before the Louisville and county governments merged.