Oklahoma Strip Club Bill Seeks to ‘Protect’ Rural Way

Rhett Pardon

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma — A new state bill called “The Rural Way of Life Protection Act” would restrict where gentlemen’s clubs can operate in unincorporated areas.

The piece of legislation, which wouldn’t affect grandfathered-in clubs, would restrict adult entertainment clubs within 2,000 feet of residences and places of worship.

A buffer of more than one-third of a mile in areas not subject to countywide zoning would placate Oklahoma Rep. Ben Sherrer, who said he drafted the bill after learning about a strip club that was built near an Amish community in Mayes County.

"Back last summer I asked the governor to convene a special session so we could address setbacks,” Sherrer told local media. “The governor refused the special session so I filed some legislation.”

HB 1609, which was approved 5-1 on first reading, now goes to the Oklahoma state senate where it could be voted on as soon as May.  

The bill seeks an effective date of Nov. 1.

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