Judge: Wisconsin Strip Club Owners Eligible for SBA Loans

Judge: Wisconsin Strip Club Owners Eligible for SBA Loans

MILWAUKEE — A U.S. District Judge issued her opinion that four Wisconsin strip clubs should be eligible to receive COVID-19 emergency loans through the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program.

On Friday, Judge Lynn Adelman issued a preliminary injunction in favor of the owners of four Silk Exotic Gentleman’s Clubs in Milwaukee and Middleton, according to the Wisconsin ABC affiliate.

The club owners objected to the “prurient” clause on the loan application form, which replicates mid-1990s language designed to discriminate against sexually oriented businesses.

The form compels applicants to declare that they do not “present live performances of a prurient sexual nature or derive directly or indirectly more than de minimis gross revenue through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a prurient sexual nature.”

The word “prurient” is an imprecise, obscure word that means “appealing to unhealthy sexual interests” and was used by the U.S. Supreme Court in a landmark 1973 ruling. Several members of the adult entertainment community and First Amendment lawyers have pointed out that people who do not consider their sexual expression “unhealthy” are exempt from application of the “prurient” clause.”

Judge Adelman, according to a news report by local paper the Journal Sentinel, concluded that “the plaintiffs would likely succeed in arguing that their business, while sexual in nature, is not prurient and that the regulation violates First Amendment and due process rights.”

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