This was originally posted on CourthouseNews.com
In a lawsuit against Louisiana, three young dancers say a new regulation on the legal age of strippers will stop them from earning decent money legally, and could force women into prostitution.
The regulation took effect on Aug. 1, when the state began enforcing it statewide — except in New Orleans, where enforcement will begin on Oct. 1. Act No. 395 contains standard restrictions on nudity and dancers’ distance from customers. Jane Does I, II and III object to the requirement that “erotic dancers” must be 21 or older.
That’s an unconstitutional restraint on speech and expression and commerce, they say, and it’s discriminatory because the Legislature made it clear that “Act No. 395 was enacted to regulate and ‘protect’ women aged eighteen, nineteen, and twenty” — but not young men.
The federal lawsuit includes ample citations from floor debate, which its sponsor, state Sen. Ronnie Johns, R-Calcasieu, called “strictly an anti-human trafficking bill.”
House Rep. Robby Carter, D-Amite, said during floor debate: “We need to do something to get these people to recognize that there’s another way of living, you know. I wish there was something we could do to make [erotic dancers] go to church …read more