Small town is trying to ban “adult entertainment” to quash drag performances

A drag queen reads a guide at a St. John, New Brunswick eventPhoto: Shutterstock

The Bartlesville, Oklahoma City Council voted before this 7 days to draft a new ordinance banning “adult entertainment” in public parks subsequent outcry more than a September Delight occasion that featured drag performers.

The 4-1 vote Tuesday adopted months of discussion about the function, sponsored by Oklahomans for Equality Bartlesville (OKEQ) in Unity Square Park. In October, resident Shannon King presented the council with an on the internet petition she’d arranged requesting that they choose motion to ascertain regardless of whether the Delight occasion “violated any point out rules, metropolis ordinances, or town contracts for use of public parts and if so, to take acceptable action.”

“If no laws or ordinances have been broken, and no current contracts violated, then I inquire you to analyze this problem and consider a new town ordinance to prohibit adult-oriented activity from taking place in our public parts once more,” the petition, which reportedly received over 2,000 unverified signatures, browse.

City staffers originally worked to negotiate an agreement involving King and OKEQ, but negotiations broke down immediately after King withdrew stating she did not believe that she experienced the authority to concur to any terms. OKEQ’s board later on voted to withdraw all concessions they had supplied relating to the drag performances, declaring in a statement that “It would be discriminatory to insist that only our team go our performances inside of while some others are absolutely free to use the public place as they deem essential.”

At Tuesday’s meeting, the town council voted to authorize Town Legal professional Jess Kane to get exterior counsel with knowledge in constitutional law to assist in drafting probable municipal ordinances that may be both “content neutral,” or which use to everyone somewhat than a specific individual or group, and which request to outline and regulate “obscenity” in Bartlesville, according to a release from the Town of Bartlesville.

Town Manager Mike Bailey had warned that this strategy could direct to authorized difficulties and have unintended outcomes. The city’s Parks Board and Unity Square Administration Committee had encouraged that present guidelines and rules previously prohibited inappropriate performances in town parks. As the Bartlesville Examiner-Organization stories, the council chose to disregard these warnings. The metropolis council also declined to define “adult amusement.”

The council also directed city team to draft a resolution to request that the Oklahoma Legislature critique adult amusement in public spots and present path.

OKEQ Lawyer Joshua Payton called the decision “pandering.”

“It’s noticeable they have no clue what they are executing,” he explained.