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Secondary Effects Studies & Other Issues To Address

UPDATE: From www.SexEd.org December 2003
Finally--"No Secondary Effects"

First amendment attorneys challenging changes to the New York City zoning code have won a major victory for all Americans.
The amendments would have made it almost impossible to operate an adult business in the City. Fortunately, a judge ruled that the onerous revisions wouldn't increase the safety of New Yorkers. A trial highlight was the revelation that City Police Department figures showed virtually no crime attributable to adult businesses. The City then shifted its position (again without statistical support) to the pathetic argument that such businesses nevertheless lead to "seedy neighborhoods" which then lead to increased crime.

This "secondary effects" argument has been used for a century by American cities and states as an excuse for both segregating and eliminating adult businesses. This convenient disqualification of these businesses' commercial rights has never been based on data--because the data has never existed. But time after time, the assumption of secondary effects has been sufficient excuse for local city councils, judges, and legislatures to discriminate against adult businesses and their many patrons.

Enemies of others' freedoms should at least be honest: let them say "we don't want this in our town because it disgusts us and scares us, and we hate thinking it interests our neighbors." Then we could be sympathetic and comfort them, rather than having to go through a lot of exhausting legal work just to give people their rights to operate or patronize adult businesses.

 You may quote anything herein for personal, non-commercial use only, with this attribution:
"Reprinted from Sexual Intelligence, ©Marty Klein, Ph.D. (www.SexEd.org)."

While Swing Club Outlawing seems More Like A Religious Freedom Issue
There are other issues that need to be fought that the city uses to show a public need to outlaw swing clubs
Vote Them Out is Easier to Say than Do

--- In clubchameleon@yahoogroups.com, "Joan" <johiki2@y...> wrote:
> How is it that government on one hand is require to keep church
> (morals) separate from state(government) yet dictate to all what they
> consider unhealthy, unsafe, and immoral? Are we now living in a
> dictatorship that they who are in power & wasting tax payers money,
> and draining the manpower of the police force, dictating what all are
> to believe and accept? Under the constitution they are over stepping
> our freedom of lifestyle.

Dave says:

Of course I agree with your well written points. But that is the real issue - freedoms under the Constitution vs following the morals of a particular Christian group (which are only based on traditions that have no biblical basis).

The city had to make arguments for the law other than religion. The morality of the community is used .. yes this sounds like religion to me but that is what they always say and Courts have upheld the morality of the majority is a factor. But they used other arguments. They started off when the law was passed that it was prostitution, zoning issues (not zoned for sexually orientated business just industrial), obviously they argued public health issues which we know has no basis, and it encourages crime in the neighborhood (I guess it is suppose to attract criminal element to the area). Obviously we know how silly that is but that is the justifications used that sounds reasonable to the average citizen that has no idea about swing clubs. And it is these "secondary effects" on a community which Courts have upheld is a legitimate reason to have laws to prevent these effects.

The main reason the secondary effects studies are so bogus is they never can tie any crime increase to the Sexually oriented businesses (SOB).  The SOB's happen due to zoning requirements to be in areas that may otherwise have rising crime.  Since in most cities they have to be in undesirable areas, that often is where there is also increasing crime - having nothing whatsoever to do with the SOB.

For example in Phoenix in a presentation before the City Council it was shown by police reports that the number of police calls to swing clubs was far lower than the neighborhood bars or places like Circle K's or 7-11's.  But all the positive or information shown no negative secondary effects of swing clubs was ignored and they were simply declared a public nuisance with no facts to back up the City's determination.

The Community Defense Counsel is the anti-sex radical religious right group which worked closely with Phoenix on the swing club law and does the same for 1000 cities to help them pass anti-sex laws.  http://www.communitydefense.org/seffects.cfm has extensive secondary effect studies from decades ago to show the negative impact on communities from sexually orientated business. Much of it involves drugged out street hookers and pimps. But they use these arguments against all sexually oriented business and swing clubs.
---
This is from the Community Defense Counsel's site:
SECONDARY EFFECTS

Land use studies, police investigations, and public health evaluations conducted over the last three decades document the negative secondary effects that sexually oriented businesses bring to communities. These adverse impacts include decreased property values, the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and increases in crimes ranging from indecent exposure to assault to rape.

While the type and level of secondary effects will vary from business to business and from city to city, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a city may rely upon studies and evidence from other locations to support its own ordinance.
---
Our problem in doing a more honest relevant secondary effects study is that it is hard to prove a negative - no secondary effects or as you pointed out positive effects! The city relies on "long accepted by the Courts" the negative studies of the Community Defense Counsel.

The problem whether the facts are truthful or not, the City of Phoenix has lots of ammo to argue legitimate public interest not just a religious view in its current "gone wild" busts of all types of sex businesses not just swing clubs.

In its guide to communities, the Community Defense Council says:
Harmful secondary effects caused by Sexually Oriented Businesses (SOBs), e.g., increased crime; decreased property values and tax revenue; spread of sexually transmitted diseases; sexual harassment; urban blight; increased traffic cruising; littering-discarding of used pornography, drug-needles, condoms, waste products, etc. The Legislative record for municipal ordinances and state statutes should include the evidence available on these effects. City and county councils and state legislative committees should introduce into the record copies of the many “land-use” and “crime-impact” studies and reports prepared by and for government agencies over the past three decades. Additional local, regional, or national information and experiences can be added through hearings and testimony by police, business leaders, citizens, public officials, insurance and realty agents, academics, neighbors, et al., can supplement the record in support of the purpose of the laws and regulations to reduce and diminish the impact of the adverse secondary effects shown to flow from Sexually Oriented Businesses that commercially exploit sexual activity, nudity, and pornography. The Preamble to the ordinance or statute should state this purpose and refer to the studies, reports, and evidence. The Supreme Court has held that local governments may rely on the past experiences of other communities, and consider the studies and reports of harmful effects elsewhere around the Country, without generating their own new studies in each locality.

Also see: The Factual Record Farce
Used to Justify the Phoenix Ordinance Outlawing Swing Clubs


Vote Them Out is Easier to Say than Do
Your idea of all the upset folks voting the ..bastards out.. is very difficult. First you have to find sex friendly replacements which will be very hard. But worse is the battle faced such as the "mother of all AZ sex battles" a couple years ago. If you recall the battle was to decriminalize sodomy and cohabitation. Zillions of AZ married heterosexual couple commit sodomy crimes every night by having "against nature" anal sex. And if granny hooks up with a nice gentlemen in Sun City to share a home or apartment they were criminals for cohabitation under the AZ State Law.

Over at least 3 years there was a bitter fight in the AZ Legislature over repealing these laws. In 2001, it finally passed by a narrow margin and then the immense pressure on Governor Jane Hull to veto the repeal. Zillions of Church's set up phone banks calling citizens to write Gov Hull to veto the repeal. The Christian and Mormons (Mormons are a very strong effective block at the AZ State legislative level) realized these laws were not often enforced (except perhaps against gays) yet they should stay as a "symbol" of the cities morality. Gov Hull is a quite conservative Republican yet she did what was right and signed the repeal law even with all the Church's efforts.

Until the recent media backlash on all the busts, not only of swing clubs but private sexworkers, and at strip clubs, based on privacy and waste of taxpayer resources, I didn't think "voting them out" or a Citizens ballot initiative would have a chance against the strong morality voices of the conservative Christian/Mormon Churches and the Community Defense Counsel. But all the strong media reaction against the recent "morality raids" I do see a glimmer of hope.

But who can be found willing to run, that can have broad appeal on other issues to be on the Phoenix Counsel? Fortunately we may be stuck with what we have but can work on media and public outrage from upcoming letter campaign Club C is working on with strong national support...more info will be announced soon, the ballot initiative and of course the Court battles can all force the City to change its laws, policies and enforcement. It will be interesting to see if the new City Mayor is any more open to discussion than the totally closed prior Mayor.

Dave in Phoenix
Co-founder Liberated Christians
Founded in 1993 to help overcome traditional Christian traditions that have no biblical basis
Swing and Polyamory Resource Center

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