Strip clubs, pornography vendors in Kansas Legislature's crosshairs

TOPEKA — The Kansas House went after SOBs on Tuesday.

No, it wasn't another political fight. In legislative speak, an "SOB" is a sexually oriented business — strip clubs and pornography retailers.

And again this year they're in the Legislature's crosshairs. A bill endorsed by House lawmakers would prohibit those businesses from being within 1,000 feet of schools, parks, libraries, day-care centers or churches. The bill also would prohibit fully nude dancing or waitressing.

Many cities and counties have similar zoning rules in place, but the legislation would impose the restrictions statewide.

Supporters cited studies showing a connection between adult businesses and crime.

"SOBs hurt your community," said Rep. Joe Patton, a Topeka Republican. "Prostitution. Homicide. Sexual trafficking. Rape. We are a better people than that. This is Kansas, for Pete's sake. Let's start acting like it."

A handful of lawmakers argued the legislation went too far and said local governments were better able to regulate adult businesses. They also noted that between 2,500 and 4,000 Kansans worked in such businesses.

A final vote today will send the measure to the Senate.

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