GLAA fights Brazil amendment against nude dancing establishments
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GLAA fights Brazil amendment against nude dancing establishments

Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC
PO Box 75265
Washington, DC 20013-5265


December 5, 2000

All Councilmembers
One Judiciary Square
Washington, DC 20001
[by fax, email, and hand delivery]

Dear Councilmember:

We urge you to oppose as unnecessary and unfair an amendment to the ABC bill by Councilmember Harold Brazil regarding nude dancing establishments. Without Mr. Brazil's amendment, Bill 13-449 will reinstate licensure of such only in the Central Business District. The Bill is before the Council for its first reading today, after having been marked up by the Committee on Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

GLAA looked into this issue carefully to insure that residential neighborhoods would be unaffected.

The primary substantive opposition to nude dancing establishments arises from a claim which has by now achieved the status of a "revealed truth" not needing proof, that such establishments bring with them "adverse secondary effects" - alleged detrimental effects on the ambience of their neighborhoods. First: Because of the restriction of new licenses to the Central Business District, there will be no impact on residential neighborhoods. Second: The claim about secondary effects is not borne out by fact and is entirely mythical here in Washington. The claim is an effort to demonize such establishments. Such secondary effects just do not exist here. Third: If they should arise with respect to any particular establishment, they can be addressed on an individual basis, as provided for in the bill, without the prohibition of an entire class of licensure.

We note, finally, that such entertainment is popular with tourists and visiting businesspeople. It greatly enhances DC as a tourist destination, adding to a vibrant and diverse nightlife that compliments the daytime tourist attractions. Its abolition will result in a significant loss of business and taxes to the District. Those who do not enjoy or approve of such establishments are free to avoid them. They should not be free to impose their moral views on the rest of the District.

THEREFORE: We urge that Section 202 of Bill 13-449 be retained and be enacted unchanged by the City Council.


Bob Summersgill
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC

[Note: At the December 5 DC Council session, during the First Reading of Bill 13-449, Councilmember Harold Brazil offered an amendment that would have kept in place the city-wide moratorium on granting liquor licenses to establishments featuring nude dancing entertainment. When it was put to a vote, his was the only vote in favor of the amendment -- not one of his colleagues supported him. This was a resounding victory for GLAA, which has been lobbying for a repeal of the moratorium since it was passed in 1994. With the final passage of this bill, it will again be possible, as it was prior to 1994, to apply for nightclub licenses within the Central Business District for establishments featuring nude dancing.]

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