Strip club dancer age restrictions advance in Senate

StripClub
Clay Yarborough's bill has 2 stops ahead. The House companion is waiting for its first hearing.

The Senate Criminal Justice panel advanced legislation that would bar anyone under 21 years of age from working in adult entertainment establishments, with the goal of stopping human trafficking and related exploitation.

Sen. Clay Yarborough’s measure (SB 1690) stipulates, after an amendment adopted in committee, that owners would be subject to first-degree misdemeanor charges regarding those under 21 working in the clubs.

If those under 21 dare to bare, the penalty is enhanced to a second-degree felony penalty for the proprietors.

The bill covers adult bookstores, adult theaters, special cabaret and unlicensed massage establishments, under the aegis of stopping “modern-day slavery,” the sponsor said Tuesday.

“Human trafficking includes two types of exploitation, commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. The state has a compelling interest in safeguarding the community and children from trafficking and sexual exploitation.”

The bill analysis notes there historically has been controversy about these age restrictions that exclude adults under the age of 21 from adult performance, but that “courts have found that the state has a compelling interest in protecting victims from human trafficking, and that there is often a link between human trafficking and certain adult entertainment establishments.”

This purported link applies to a seminal Jacksonville case: Wacko’s Too, Inc. v. City of Jacksonville, in which Jacksonville has used a licensing scheme to restrict those under the age of 21 from performing as a “permissible way to keep track of licensed performers, secondary to combating human trafficking.”

Yarborough described Jacksonville’s anti-human trafficking law as a model, calling it “good policy for the state as a whole.”

He also framed his bill as cleaning up previous statutory language that lacked an enforcement component, saying it “deletes the prohibition on the employment of persons under 18 years of age for employment involving nudity because it is poorly worded, does not contain a criminal penalty for its violation and is unnecessary due to the broader prohibition that we would infuse.”

Democrats claimed the bill represented governmental overreach, with “moralizing going on in the guise of protection.”

“I just think we are trying to impose our morals on other people,” remarked Sen. Tina Polsky. She was one of two “no” votes, along with Sen. Bobby Powell.

The bill has two stops ahead: Appropriations Committee on Criminal and Civil Justice and Fiscal Policy.

The House version (HB 1379), carried by Rep. Carolina Amesty, has yet to have its first committee hearing.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


6 comments

  • Earl Pitts is a Pedophile

    January 30, 2024 at 1:51 pm

    Earl Pitts wishes strippers could be 8 years old. He likes ’em young.

    • rick whitaker

      February 2, 2024 at 1:04 pm

      earl pitts is a pedo, now since his hero lost the primary (like he had a chance), he has been extra lonely. . he needs consoling. the word on the the street is that he pays good.

  • dancing naked is freedom

    January 31, 2024 at 1:32 pm

    Well, here goes our GOP passing useless laws. 18 should be for all purposes an adult for voting, smoking, drinking booze and dancing just like the good old days in Florida before they declared war on freedom and decided that they could pass needless laws interfering with personal liberty. Screw the GOP facist mentality!

    • Dont Say FLA

      February 1, 2024 at 9:34 am

      Agree. When the drinking age was 18, high school kids could get some beer from a friend or sibling and blow off some steam.

      Ever since high school kids’ access to beer was made much more difficult, they’ve bottled it all up until they lose it and go shoot their school up. That’s not an improvement.

  • Dont Say FLA

    January 31, 2024 at 4:03 pm

    When the 18, 19 and 20 year old wannabee strippers can’t strip because they’re deemed to be too young, they can go buy an AR style rifle and go on a rampage now that this same legislature is dropping the rifle buying age from 21 to 18.

    Let’s hope the ARmed, adult yet too-young-to-strip strippers go on their ARampage somewhere that it would be beneficial to Floridians. Now where could that be? Hmm.

    Seriously. If the Rhonda administration just HAS to make a law about stripper age, do the right thing and make it so nobody 30 or older can be a stripper.

  • Rhondas Panties

    January 31, 2024 at 4:04 pm

    That stripper stoled my boots!

Comments are closed.


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