Legislature raises minimum age for strippers to 21
An exotic dancer's shoe is shown on the stage at Scores Gentlemen's Club Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Workers in Tampa's renowned strip club industry are worried but hopeful that despite the pandemic's damper on business they'll have a lucrative time during the typically rip-roaring Super Bowl week. Image via AP.

tampa strip
Will this law curb human trafficking? That's the hope of legislators.

The House has agreed to Senate changes to a piece of human trafficking legislation that bans 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds from working in adult entertainment, rescuing a bill that seemed doomed just weeks ago.

SB 796, which includes language from legislation from Republican Sen. Clay Yarborough and Republican Rep. Carolina Amesty to lift the age limit for performers and other employees of adult establishments from 18 to 21, was the basis for an amendment to the substituted House companion bill HB 7063.

The Senate passed that bill with just three “no” votes, and the House followed suit Friday with a 104-3 vote of its own.

In support of the amendment, Republican Rep. David Borrero said strip clubs were hotbeds of human trafficking and exploitation, with minors and undocumented immigrants serving as prey for owners of strip clubs, massage establishments and brothels.

“Strip clubs are safe havens for sex trafficking,” Borrero said, wondering why people would want “teenagers” to be “targeted” in those dens of iniquity.

Democratic Rep. Michele Rayner spoke against the new language, meanwhile, framing it as a misguided attempt to “legislate values” and “control” women.

“We’re caught up in something that should not be our business,” Rayner said, adding that some of the legislators who would vote for this bill “like strip clubs.”

She did not offer examples to support that claim.

The bills dealing with adult entertainment age limits had made progress in committees. But the measure seemed doomed before they became riders to the larger anti-human trafficking bill.

That larger bill would extend the future repeal date of the direct-support organization for the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking, revise the human trafficking hotline telephone number and change rules on vendors licensed under the Beverage Law.

The House stand-alone bill dealing with stripper age restrictions did not get it on the Commerce agenda, and the Senate product was temporarily postponed in the Fiscal Policy Committee before the amendment to the larger bill gave it new life.

Under this legislation, owners would be subject to first-degree misdemeanor charges regarding those under 21 working in the clubs and other adult establishments. If those under 21 dare to bare, the penalty would be enhanced to a second-degree felony penalty for the proprietors.

Outside of the Legislature, questions abounded about what the bill would actually do. A February Criminal Justice Estimating Impact Conference meeting found that they couldn’t guarantee the bill would subject any scofflaws to incarceration, tacitly raising questions about whether this high-profile slam of college girls stripping would accomplish anything other than punitive symbolism.

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


14 comments

  • control freaks

    March 8, 2024 at 11:57 am

    But wait they wanted to drop the buy of guns to 18… You can buy a club but they are worried who is working in strip clubs… They can force 18 year olds raped to have babies. They can force women to have babies period. They want to take away birth control. These people are total hypocrites when it comes to control of others.

    • Gr00mer Republican Christians Ziegler

      March 8, 2024 at 12:01 pm

      Simply put, Christianity is in charge of your VAGINAS.

      • Dont Say FLA

        March 9, 2024 at 10:03 am

        Uhh. That second vagina on most folks is actually a butt hole.

  • Someone you know

    March 8, 2024 at 12:05 pm

    This will actually increase violence and trafficking. Girls who are 18-20 will see people privately and resort to pimps again. It will create an entire market for “underground”, unregulated clubs. Women will be lured to homes with the promise of money and kidnapped. Clubs actually give women a safe place to make money in that way—since there is security, house moms, managers, etc. Experts and survivors are aware of this which is why folks fought so hard to keep this restriction from being added to the bill. It’s puritanical religious types who don’t care about data, only appearances…

  • ScienceBLVR

    March 8, 2024 at 1:02 pm

    Whew, another major crisis solved by our “got their fingers on the pulse of what’s really important to Floridians” legislators. So sad for Matt Gaetz and the rest of those good ole boys who will only have grown up women to ogle now instead of teens!

  • Dont Say FLA

    March 8, 2024 at 4:45 pm

    OnlyFans Corp appreciates their legislators for doing as they were told

  • Christians Are Cancer on Earth

    March 8, 2024 at 7:52 pm

    A Florida man who fatally shot a gay man in a dog park—allegedly after months of homophobic harassment—has been charged with murder as a hate crime. Gerald Radford claimed that he killed John Lay, 52, in self-defense, and authorities initially did not charge him with a crime. “I was attacked. I defended myself. End of story,” Radford texted a Tampa Bay Times reporter days after the shooting. Florida’s Stand Your Ground law made it difficult to prosecute Radford with no witnesses to say who attacked whom. But friends of Lay came forward with accounts of how he had been tormented with slurs and threats by Radford for months. “You’re going to die,” Radford allegedly screamed at him the day before the shooting. “Following a thorough investigation, the evidence shows Radford was the aggressor and was motivated by the fact that the victim was a gay man,” Hillsborough County State Attorney Suzy Lopez said on Friday, according to the Times.

    • Christians Are Cancer on Earth

      March 8, 2024 at 7:53 pm

      Meh, let’s fu€k with TikTok instead of run-amok Christian killers…

      /s

      Bunch a cun+s you are

  • Dont Say FLA

    March 9, 2024 at 10:02 am

    I have seen other comments with FnlyOans in them, but my suggestion that this piece of legislation was enacted as a result of lobbying by FnlyOans gets moderated every single time. FOOF.

  • Linwood Wright

    March 9, 2024 at 10:54 pm

    If you’re old enough to fight for this country in the military, you’re old enough to twirl around a pole.

  • Josh Green

    March 9, 2024 at 10:57 pm

    Christians Are Cancer on Earth.
    They absolutely are.

    I’m raising my kids as very happy atheists.

  • TJC

    March 10, 2024 at 1:09 pm

    Republican Rep. David Borrero said strip clubs were hotbeds of human trafficking and exploitation…

    Are there arrest records and successful prosecutions to back up this claim? Or is Borrero just taking a guess?
    If the State already knows that strip clubs are “hotbeds of human trafficking,” why haven’t undercover cops gone in and busted these owners? And how will raising the age for strippers to 21 stop 21 year olds from being trafficked and exploited if no law enforcement is taking place?
    Smells like a bogus claim followed by an illogical knee-jerk response.

  • Dont Say FLA

    March 13, 2024 at 4:18 pm

    OMG, Chatter Beight already added “Florida” to its list of regions that used to be continents. That sure didn’t take long!

    • Dont Say FLA

      March 13, 2024 at 4:18 pm

      (…a friend told me)

Comments are closed.


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