SUPPORT HB 1503: Regulating sexually oriented businesses
House Bill 1503 would prevent sexually oriented businesses from being established within 1,000 feet of facilities for minors. Sexually oriented businesses are defined to include an array of adult entertainment venues or stores that sell or feature sexually explicit content. Facilities for minors include a variety of places that are primarily meant for children, such as schools, public parks and pools, and other entertainment spaces like arcades or amusement parks. The bill does not apply to businesses which are already in operation. The Attorney General, local officials, and county residents are given the ability to bring alleged violations of the bill before a court. The bill lists several damaging effects of sexually oriented businesses in order to establish that the state has a substantial government interest in this matter.
As the bill itself lays out, sexually oriented businesses have many harmful effects, both directly for those that frequent them, and secondarily for those who happen to live, work, or visit other properties located near them. Many of these effects are connected directly to the sexually explicit nature of these businesses, effects such as human trafficking, prostitution, sexual assault, and public indecency. Other issues are not directly of a sexual nature, but often go hand in hand with these businesses nonetheless. These include property crime, the spread of disease, and drug use. It is well within the government’s duty to keep these unwholesome establishments away from children in any way possible.
This bill takes the common sense step to forbid sexually explicit businesses from opening up by any schools, parks, or other places for minors. It does not go after the rights of adults to access these spaces and their contents if they so choose. It simply seeks to protect children from reaping the consequences of being near such businesses. Governments are no stranger to imposing zoning restrictions or putting in place other such restrictions on how and where businesses can operate, and keeping strip clubs or adult stores from opening up next to schools and parks seems to be one of the most sensible restrictions one could suggest.
Children are very impressionable and look to adults for protection. They should be able to go about their day free from the threats of businesses that profit from sex. HB 1503 is an important step in safeguarding children from such businesses and the many immoral and illegal activities that surround them. While adults may have the right to frequent these harmful locations, there is no good reason that any sexually oriented venue needs to be located so close to schools, parks, or other places meant for minors. HB 1503 will help keep sex, crime, and various other forms of degeneracy out of sight and out of mind for Hoosier children.
IFI supports HB 1503.