BARTLESVILLE, Oklahoma — The city of Bartlesville pursues an adult entertainment ordinance following debate over drag shows at a recent pride event.
In a 4-1 vote on Tuesday, the council directed city attorneys to begin drafting the wording of the ordinance. After a drag show event at Unity Square Park on Sept. 10, a petition that received her 2,000 unverified signatures urging the city council to take action began circulating online.
Part of the petition calls for “determine whether this activity violates any state law, city ordinance, or city contract for the use of public areas, and take appropriate action if it does.” I was requesting. If no laws or ordinances have been violated, the petition asks Congress to investigate the matter and consider a new city ordinance banning adult activities in public areas.
Michelle Mullens lives in Bartlesville and supports drag shows and performers, but feels they have the place and the time.
“As long as you’re a mother, you definitely want something appropriate when you’re out in public that your kids are going to see,” Mullens said. “I’m not against drag shows. The people who do drag shows are very talented and I believe they have the right place.”
Following the council’s decision, we reached out to Oklahomans for equality.
“I don’t think the people pushing this complaint really thought about the breadth of what they were asking,” said Interim Executive Director Dorothy Ballard. “How exactly do you define adult entertainment? Where are the boundaries? When do you forbid people from using public spaces specially made for that kind of gathering? ”
City Attorney Jess Kane, who spoke to me, said she had 120 days to draft the text and would seek an outside attorney with First Amendment knowledge.
Rather than chasing the city, Ballard said he is there to ensure that everyone in Bartlesville is equally represented, can host events and celebrate like everyone else. I’m here.
Mullens says it’s not about performance or performers, it’s about where it’s held.
“I could understand if it was held in a community center or something and advertised as an adult-oriented event, but in public, it’s probably not the best idea,” she says.
Oklahoma’s Bartlesville Chapter for Equality sent the following statement to 2 News Oklahoma:
“The Bartlesville Chapter of Oklahoma for Equality is disappointed with the lack of leadership shown by Mayor and Councilors Roan, Dorsey, and Card. Bartlesville. The amount of damage caused by pursuing the law cannot be overstated. For those who attended the last city council meeting, it is clear that the mayors and council members who voted for discrimination do not know what they are Enforce or assess the harm their decisions will cause to the rights of citizens of Bartlesville and the finances of the city. Say it loud and clear.
Americans’ constitutional rights in designated public forums like Unity Square have been resolved. Content-based discrimination is one of the most sacred constitutional rights we enjoy as Americans. We will fight any attempt by the City to limit or prevent the expression and use of First Amendment rights.
This historic attempt to violate the rights of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution cost the city not only an enormous amount of time, but tens of thousands, if not hundreds of dollars, in losses and ultimately You will lose in court.
A partnership with the Bartlesville Chapter of OKEQ to work together to find mutually beneficial solutions that not only prevent taxpayer funds from being wasted, but also respect the constitutional rights of all citizens of Bartlesville. We expressly ask the City to initiate negotiations. ”
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