Council Passes Ban On 'Live Sex Act' Businesses

By Maggie Vespa

April 12, 2011 Updated Apr 12, 2011 at 10:29 PM CDT

One local business may soon be forced to close its doors, thanks to a new city ordinance banning establishments that promote "live sex acts."

Tuesday night Peoria city council members passed the ordinance 9-1, after a lengthy debate between a council member and Peoria's City attorney.

"A private space could be a private membership club. So what defines private and public?"

That was the main sticking point at Tuesday night's Peoria city council meeting, as council members considered whether to pass an ordinance banning businesses that promote "live sex acts."

Namely, Club 307, located across the street from O'Brien field in downtown Peoria.

Known largely as a swinger's club, 307 is presented by owner Dan Laud, as a private club, not a business, which allows consenting adults to swap sexual partners.

City attorney Randal Ray says that's not entirely accurate.

"A sex act business is where you pay your money and you go in," said Ray.

Ray says since 307 charges an entrance fee and does not discriminate among patrons, it is legally defined as a business.

"As opposed to a private a room, where if somebody else is renting a room, there's no amount of money you can pay to go into that hotel room," said Ray.

The city based the ordinance banning "live sex act" businesses off of one enacted in Phoneix, Arizona more than a decade ago.

Despite numerous appeals in federal court, it stands today.

But at Large Councilman Gary Sandberg argues the item goes too far, regulating behavior, not business.

"This is overreaching consenting adults, and if you think you're going to eventually win that, good luck," said Sandberg.

Nevertheless, council passed the ordinance 9-1, largely citing moral and public health reasons.

What effect the vote will have on Club 307 and other establishments like it, remains to be seen.

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