Club want to change the law so that young people can work

In this Aug. 16, 2012 photo, an entertainer performs at the "Mons Venus" adult club in Tampa, Fla. The club _ located less than 6 miles from where the Republicans will gather to nominate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as their presidential candidate _ was opened 30 years ago by Joe Redner, who almost single-handedly made TampaÕs adult entertainment world famous. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Some Florida strip club owners are pushing to lower the age limit for dancers. Currently the requirement is 21 years as the legal age to carry out this type of work, something they consider unconstitutional.

An attorney representing 13 clubs and four dancers in Jacksonville argued before a federal judge that dancing is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment.

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“This is just a speaking ban,” said attorney Gary Edinger. The city law currently bans dancers under the age of 21 and was passed after an effort to reduce sex trafficking. The measure also requires dancers to have city-issued identification cards.

City attorneys said younger people are more susceptible to coercion, which is often part of trafficking, making 21 a safer age.

During the hearing, US District Judge Timothy Corrigan repeatedly asked about the trade-off between personal rights and public interests.

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“When you start telling adults what they can and cannot do, you have to bring the products. These are people who can vote, they can enter the service ”, said the judge.


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