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Saturday, June 22, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

‘No Touch’ Law Unconstitutional

FRANKFORT, Ky. (CN) - Louisville's "no touch" restriction on exotic dancers is too strict because it would outlaw a handshake or a pat on the back, the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled.

A long list of plaintiffs, with names like Foxy Lady Gentlemen's Club, Love Boutique, and Adult Toy Store, challenged the restriction established in 2004 by the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government.

The plaintiffs fall into the categories of live entertainment businesses that sell alcohol, and retail businesses that do not sell alcohol.

They challenged several restrictions on their businesses, including anti-nudity provisions, buffer zones between dancers and patrons, prohibition on the sales of alcohol and a ban on direct tipping.

While Justice Wilfrid Schroder found all of these restrictions to be constitutional, he overturned the Court of Appeals decision and ruled that the blanket no-touch provision was not limited enough to be constitutional.

"Clearly, Metro's 'no touch' provision would be valid if it applied to employees only while they were performing or while still in a state of nudity. However ... it would prohibit any intentional touching between an employee and patron, even if the performer is not performing or is fully clothed, and would prohibit even lawful touching of a non-sexual nature, such as a handshake," Schroder wrote.

This would violate the right of free association and is therefore unconstitutional, Schroder ruled.

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