Porn Convention Gives Dallas a Last Chance


     DALLAS (CN) – Organizers of the Exxxotica pornography expo will not sue Dallas if it retracts its unconstitutional ban on the annual event at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, their attorney said Tuesday in a final warning to the city.
     Attorney Roger Albright sent a 2-page letter to City Attorney Warren Ernst on behalf of expo organizer Three Expo Events. The Dallas City Council voted 8-7 on Feb. 10 to ban the erotica expo as an impermissible use of a public facility under City Code.
     Mayor Mike Rawlings led the opposition , saying he did not believe the event was “good for our city’s brand,” and that it should not be held at a city-owned property. Rawlings acknowledged that the ban would probably bring a lawsuit.
     Albright gave the city a last chance to retract the ban, attaching to his letter a copy of the complaint he will file in Federal Court for violations of his client’s First Amendment rights.
     “This is not a lawsuit which I want to file nor do I think this litigation is in the best interest of the city,” the letter states . “Our collective tax dollars can be much more wisely spent than hiring yet more lawyers to defend what I consider an unnecessary lawsuit and/or presumably paying my fees as might be awarded by the court.”
     Albright says he believes there is “a sound basis” to go after individual council members for damages.
     “At this state, this dispute remains a relatively simple matter of whose convention center it is, how might the convention center be managed or marketed and/or the economic losses my client has and will suffer by being denied access,” the letter states. “If, instead, this becomes a culture ware between competing values and beliefs fomented by outside forces, then the City of Dallas, its citizens and the First Amendment all will lose.”
     Albright’s warning came one day after Justin “Chino” Salas sued the city, Rawlings and the seven members of the council who voted for the ban.
     Suing as an Exxxotica vendor and a private citizen, Salas said the council voted for the ban despite of the city attorney’s advice that the First Amendment allows Exxxotica to use the public facility. City Attorney Ernst said the city’s sexual-oriented business ordinance does not apply because Exxxotica is a temporary event, not a fixed business.
     Police Chief David Brown told the council his officers saw no crimes at last year’s expo, nor an increase in prostitution.
     “Exxxotica does not engage in obscenity or any other form of unconstitutional speech or expression,” Salas’s complaint states. “As such, the exposition does not run afoul of any City of Dallas Municipal Ordinance [n]or is an impermissible use of the convention center.”
     The 2015 Exxxotica expo was a “huge success,” and city officials invited it to return this year in May before Rawlings proposed the ban, Salas said.
     “The resolution violates also the constitutional guarantees and procedural due process right as a governmental ban drawn and enforced arbitrarily and subjectively by officials relying not on legal bedrock, but a political and moral agenda disfavored by our sense of ordered liberty and justice,” Salas’ complaint states. “The political officials that orchestrated Exxxotica’s ban are subject to political whim.”

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