Strip Clubs Say Reno Discriminates Against Female Dancers

RENO, Nev. (CN) — Shaking your assets in Reno requires a work card for women but not for men, and that’s unconstitutional, owners of three strip clubs claim in Federal Court.

Discopolus, dba the Wild Orchid and Fantasy Girls, and Diamond Dolls of Nevada, dba the Spice House, say Reno and its business relations manager unfairly target women dancers in the adult clubs.

Discopolus says in the Monday lawsuit that even when women dance only topless and do not show their buttocks, Reno requires them to obtain work cards. The city does not require men to get work cards when they do not show their buttocks dancing in male revues, Discopolus says.

The strip clubs say their female dancers perform similar work to the male dancers in revues, but “only female performers pay the fees, register and obtain work cards” in accordance with local law.

The strip clubs say city officials require them to limit their audiences to people 21 and over, while male revues can serve alcohol and admit patrons younger than 18.

The city requires female dancers at strip clubs to pay a $191.50 fee, submit fingerprints, work history and undergo an FBI criminal background check before working, but not male dancers in revues, the clubs say.

They claim Reno Business Relations Manager Michael Chaump applies local laws “only to female exotic dancers and the businesses where they perform and not to male exotic dancers and the businesses where they perform.”

The clubs call the process a violation of the First Amendment and equal protection. They ask the court to enjoin enforcement unless male dancers and revues are subject to the same regulations.

City officials could not be reached by telephone after work hours Tuesday, and Reno communications manager Matt Brown did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The strip clubs are represented by Mark Thierman, with Thierman Buck, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

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