Womens Health

Virginia Town Spends $70K To Stop Sex Shop from Opening

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How much money and effort would you spend to make sure that a store that sells lingerie, adult dvds and lotions doesn't open up in your city?  Well, if you are the city of Manassas, at least $70,000.

Via Amanda Hess at TBD.com:

Manassas' fear of pornographic materials encroaching on its park space will cost the town an estimated $70,000 in legal fees.

"The City of Manassas does express its intent to regulate sexually-oriented businesses to the fullest extent permitted by the Constitution and laws of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia," the resolution reads. The Manassas City Council accompanied its resolution with an "action plan" detailing just how Manassas plans to box out "sexually-oriented businesses" without infringing upon their Constitutional rights.

Proposed costs include: An "outside legal 'second opinion' on the validity of existing permits" ($3,000); a legal expert who can "prepare the legislative record supporting zoning and licensing legislation" ($30-50,000); an "outside expert legal 'third opinion'" ($10,000); the construction of maps detailing Manassas areas protected from sexually-oriented businesses ($3,000); and a city attorney who can develop a "prohibition ordinance of SOB activities" ($5,000). That's a $70,000 investment to prevent local parents from being forced to explain why the DVD store sells lotions.


Should the shop somehow still get past all of the legal wrangling, critics promise to take the same tactics they apply to women's health clinics until they can get the store to shut down.

“Just as we pray at the abortion clinic on 234, my family will be praying outside this store until it closes,” said Mary Kelly, mother of 12.


“Videotape [the store’s patrons] and put it on the Web,” [Kelly] Kuhn advised the council. “Stream them on the Internet. Is that something that we’re allowed to do? Because I’d be happy to do that.”

The store is scheduled to open in mid-October.

This post was originally published at RH Reality Check, a site of news, community and commentary for reproductive health and justice