- A Sept. 7 town hall on the evils of pornography (Photo: TBD Staff)
On Sept. 7, residents of Manassas, Va. called a town hall meeting to protest a planned sex shop in the city's quaint Old Town District. Attendees argued that the shop's opening would tempt perverts, corrupt children, and promote the work of the Devil. Now, the generalized fearmongering has finally coalesced into legislation.
Last night, the Manassas City Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution regulating the development of "sexually-oriented businesses" inside Manassas city limits. The legislation would prevent sex shops from proliferating near Manassas schools, churches, playgrounds, day care centers, youth activity centers, parks, or libraries—most places, in other words. But the effective banishment comes at a price.
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.
KK's Temptations, the sex shop that set off the Manassas firestorm, plans to open on Oct. 20.