Federal appeals court agrees with ADF brief: Daytona Beach restrictions on SOBs constitutional
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — In a victory for families, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled Thursday that Daytona Beach ordinances restricting alcohol and nudity in sexually-oriented businesses are constitutional. Last year, ADF attorneys filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case on behalf of several pro-family organizations, arguing that such ordinances are crucial for the prevention of crime and blight in communities.
“Residents have the right to be protected from the harmful effects of sexually-oriented businesses in their neighborhood,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Mike Johnson. “The combination of full nudity and alcohol presents a host of dangers to the community, particularly children and young adults, in addition to causing urban decay.”
When the city of Daytona Beach enacted reasonable ordinances to prohibit public nudity and sexual conduct in alcohol-serving establishments, operators of a sexually-oriented business challenged the ordinances in court.
In March 2006, a federal judge declared the ordinances unconstitutional, stating that the city lacked sufficient evidence to justify the regulations as a means of preventing adverse “secondary effects” in the community. ADF attorneys argued in their friend-of-the-court brief that the district court’s decision, if upheld, could immediately jeopardize the ability of other cities to reduce the harmful secondary effects of sexually-oriented businesses.
ADF attorneys filed the friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of Citizens for Community Values, the Florida Family Association, the Florida Family Policy Council, the Georgia Family Council, the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, and the National Law Center for Children and Families.
“The court correctly found that the city provided more than enough evidence, including legislative findings and police reports, to show the negative effects of sexually-oriented businesses on the community,” Johnson said. “Those statistics echoed what land use studies and other courts have confirmed for decades. This decision will help ensure that local authorities maintain their ability to protect children and their neighborhoods from these threats.”
ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.