Saturday, October 2, 1999

City & County of Honolulu

Peep shows get
6-month reprieve

By Gordon Y.K. Pang


The city, in agreeing to delay for six months a crackdown on adult video parlors, may try to shore up an ordinance that forbids doors on peep show booths.

The ordinance, which also requires that owners of adult video parlors obtain permits from the city, was to have gone into effect yesterday.

But the owners of Suzie's Adult Superstore, denied a permit because it continued to have doors, filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the constitutionality of the ordinance.

The decision made a hearing unnecessary on a request for a court order barring enforcement of the ordinance scheduled for Tuesday.

Corporation Counsel David Arakawa said the city will take six months to re-examine the bill.

Daniel Foley, Suzie's attorney, said the law is unconstitutional because it is not "content neutral," meaning it singles out adult video parlors but allows other types of movies to be shown behind closed doors.

Arakawa said the city will change the law to apply to all parlors that show movies, regardless of content.

Foley also believes the law violates the rights to privacy and free speech for his clients and their customers.

Foley said owners of Suzie's and others don't object to licensing and registration.

They'd also be willing to look at a compromise where viewers could watch videos in a partially enclosed booth.

Police pushed for the law, saying video parlors in Chinatown have turned into havens for drug use and prostitution.

Parlor owners complained taking out the doors discourages patronage.

E-mail to City Desk

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