Iowa doesn't have any all-nude strip clubs - but it does have performing arts centers where women dance naked.
However, the loophole in the state's public indecent exposure law that allows nude dancing at "art centers" is under attack in the small community of Hamburg, a town of 1,200 just across the Missouri River from Nebraska.
This is why I propose changing all strip club venues to "Art Centers". Des Moines All Girl All Nude Art Center. "If you like your sugar plum fairies grinding all up on your nuts, we promise not to crack them!"
The case pending before a Fremont County judge effects only one business in Hamburg, but if he agrees with the prosecutor, it could eventually threaten the legal standing of nude dancing clubs across the state.
District Judge Timothy O'Grady heard arguments in a one-day trial on July 17 and took the case under advisement.
My only hope is that the judge takes his time to weigh the gravity and severity of this case. I don't care how much tax payer money needs to be spent, and I don't care if it takes months! This issue needs closure before I can rest easy... or go to Des Moines with hundreds of dollars in singles.
It all began on July 21, 2007, when a 17-year-old niece of Sheriff Steven MacDonald climbed up on stage at Shotgun Geniez in Hamburg and stripped off her clothing. Owner Clarence Judy was charged with violating Iowa's public indecent exposure law.
Shouldn't the issue start with how she got into the Shotgun Geniez in the first place? And also couldn't they explain what the hell Shotgun Geniez is supposed to mean?
Judy responded that the law doesn't apply to a "theater, concert hall, art center, museum, or similar establishments" devoted to the arts or theatrical performances. "Dance has been considered one of the arts, as is sculpture, painting and anything else like that. What Clarence has is a club where people can come and perform," said his lawyer, Michael Murphy. Murphy noted that the club has a gallery selling collectible posters and other art, and it provides patrons with sketch pads.
These are all excellent points Judy. If Ambrosia wants to perform her art, and her art includes dancing with a pole taking off her underpants in addition to her bra, who the hell is Fremont County to tell her that having singles shoved into her soon-to-be-removed G-String is any less an art than a Miro painting? Also what kind of strip club provides patrons with sketch pads?
Nonsense, said Fremont County Attorney Margaret Johnson, an underage girl danced naked at the club, and that's illegal.
Umm... touche', Margaret... You may very well have a point there. But should age really be a factor, when it comes to art? It seems kind of rude to think that if you are 17 years and 364 days old you are unable to perform your art because of one silly little square on a calendar, no? I mean sure maybe you have to be 18 or older to enter Shotgun Geniez All Girl Revue... But shouldn't people of all ages be able to go to Shotgun Geniez Theatre for Performing Arts? And furthermore shouldn't people of all ages be able to express themselves at said theatre?
"Are you saying that minors can't be protected? Can a group of 12-year-olds come down and go in and dance nude and it's OK? I don't think that's what the Legislature had in mind when it made those additional provisions," Johnson said.
Well I don't think anyone is paying you to interpret those additional provisions, ya bitch.
Johnson said the intent of the law is to allow movies in a theater where there's brief nudity or for an art gallery displaying paintings of nudes.
In a movie = ok. In person = Illegal!!!! Still photo = ok. Moving Person = Illegal!!!
Murphy said Judy bans anyone under 18 from entering the five-year-old business. The problem, he said, was "a group of girls snuck in a 17-year-old."
That's a fair point too. I mean, it's a private business. If you want to lose customers due to factors like age, so be it. Just saying not a great way to make money and shit.
"While she was there, she felt like dancing so she got up and danced on the stage and then she took her clothes off. Trouble with that is she's the sheriff's niece," he said.
Yup, trouble was that she was the sheriff's niece. Not all that other stuff like the underage and indecent what have you's.
As part of his defense during trial, Murphy cited a 1998 ruling that found nude dancing is a form of art. In that case, the owner of the Southern Comfort Free Threatre for the Performing Arts in Davenport was charged under the public indecent exposure law for allowing nude dancing. A judge found owner not guilty.
The current case deals only with Judy and Shotgun Geniez, but there could be an appeal if either side loses.
Johnson said that would take it to the Iowa Court of Appeals and perhaps the Iowa Supreme Court. That would make it a statewide case that could affect dozens of other clubs in the state.
See? Change the name and everyone wins! Especially the creepy perverts in Des Moines!
UPDATE - S-U-C-C-E-S-S, that is how you spell success!
A judge Friday ruled in favor of a nude dancing club owner charged with violating Iowa's indecent exposure law.
Fremont County Judge Timothy O'Grady said prosecutors failed to prove the club wasn't a theater. Iowa law allows nudity at theaters, museums and other venues devoted to the arts or theatrical performances.
Judge Timothy O'Grady, or as I like to call him, Jesus, is 100% right and 150% awesome. Don't you dare tell Candi that her dance to Cherry Pie isn't art. She'll stab you with a stilletto, and you don't want to know where that stilletto's been.
The county's attorney, Margaret Johnson, charged club owner Clarence Judy after a 17-year-old girl climbed on stage at Shotgun Geniez in the tiny town of Hamburg and stripped off her clothing.
That's Shotgun Geniez Theatre for the Performing Arts, Hitler.
"I think it's a little scary," said Johnson, who emphasized that the girl was still a minor.
The club was sold Monday to Terry Rutledge. He expressed confidence that nude dancing would remain legal, referring to a 1998 case in Davenport that found it an art.
Yea, well, I think you're a whore. But no one's paying either one of us to think, so here we are. Except obviously in your case where I guess it's pretty clear there needs to be some thinking on your part to do your job. Other than that we're whore twinsies! Hmmm... it seems I no longer have any idea what I'm talking about. Better press on.
"In all actuality, you don't have to be a theater hall, concert hall or anything. You can be a strip club that has nude dance," Rutledge said.
So sleep soundly everybody. The good guys won.