In the Spotlight

News & Features

The sex industry is making waves in small town Minnesota. Strip clubs are moving out of the shadows and onto Main Street. More than a dozen rural Minnesota cities and counties wrestled with adult business regulation in the past year - after some of them were caught off guard by the arrival of new strip clubs. Adult businesses are protected by the Constitution, so communities are looking for creative ways to regulate them.


The First Amendment Project

The Freedom Forum's First Amendment Center

Community Defense Counsel

National Law Center for Children and Families

PBS Frontline report: American Porn

Lusty Labor, Jan. 6, 1998 Mother Jones article about the first exotic dancers' union.

How do you feel about strip clubs moving into small towns? What's their impact on the community? Is it important for local communities to regulate them? Share your opinion

Online Editor: Melanie Sommer Broadcast Editor: Kate Smith
Art production: Sara Leier
Production Supervisor: Michael Wells

The sex industry grows
By Dan Gunderson
Sex is everywhere in American culture. Adult-oriented businesses and strip clubs are moving into small towns in Minnesota - making profits in new locations, from new customers.
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Small towns react
By Jeff Horwich
Something that happened in the little town of Cosmos, Minn., this winter frightened people in other small towns for miles around. Residents woke up one morning in November to find a strip club on one corner of their main intersection. Nobody saw it coming, and Cosmos had no laws on the books to regulate an adult business.
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The legal battle continues
By Erin Galbally
The argument is no longer whether sex-oriented businesses can exist. Now the question is how to regulate them legally, as strip clubs and adult bookstores move to small cities and towns.
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Nicollet: a moral battleground
By Mark Steil
People in some small towns say they'll have more success keeping sex-oriented businesses out, if they approach the moral, rather than legal issue.
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Exotic dance - is it art?
One expert's opinion
Some court cases have revolved around the question of whether exotic dancing is an art form - the same as other types of dance - and therefore worthy of a high level of protection from the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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