TOP LINEMichigan and Wisconsin strip clubs – which have denied coronavirus relief loans due to the nature of their business – are suing the US Small Business Administration and Steve Mnuchin, alleging the stimulus law violates their rights constitutional rights to freedom of expression.

HIGHLIGHTS

Silk Exotic Gentlemen’s Club of Milwaukee and Middleton, Wisconsin, and Little Darlings of Flint, Mich., Are separately suing the US Small Business Administration and Steve Mnuchin after being denied coronavirus relief loans due to the nature of their activities.

The lawsuit, filed by Little Darlings, claims that the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for Small Businesses Affected by Coronavirus “inappropriately and unconstitutionally limits benefits to businesses and workers unquestionably engaged in it. ‘protected expression of the First Amendment’, in their ineligibility, according to MLive.

The PPP is distributed in the form of forgivable loans for small businesses, excluding those which profit “from the sale of any product or service, or from the presentation of any performance or exhibition, of a lascivious sexual nature”, including ” live shows of a lascivious sexual nature ”, saying that these affairs are not in the“ public interest ”.

Silk Exotic’s lawsuit against the SBA complaints “The entertainment provided by Silk is not obscene (and not lewd), appeals to healthy human interests and desires, and fully complies with the many licenses and permits held by complainants and has been reviewed by city officials and renewed annually. . ”(The SBA declined to comment on either of the lawsuits.)

Without strip club income, adult performers are looking to telecommute, with adult live streaming sites like CamSoda and ManyVids reporting respective increases of 37% and 69% in new model registrations in March, according to the New York Times, although it is not clear if these models are capable of generating income equivalent to that of a strip club.

On Wednesday afternoon, Silk Exotic obtained a temporary injunction from the SBA, temporarily excluding the company from the “lascivious sexual nature” exception to the PPP.

CRITICAL QUOTE

“My clients are in exactly the same economic boat as everyone else. It’s content discrimination. . . clearly unconstitutional regulation, ”said Brad Schafer, attorney for Little Darlings, Forbes.

KEY CONTEXT

The SBA PPP program open to “all companies”With less than 500 employees as of April 3, 2020, to provide 1% fixed rate loans to cover salary costs, most mortgage interest, rent and utilities. The program is open to applicants until June 30, 2020, with loans due in two years under the federal government’s $ 2,000 billion financial assistance program.

TANGENT

Appetite for certain adult entertainment increased with social distancing and stay-at-home orders – porn giant Pornhub reports that traffic increased by 11.6% with the coronavirus, and when the site offered free premium access to all of Italy, its traffic across the country increased by 57% month over month. And while many businesses have collapsed, sex toy businesses have skyrocketed, with companies like Doc Johnson seeing 100% year-over-year growth driven by March sales, according to the Los Angeles Times.

FURTHER READING

Strip clubs and lobbyists sue for stimulus dollars (CNN)

Flint Strip Club lawsuit claims coronavirus loans discriminate against businesses of ‘sexual nature’ (MLive)

Due to coronavirus, sales of sex toys are on the rise, stigma is on the decline (Los Angeles Times)

Sex work comes home (New York Times

NYT
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Paycheque Protection Program Fact Sheet: Borrowers (Trésor.Gov)

Comprehensive coverage and live updates on the coronavirus


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