Pastors Call on City Council to Repeal SOB "Deal With the Devil"

Categories: Crime

There are lots of things not to like about so-called Sexually Oriented Businesses (SOBs) in Houston. They are seedy. They are promoting an atmosphere that is certainly not conducive to quality treatment of women. Then there's the general "ew" factor that accompanies anything of that nature. But they are legal and regulated. Up until recently, those regulations extended to the amount of clothing that could be worn by dancers and the infamous "three-foot rule" that required ladies to remain a safe distance away from their audience (I decline to use the term "gentlemen" in this instance to make a point).

At the end of last month, Mayor Annise Parker agreed to a deal that would cease decades-old lawsuits brought by SOB owners against the city for the current ordinance in exchange for financial and practical support in the city's efforts to stop human trafficking. At the time, the Mayor and police claimed it was the best way to both end the lawsuits facing the city and help deal with a fairly serious issue in Houston.

As you might imagine, this did not sit well with some people. In particular, the Houston Area Pastor Council is not pleased, calling on citizens to "Call your city council member today and demand they oppose this 'deal with the Devil'!"

The colorfully worded release details the outrage of the religious organization over activities they believe to be pervasive at SOBs, which include, among other things, "selling deviant sexual gratification." Well, sure.

Honestly, I understand their concerns, but forgive me if I chuckle when I read a press release from a group of pastors that contains what they consider "irreconcilable flaws" in the deal with SOBs including:

Modifying the existing ordinance restrictions to allow "lap dances or table dances" and that "entertainers" may "entertain while topless and wearing (only) what is commonly referred to as a G-string" without a vote of city council and in clear opposition to community standards.

I don't remember discussing G-strings in catechism class. But while they say they are fundamentally against the activities at SOBs -- not a shocker -- they also claim this is a violation of business ethics, citing as another flaw:

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