Just wanted to follow-up on an issue that I’ve taken up this legislative session. The Iowa Senate voted yesterday to close the loophole that existed in Iowa’s Indecent Exposure Law. Happy to say that it was a unanimous vote. The Des Moines Register reports:
After Iowa attracted national attention for allowing youths to do strip-tease performances if they claim it was “theater,” state lawmakers voted today to change the law.
Pundits, including Bill O’Reilly of Fox News, pounced on news last month about the case of a 17-year-old girl who stripped onstage in a club in the southwestern Iowa town of Hamburg in 2007.
It’s against Iowa law for anyone under 18 to perform in a live act intended to cause sexual arousal, but the law doesn’t apply to artistic or theatrical performances.
But a judge in Fremont County ruled in 2008 the nude dance didn’t violate the public indecent exposure law because prosecutors failed to prove the club wasn’t a theater.
About two weeks ago, the Iowa Court of Appeals dismissed the state’s request for a review of the issue.
“Who could’ve thought that the bar could be considered a theater?” said Sen. Keith Kreiman, D-Bloomfield.
Today, the Iowa Senate voted to change the law.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a theater, a museum, a bar, you can’t do it anywhere if you’re a minor,” Kreiman said.
Prosecutors would no longer have to prove that the theater exemption doesn’t apply when it comes to minors dancing naked or in other ways that are lewd or intended to elicit desire, Kreiman said. Stripping by minors would be illegal in “a theater, concert hall, art center, museum or similar establishment,” the bill says.
The proposed change, which was an amendment to Senate File 2197, now goes to the Iowa House for more consideration.
Now on to the House, you can read the amendment that Representative Chris Rants filed in the Iowa House here. You can read the Senate Amendment 5170 here. Take time to thank Senator Keith Kreiman for initiating this in the Iowa Senate.
Update: Bill O’Reilly on Fox News covered the Iowa Senate’s action and said that the Iowa House is expected to take this up no later than Monday. He said any Representative who votes against this will be guaranteed national media coverage, albeit, unwanted coverage. You can be assured that I’ll smear them as well regardless of party.