Arkansas City Votes to Ban Adult Businesses

The Times-Herald of Forrest City, Arkansas reported today that the Palestine City Council has moved to ban the sale of adult material within city limits.

An ordinance introduced by Palestine city attorney Steve Routon at a council meeting Tuesday night allows the city to declare a business selling pornography a "nuisance," giving them legal reason to take them to court.

Routon drafted the ordinance at the request of Mayor Becky Dunn. He told the council last night that he was not sure the measure would hold up in court.

"I'm not sure that it is constitutional, but you must start somewhere," Routon said. "The county recently voted to strictly regulate the sale of this material, but this goes a step further."

The ordinance states: "No business shall hereafter be established or located in Palestine...which sells pornographic materials, pictures or videos." 

"It states that any business selling these materials are a nuisance," Routon said. "That is not a criminal offense because I don't believe that you can make it a crime to sell it inside the city. It may or may not stick, but it gives the city the right to go to court to enforce the ordinance."

Councilman Tony Burdett motioned to suspend the rules and adopt the ordinance on its first reading, and the council unanimously agreed.