Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

Earlier in the week the Lexington Herald-Leader reported that  Lexington strip clubs were not complying with the city’s eight year old smoking ban. I’ll go out on a limb and say that smoking inside these clubs isn’t the most serious offense. At what point did we decide that the air quality inside a strip club was more important than how women are treated on their premises?

It is my understanding that Lexington is still without an ordinance that effectively regulates strip clubs. There was one on the books several years ago, but it was struck down by a court. So welcome the wild west of female exploitation where money is exchanged for sexual favors and lap and table dancing is likely to cause public health issues of another kind.  Nobody should be surprised that a strip club would skirt the law.  After all, very few— wait, exactly none, have been on the short list as candidate for a good citizenship award.

The health department is right to be concerned about what happens inside of Lexington’s five strip clubs. City government would do better to expand that concern and strictly regulate their other questionable activities.