San Diego Superior Court Judge Joel R. Wohlfeil ordered the county to open strip clubs due to the First Amendment.

Shouldn’t that argument apply to places of worship as well?

Note: This decision is not final. The full hearing will happen at the end of the month, but it allows the strip clubs to temporarily open.

From The San Diego Union-Tribune:

Judge Joel R. Wohlfeil granted a request for a temporary injunction that stops “any government entity or law enforcement officer from enforcing the provisions of the cease-and-desist orders” filed against two establishments — Pacers Showgirls International and Cheetahs Gentlemen’s Club — provided both locations follow extensive measures designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on their premises.

A lawsuit that the clubs filed against the county in October alleges that the county’s public health orders, which prohibit live entertainment but that don’t specifically mention adult entertainment, violate the businesses’ constitutional rights of due process and equal protection under the law, arguing that other establishments, from restaurants to comedy clubs, have been allowed to host “considerable live entertainment.”

These clubs received a cease-and-desist letter from the county in mid-October.

A San Diego County spokesperson said at the time that these clubs “could operate like restaurants – with employees dressed however they want — as long as there was no dancing, DJing, singing or other forms of live entertainment.”

The clubs opened five weeks before they got the letter with the owners forming “a safe operation proposal that included 15-foot buffers between patrons and on-stage dancers, among other precautions.”

Religious-liberty advocates hope this case will push judges to rule in their favor:

Religious-liberty advocates said that the case could pave the way for lifting coronavirus restrictions against churches. Paul Jonna, special counsel for the Thomas More Society, which is representing churches challenging the restrictions, expressed confidence that this decision bodes well for the churches. If strip clubs are entitled to constitutional protections, then churches are as well, he told the Free Beacon.

“If you’re going to accept that argument that dancing nude is protected speech that’s so significant that it overcomes the government’s interest in regulating its citizens with COVID-19 orders, then obviously the divine worship of God, which is expressly mentioned in the First Amendment, should be held to a higher standard,” Jonna said.

I agree. Strip clubs and places of worship should be open to the public.


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