Jan 27, 2022 - News

Dallas to close sexually oriented businesses at 2am

A neon sign that says "Adults Only"

Photo: Alexander Farnsworth via Getty

Dozens of women, many wearing "Save Dallas Strip Clubs" shirts, gathered at Dallas City Hall on Wednesday asking council members to allow sexually oriented businesses to stay open after 2am. To no avail.

  • The council ultimately unanimously approved an ordinance that closes the businesses between 2 and 6am. The measure also requires employees to be over 21, matching a new state law.

What happened: Several women who spoke against the change identify themselves as single mothers who work overnight to be at home in the morning to see their children off to school.

  • Other community members and anti-trafficking organizations said they supported the ordinance as part of an effort to reduce violent crime.

Why it matters: The vote shows Chief Eddie Garcia has the full, unanimous support of the mayor and council.

  • Garcia pointed to data showing more aggravated assaults and other crimes occur after 2am than before.

Flashback: The public safety and quality of life council committees discussed the ordinance change late last year before the council was briefed in January.

  • Mayor Eric Johnson scheduled the ordinance change to be voted on Wednesday.

The intrigue: Some council members expressed concern over the swiftness of the vote. Council member Omar Narvaez said a task force should've studied the measure for six months, as originally discussed at the committee level.

What they're saying: "When we rush policy, we get bad policy. I think this started off with good intentions," Narvaez said. "We're going to pass this. I'm apologizing to all of you industry workers right now because I didn't do enough. I gave up."

  • Narvaez voted in favor of the ordinance change.

The other side: "This item is about public safety. Period. It's not about anything else," Johnson said.

Of note: As part of the ordinance, council members approved a motion from Narvaez to reassess the business hours of sexually oriented businesses in two years.


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