Using satellite maps, KHH shows that the Penthouse Club (which the city allegedly shut down for violating the law) is a mile away from the nearest church, park, or school if you travel by car. However, if you are a crow or happen to be equipped with a jet pack, then the club would fall within the 1,500 foot barrier.
I haven't kept up with the Penthouse Club and its alleged closing, but KHH tells us that it remains open. Apparently, all that was required was a minor costume adjustment:
Yes – after a protracted, years-long legal battle, the Penthouse Club was able to continue to operate simply by covering their employees’ morally offensive nipples. All that time and effort and money, to protect the citizens of Houston from the evils of the female breast. Now does this make you feel like you live in a mature, cosmopolitan, vibrant city? Or does it make you feel like you’re in some backwater town in Alabama?
Nipples. That’s what this all came down to, in the end. Female nipples.
The city of Houston spent untold tax dollars in order to force the employees of the Penthouse Club to cover their nipples. While some Houstonians may sleep better at night knowing that patrons of the Penthouse Club can no longer gawk at female nipples, I am not one of them.
My suspicion is that anyone entering the Penthouse Club is doing so precisely because they want to gawk at female nipples. And the women who are indulging them are doing so voluntarily. Nobody is being forced to expose herself, or to witness that exposure.
Some people are offended by the fact that others actually find pleasure in looking at nude women. Some people are offended by a liquor store being located within a quarter mile of a school. Some people are offended by a high rise building. Some people are offended by "attention-getting devices". Some people need to get a life.
These people believe that if they do not like something, even if it occurs behind closed doors and involves consenting adults, they have the right to march down to city hall and demand that the "offending" activity be prohibited. And city officials, ever eager to pander to noisy constituents, jump on the opportunity to demonstrate just how much they care.
Government's only proper purpose is the protection of our rights. This includes the rights of property owners to use their property as they choose. This includes the right of business to offer whatever products or services they deem appropriate. This includes the right of consumers to patronize those businesses they choose. The protection of our rights means: Government must protect the moral right of each individual to act according to his own judgment, so long as he respects the mutual rights of others.
If offending others is the standard by which laws are made, then no Houstonian is safe. I can state without reservation that someone will find something you do offensive. According to the prevailing attitude, if they can gather enough like-minded busybodies then have a right to compel you to cease your activity. They have a right to force you to act contrary to your own judgment and values. This belief offends me.
I don't visit SOBs. I do not believe that I can find any value in them, though I certainly appreciate the female form. Those who find pleasure in SOBs should be free to do so, as long as all participants do so voluntarily. Those who seek to deny this right are more disgusting than anything that might occur in an SOB. Those who seek to deny this right are the real SOBs.