Would drag show require adult entertainment license?

Carla Slavey i cj

Mayor Alan Keck, left, and City Attorney John Adams, right, conduct business at Monday Somerset City Council meeting. Both said they would look into whether organizers would be required to hold an adult entertainment permit in order to hold a drag show.

Is a drag show considered adult entertainment? The answer to that question may determine whether the organizers of a planned show in October would be required to obtain a special permit.

A resident's inquiry of that question was raised at Monday's Somerset City Council meeting.

Somerset resident Terry Molden spoke before the council regarding the drag show, scheduled to take place at Jarfly Brewing Company on October 5.

The show is an auxiliary to the family-friendly Chill Out and Proud pride festival to be held that day at the Judicial Center Plaza.

Molden asked the council, "Do they have an adult entertainment permit to do so?"

Mayor Alan Keck responded, "Not from the city, but it's [the drag show] not being held on city property."

Molden continued to voice his concerns for the city and for his children and grandchildren.

"I feel like this nation was founded under God, and I don't feel that God approves of that."

Councilor Mike New later revisited the question, saying that he felt that other establishments have had to apply for a license, and he didn't see how Jarfly could "get around" the permit process.

The discussion ended with Keck and City Attorney John Adams saying they would look further into the issue.

The adult entertainment ordinance - Ordinance 07-23 - determines that adult entertainment establishments mean commercial participation in one of several stated sexually themed activities.

Those include an adult amusement arcade, adult book store, adult motion picture theater, adult novelty center, adult stage show theater, adult cassette rental center, cabaret, sexual entertainment center or self-designated adult entertainment center.

The key words there may be "adult stage show theater" and "cabaret." And who makes the determination of whether it is?

The ordinance spells out that this is a separate license from a general entertainment business, the license under which alcohol sales are permitted.

The ordinance says that adult entertainment licenses are "yearly," with the annual license fee being $1,000 for fiscal year July 1 to June 31, and prorated at $100 a month for applications made after July 1.

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