Strip Clubs Sue New York State Over Covid Shutdowns

A group of strip clubs in New York City joined together and filed a lawsuit claiming that the state’s coronavirus lockdown measures are unconstitutional. The strip clubs, which include “Starlet’s,” “Sugar Daddy’s,” and “Gallagher’s 2000,” claim it is unconstitutional for officials to keep strip clubs closed while allowing other businesses, such as bars, casinos, and music venues, to reopen.

The lawsuit pointed out that nightclubs, theaters, and comedy clubs will be allowed to reopen in April, while strip clubs, which have been closed since July, have not been given any guidance as to when they can open their doors again.

The strip clubs said they have been ready to open for months and cited a list of measures they will put in place to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. Those measures include a mandatory mask policy, temperature checks for staff and patrons, enforcing social distancing rules, and enhanced cleaning protocols to ensure the club is thoroughly disinfected.

State officials defended their decision to keep strip clubs closed down while allowing other businesses to open back up.

“While we are working to reopen as many facets of the economy as quickly and safely as possible, science, data, and common sense dictate that exotic dancing is not allowable at this time,” Jack Sterne, a spokesman for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

The lawsuit claims that thousands of employees have been forced out of work due to the continued shutdowns and seeks unspecified damages.