Published May 18, 2007
State Rep. Robert "Bobby" Hagan, D-Youngstown, showed up Wednesday in the Ohio House with his "girls" and for a little while at least, there was some comic relief in the otherwise staid chamber that's dominated by Republicans. Indeed, when Bobby's girls were recognized as guests in the House, they received a round of applause. And why not that's the closest some of the legislators would have come to exotic dancers strippers, to you liberal Democrats.
Why Booby's (oops, Bobby's) girls? Because they were his guests for a debate on one of the most pressing issues in Ohio today: Controlling what goes on between strippers and customers in adult clubs.
Thus, after welcoming the visitors, who wore pink T-shirts emblazoned with "Dancers for Democracy" and who unfurled a banner that read, "Talk is cheap. Speech is priceless," the House passed a bill that includes a no-touching rule and bans full nudity at clubs after midnight. The 73-24 vote was along party lines. The bill is backed by a conservative Christian group, Citizens for Community Values. It's the same organization that pushed through a constitutional amendment in 2004 banning gay marriage.
Hagan, who spoke out against the legislation with passion and humor, was the man of the hour at least for the strippers. After the House session, the exotic dancers surrounded him in the hallway to thank him for defending their right to bump and grind. There was some affectionate touching, which prompted Hagan to remind the dancers that the bill passed by the House would prohibit such expressions of gratitude.
To get the full flavor of what went on in the Ohio House and to appreciate why Hagan has ordered a silk smoking jacket (move over Hugh Hefner) click on the links below.
Exotic dancers unfurl banner at the Statehouse.
(Columbus Dispatch via Associated Press.)
State Rep. Robert Hagan delivers speech.
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