COLUMBUS — State Representatives Angie King (R-Celina) and Josh Williams (R-Sylvania) legislation to update Ohio’s obscenity laws and protect children and families from sexualized cabaret performances taking place in public spaces had its first hearing before the House Criminal Justice Committee Tuesday.
The proposed legislation will create the offense of unlawful adult cabaret performance and will prohibit an adult cabaret performance in any location other than an adult cabaret establishment.
“There has been an increase in sexualized performances taking place in public settings around this country, including Ohio,” said Williams. “These acts are obscene and inappropriate in the presence of children. Ohio already has established laws on cabaret performances and businesses owners’ duty to keep children out of these establishments, but there is currently no law that prohibits performers from bringing these acts to the public. I would like to change that.”
The legislation also establishes penalties for the violations that vary from a misdemeanor to a fourth-degree felony based on the circumstance in which the crime occurs.
“The catalyst for this bill came from my own community,” said King. “I am deeply committed to protecting our children. Ohio’s families should feel safe taking their children to a city park without their children being exposed to adult performances and adult novelty items.”
House Bill 245 now awaits additional hearings in the House Criminal Justice Committee.