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Alderman Drops Strip Club Measure, Claims Surprise At Inclusion Of Full Nudity

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The sponsor of an ordinance that would have allowed clubs in Chicago to blend topless dancing and alcohol sales has backed away from the measure, because somehow full-frontal nudity ended up in the mix.

The City Council Zoning Committee backed the proposal last week, but Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) has asked committee chair Ald. Danny Solis (25th) to hold it up rather than send it to the full City Council for a vote on Wednesday.

Mitts said she was alarmed to find the proposed ordinance had been drafted to allow strip clubs that feature full nudity to sell alcohol. She said she had only intended to allow clubs that allow topless dancing to also serve up alcohol.

Currently, those clubs must choose between serving alcohol and allowing topless dancing.

Mitts, who chairs the License Committee, has told her colleagues she does not support alcohol sales at clubs that feature full-frontal nudity. She was asked if she's embarrassed by the problem.

"Not at all am I embarrassed about it," she said, adding she feels no need to apologize.


Mitts already was catching some flak from female colleagues uncomfortable with the ordinance, even before aldermen realized it would have allowed a combination of full nudity and alcohol.

"It wouldn't have went through, because this full council had to vote on it. I want to make sure my colleagues are aware that I'm not trying to do anything underhanded to them," she said.

Ald. Michelle Harris (8th), who chairs the Rules Committee, said she does not support full nudity and alcohol sales at strip clubs, but would begrudgingly support a mix of topless dancing and booze.

"I'm a woman, I've got children, and I would not like to bare my parts, if I could say it like that. So I think that it would be a horrible thing for me to sit up and say that I'm 10,000 percent on board with other women doing it. I just think we live in a world of choice, and people have choices and options," she said.

It's not the first time a sponsor of a plan to allow topless dancing and alcohol sales at strip clubs has backed off such a proposal after claiming he or she was surprised at the language that was actually in the ordinance. In 2014, Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) killed a plan to prevent adult book stores and movie theaters from converting into strip clubs, claiming it had been changed to allow topless dancing and alcohol in the same venues.

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