Admiral Theater claims First Amendment violation as PPP loan request persists
In the complaint, the admiral was concerned that money from the second installment of funds allocated to the PPP program, which provides forgivable loans to businesses with 500 or fewer employees to keep their workers employed while their businesses are closed or reduced, would work at the time the SBA rules. (Read the lawsuit below.)
The SBA regulations, aimed at loans granted by banks under the agency’s regular program for small businesses, do not allow financing of companies that “present live performances of a lascivious sexual nature,” according to the company. the complaint. But, the admiral said in his costume, the women dancing in his club are not an example.
“The Applicant is firmly convinced that because her performances have been and are intended in the future to be exclusively intended for a normal and healthy interest in a normal attraction to women, none of her performances can be rightly regarded as being of a lascivious nature or to appeal to a lustful interest in sexuality, as the word “lascivious” is correctly understood as a legal term of art, ”the complaint said. “It has been established in US law that an appeal to ‘purulent’ interest means an appeal to a shameful or morbid interest rather than a normal or healthy interest in sex. On information and belief, the defendants currently disagree and regard such performances as the erotic dance which has been and will be presented by the plaintiff to appeal to lascivious interest simply because such a presentation is intended for erotic attraction. even sound, and, upon information and conviction, these defendants intend to deny or delay the processing of the applicant’s application for loan benefits under the PPP program to the point of amounting to denial in practice for that reason alone.
Admiral submitted its loan application to Chicago-based Belmont Bank & Trust on April 4, immediately after the launch of the PPP program. The admiral spent “many days trying to inspire Belmont Bank to submit its application for PPP benefits to the SBA,” which the bank did on April 15. The SBA has yet to render a decision, although the bank said an agency bureaucrat said he made a recommendation, which he did not share, according to the complaint.
Meanwhile, many adult clubs across the country have seen their requests rejected by banks while some have been approved or denied by the SBA, according to the lawsuit.
“In the event that the applicant is not able to obtain PPP loans, they may run out of staff and / or funds to reopen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the permanent ruin of their business,” the inability of the applicant to commit to a protected First Amendment. the activity and inability of the complainant’s staff, artists and clients to continue participating in or viewing a First Amendment protected activity, ”the complaint states. “In asserting its challenges to the First Amendment to the Regulations … the plaintiff is asserting not only its own rights, but also the rights of its employees and the artists performing on its premises.”
The admiral is asking the court to declare the SBA’s limits on adult clubs unconstitutional and seeks an order allowing his loan application and similar ones to be processed.
Founded in 1927 as a vaudeville house, the Admiral has seen many changes over the decades. It reopened as an adult movie theater in the 1970s and then moved on to its current business of presenting live striptease dances.