Houston’s city council has passed an ordinance to require strip clubs to pay a $5-per-visitor fee to help fund the processing of backlogged rape kits.
The city lacks funds to promptly analyze evidence in sexual assault cases gathered by investigators. Houston has a backlog of approximately 6,000 rape kits that have yet to be analyzed, The Wall Street Journal
The strip club fee — which has been labeled a "pole tax" — could generate up to $3 million in annual revenue. It was backed by the city’s mayor, Annise Parker and approved by the council in a 14-1 vote, the Journal reported.
Supporters of the ordinance say strip clubs foster unhealthy attitudes toward women.
"There are negative secondary effects associated with adult-entertainment establishments," Ellen Cohen, the council member who championed the ordinance, said. Critics of the ordinance called the fee unfair and said there is no established link between rape and strip clubs.
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