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Thursday June 19, 2014 MYT 7:15:00 AM
Wednesday June 25, 2014 MYT 1:57:29 PM
by mary wisniewski
In what seems to be the latest salvo in the eternal battle of saints versus sinners, a group of Chicago nuns is suing a strip club behind their convent for disturbing the peace.
The Missionary Sisters of St Charles Borromeo complained that since the US$3mil (RM9.7mil) venue — alluringly named Club Allure — opened last September across the back fence of the convent, they have been subjected to noise, glaring neon lights, fist-fights and heaps of litter that include empty whiskey bottles and used condoms.
The suit, filed on June 13 in Cook County, also names the village of Stone Park, where the strip club is located. It cites Illinois’ state legislation that mandates a 300m buffer zone between adult entertainment venues and places of worship or schools.
“The Sisters have every right to pray and work peacefully without disruption from a strip club in their backyard,” Peter Breen, a lawyer representing the nuns, said in a statement. The convent is home to about 20 nuns, and has three chapels, a home for retired sisters, and a house for young women thinking about becoming nuns.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Robert Itzkow, who was the club’s owner and is now its attorney, said that the lawsuit had more to do with moral views than noise and lights.
“This is an ideological dispute,” he said, adding that the club had originally sued the Stone Park village board members for not allowing its construction despite protests from the nuns and other peacefully minded neighbours. Faced with the lawsuit, the board relented and allowed the the club to be built, which has now led to the nun-led backlash.
Meanwhile, Stone Park attorney Dean Krone has responded to the lawsuit by saying that although the ‘300m buffer zone’ law applies to most of the state, in suburban Cook County, which includes Stone Park, the restriction limit is more, at 1.6km.
But Krone added that he thought the Cook County limit is unconstitutional because it would prohibit any kind of strip club in small towns across the county, which would violate free speech protections. – Reuters
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Lifestyle, Features, US, Chicago, Stone Park, convent, strip club, lawsuit, Club Allure, Missionary Sisters of St Charles Borromeo
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