Milwaukee Gay Arts Center Settles NAKED BOYS SINGING Lawsuit

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A lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center against the city of Milwaukee has been settled, wispolitics.com reports.  The city paid $20,000 to the Arts Center, whose suit alleged that the city "violated the First Amendment by shutting down NAKED BOYS SINGING...after receiving complaints from a citizen who objected to its content," wispolitics reports.

The city told the Center that NAKED BOYS SINGING had to be shut down because the Center did not have a proper license; however, it was later decided that the Center did not need the license because it is a non-profit, wispolitics reports. 

ACLU of Wisconsin Legal Director Larry Dupuis said, "Requiring any theater to get a license before putting on a play comes dangerously close to the kind of ‘prior restraint' on speech the First Amendment was designed to prohibit. We are pleased that the City has clarified the process so that non-profits will know they are not required to get a license. However, we continue to believe that the City should amend its ordinance to limit the time the City has to issue any theater license. It's too easy for the authorities to just delay giving the permit to performances they don't like."

The Center's director, Paul Masterson, said, "Good theater sometimes challenges convention. The police should not shut down a play because some people find it offensive."

 


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