Is There A Constitutional Right To An Orgy?

The city of Duncanville, Tx which is suburb of Dallas has been involved in its own little Jerry Falwell style bible belt battle with the owners of a private “swingers club” called “The Cherry Pit“. The Cherry Pit is a private residence tucked in away in an upscale Duncanville residential neighborhood. The Cherry Pit advertises on the internet and according to published reports draws as many as 100 guests to a weekend gathering.

The Cherry Pit has been throwing adult-oriented parties where couples pay a fee for entry and can engage in pretty much any type of sexual activity they want on the premises. It is the position of the owners that this does not constitute a “business” as the entrance money is to cover the cost of food, soft drinks etc and not a fee for the privilege of engaging in sex from the tame to the “Pulp Fiction” apple in the mouth brand of entertainment…. It is rumored for an extra service charge they will even “bring out the gimp“….(just kidding)

The whole bru ha ha started back in November of 2007 when after several years of Cherry Pitt neighbors complaining about the crime, traffic and “unsavory element” “the pit” was bringing to the neighborhood, the City of Duncanville passed the following ordinance:

“the operation and maintenance of a sex club to be unlawful and a public nuisance. Violation of the new ordinance can result in a fine of up to $2,000.”

The city of Duncanville then decided that the gatherings at the Cherry Pit were more than just a gathering of “friends and family” looking for some fun and determined that it was in fact a sexually oriented business and subect to the ordinance. The response of Julie Norris, one of the owners of “The PIt” was as follows:

“I don’t know what their definition of a business is, but to my understanding a business is public – anyone can just walk into it and you must pay to get in and we are none of that,” Norris said. “I accept donations. Have you ever had your friends over for a barbecue and asked everyone to pitch in $5 or bring a dish? That is exactly what we do. The only requirement to get into my home is that you call and let me know that you are coming and you are on my reservation list.”

Ms Norris went on to state that she believed that the ordinance is a guise to attack their lifestyles and beliefs and that the ordinance regulating the club violated their First Amendment Rights to Privacy.

“It boils down to people want to put their morality into my private home and I am going to stand against that,” Norris said. “That is not what the Constitution allows.”

The owners of the Cherry Pit subsequently counter sued the city claiming the ordinance banning sex clubs violates their privacy and due process rights. They are basically using the same argument under which a right to privacy was found under Roe v. Wade. They have to use this method in making the right to privacy argument because there is in fact no right to personal privacy spelled out in the Constitution.

The Cherry Pit’s attorney, Ed Klein, said the city is trying to regulate private acts in a private home using the public nuisance law as a “pretext” to do so….

The Cherry Pitt has remained open while all the legal wrangling has taken place… Just today the City of Duncanville broadened the ordinance designed to shut the club down by making the definition of a sex club more general and add a local appeal process for sex clubs that the city orders to close.

***October 29, 2008 A jury found the owners of the Cherry Pit guilty of illegally operating a sexually oriented business.


So what you do think? Should private citizens be allowed to “swap pits” at the Pitt without the government getting its’ rocks off?

My initial gut reaction is to always have a problem when big brother enters my home and says you can’t do this or you can’t do that. My gut however has to take a back seat to the fact that this is done all the time.

You obviously can’t do cocaine or heroin in the privacy of your home. Both of these things are illegal regardless of where they are engaged in.

What about gambling? Consenting adult coming together to play poker or even chess for money? When does the government have the right to regulate such victimless consenting acts that may not be illegal in and of themselves? When is there a compelling government interest?

If your 100 closest friends are playing poker for big bucks at your place is it a friendly gathering or an illegal gambling operation? if you have take a cut of the pot, it is an illegal gambling operation subject to regulation and you as the owner of the home can go to jail. An act not necessarily illegal in itself but one that could be illegal based on the circumstances in which it occurs.

You can’t run a gambling operation in the privacy of your home and guess what? You can not charge people for the privilege of having indiscriminate, anonymous sex in your home. Just like taking a cut of the house makes your little gambling gathering illegal, taking profits at the Cherry Pit makes you the equivalent of the D.C. Madam

Let us also keep this in mind. Duncanville is NOT attempting to regulate the “Piters” showing up at the house. They are attempting to regulate the owners of the home in allowing the “Piters” to engage in sex for a fee at their home…. The government is NOT regulating where and with whom you can have sex with. They are telling the owners of the Pit that if they are charging you to do it, they are subject to government regulation. There is a huge difference…

No one is going to tell you that you cant go down to your local red light district and get a BJ from Sallie the local crack addict or Eddie the cross dressing pimp or even take Sallie of Eddie to the Cherry Pit for some fun. We of course know however that the act of handing over a dollar in exchange for the BJ makes the otherwise consenting act illegal prostitution on one end and the illegal act of soliciting a prostitute on the other end no matter where it occurs (in addition to whatever other nasty stuff goes with “the other end”). The government has decided that there is a compelling government interest to regulate and/or criminalize such acts…

Here is the problem as I see it. Whatever law passes constitutional muster can not be based on counting soft drink and pretzels receipts. If you break even its a gathering of friends. if you come out five bucks ahead your running a sex shop…. A law enforced by accountants…. An unenforceable vague statute that will not pass constitutional muster just as I predict the Duncanville statute will fail. Not because what is going on at the Pit is morally right or wrong but because you can not have a law based on counting pretzels and coke cans….

Duncanville may ultimately be able to come up with a law that passes constitutional muster and shuts the club down. I predict the current try is “the pits”…..  What would you do?

***October 29, 2008 A jury found the owner of the Cherry Pit guilty on 10 counts of running a sexually oriented business.  The Cherry Pit has since been shut down.  While counsel for the owners stated that the verdict would be appealed and the statute challenged, it is unclear if either of those was ever pursued.

Copyright Brian Cuban 2008

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55 Comments For This Post

  1. LewP Says:

    I guess my common sense answer will sound pretty mundane, but someone once said, “you have rights, as long as your rights don’t interfere with MY rights.
    I can imagine how much more traffic would be in a neighborhood if 100 people showed up at my neighbor’s house. Let’s face it, this whole deal is frivolous and it shouldn’t even be an issue. If people want to get together and connect a mile long daisey chain, that’s their business, but do it in the country or someplace where the traffic and aids patients can walk around without making it an inconvenience for the neighborhood.

  2. ClintJCL (1 comments.) Says:

    “NIMBY” – not in my back yard. The excuse of the tyranny of the majority for 100s of years.

    ClintJCLs last blog post..links for 2008-05-08

  3. Joseph Stalin Says:

    I actually live in D'ville.My feeling is that the City Gvt screwed up by attacking the Pit for being a sex club instead of dealing with the real problem presented by traffic violations,drunks pissing in the streets,etc. What they should have done was dramatically increase police presence in the neighborhood and then deal with people for committing real crimes-ie,illegal parking,public drunkeness,outstanding traffic warrants, etc.Unfortunately the zealots here decided that they needed to "make a statement" instead of "solve the problem" This seems to be a common impulse among government types.Now I'm forced to back the Pit even though I think that they're in the wrong.You can do things right or you can do things wrong,and the D'ville city gvt has decided to do the latter.Because of that I reluctantly hope the Pit wins its case.

  4. Rick (1 comments.) Says:

    What bullshit. What people do in the privacy of their own homes is their business.

    Learn more about this government BS here: http://apoke.com

  5. Bob From Boulder Says:

    3 things:

    #1) If it’s not a moneymaker (i.e. it’s just like a family get-together) then it’s not a problem. If it is an illegal/unreported business, then they’ll have problems with the IRS on their taxes. Tax fraud anyone?

    #2) This isn’t being handled right – as Stalin (ha ha) says, they simply need to enforce laws already on the books. Pass a residential parking act (no parking from X to X on city streets), or address the issues the neighbors have rather than trying to stop the party itself.

    #3) These people are JACKASSES for doing this in the first place. It’s not because of the morality issue (that makes the townspeople jackasses), it’s because they’re being a public nusience in a neighborhood. If my neighbors were throwing a party with 100s of people on a weekly basis and their guests were abusing my property I’d be pretty damn irritated too, be it a crazy sex orgy or a cotillion.

  6. Dirk Stroker Says:

    We have those kind of parties all the time, but we don’t charge. There is never anywhere near enough food and drinks to account for the amount of money they are bringing in. I am in the lifestyle, and I think this is a sex based business. If you want to have friends over, have friends over. If you don’t want to pay for the food and drinks have everyone bring a dish, and their own drinks. I know many people who do this to help them pay bills or make extra money. This in my opinion is illegal. And I’m more than certain none of them are claiming this money on their taxes. I have never went to a friends BBQ and they asked me to donate money for food and drinks. Again I am in the lifestyle, and I agree people should have the freedom to have crazy sex with other consenting adults in their own home. They just shouldn’t charge for it and claim it is donations for food and drinks.

  7. BM Says:

    Former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau said it best: “The State has no business in the bedrooms of the Nation.” Enforce noise bylaws, enforce parking bylaws, enforce campfire bylaws, enforce whatever bylaws the city sees fit — but it is not acceptable to draft NEW bylaws to target one citizen doing what would be otherwise lawful use of their own property.

  8. Craig Matthews (1 comments.) Says:

    If there are people out in front of the house pissing in the street, walking around drunk, being belligerent to others, or generally being a nuisance, arrest them for that. A private club is a private club. The government has no business telling these people that they can't do this in their private home.

    I don't understand what the hell the problem is with the people we have elected to run the cities and counties in this country, that when they see a problem, they have to go and fine and/or arrest people 2 times removed from the actual problem. Guy pissing in the streets? Let's levy a fine against the people who own the house where he had sex and got drunk a half hour ago.

    I'll tell you what, if someone is pissing in the streets or causing trouble in front of the house, I guarantee you if you throw every loser that does it in jail for a week for doing that, you'll have the safest freaking neighborhood, sex club or not.

  9. MacDude Says:

    Joseph Stalin (the commentor not dictator) was right and said it best. Instead of inventing new laws that eventually will be struck down, they should have dealt with the real complaints. Face it, no out side of the the Pit really complained about what was happening inside the Pit (how would they know?). The real complaint was the traffic, loud voices late at night and any other activities that took place out side the party. If the owners of the Pit were smart, they would stop charging (for a while) and find ways to get along with their neighbors. If the go low profile or collect the funds off site then they can’t be accused of running a sex club anymore than a church pot luck dinner can. I hope that take their case to the supreme court (the next one).

  10. Frank Says:

    I think the government should stay the hell out of peoples bedrooms and homes…..

    However,

    100 guest @ $50 each, party every weekend without fail, that's $5000 a week or $260,000 a year. That's a hell of a lot of Doritos and Condoms.

    The difference between someone having a party at their house now and then and asking for donations for beer, and someone doing this every single weekend and advertising it, makes this a business. Sorry.

    Look at it another way. If you have a garage sale a couple of times a year, in most cities, that's no problem. However if you have a garage sale every weekend without fail and set up a permanent webpage advertising your garage sale, you are running a business, without a doubt. No question. Same with them.

    I have a solution though. If this is a private party then fine. CHARGE NOTHING to get in and have your guest bring their own liquor, food, and condoms. No cash changes hands then it's not a business. I bet the Kleins would laugh at that idea. Why? Because they are running a business and making a profit. If they are really breaking even then why not?

    Sorry, nice try.

  11. Chris Taylor Jr, Jr. (1 comments.) Says:

    “They have to use this method in making the right to privacy argument because there is in fact no right to personal privacy spelled out in the Constitution”

    I guess you missed the ENTIRE 4th amendment. Just to make it easier here it is:

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    If that is not PRIVACY embedded directly into the constitution SO important that its #4 on the list then we are not speaking the same language here :-)

  12. Paul Says:

    I belive that people should be able to do any thing they want in their own homes drugs, sex, human sacrifice, it’s their home and private NO ONE has the right to tell ANYONE what to do in their home privately.

    Yes, bust the drunks, the drugged up, the nude, on the road not in the home.

  13. happy Says:

    I think it’s absurd to compare sex to heroin and cocaine. Have you ever been to a sex club? Do you know what you’re talking about? Most sex at sex clubs is not between “anonymous” or “indiscriminate” people. Also, most sex at sex clubs is safer sex. Furthermore, sex isn’t a privilege. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” So tell me how group sex in my private residence is interfering with your ability to pursue happiness?

  14. Stephen Says:

    Your point of people not being able to do cocaine in their own home would be great if you could prove that doing cocaine was wrong. Not illegal, but wrong. Because something is illegal, it is not necessarily wrong.

  15. danger (1 comments.) Says:

    We ought to ask SCJ Antonin Scalia what his opinion is!

  16. Charlie Says:

    I like the idea of The Cherry Pit. I think swing clubs or just residences where people can go to have sex is GREAT. I would love to go to the place myself and if it was good, I would be going there weekly. I think every neighborhood should have a residence like this.

  17. asdf Says:

    Methinks you know nothing of the power of zoning laws.

  18. rick Says:

    Has everybody forgotten about the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of assembly?

  19. joe Says:

    While I think the activity is fine, its clearly a private club which is an organization. Ordinances should be able to prohibit private clubs from clearly residential areas. It happens in a LOT of cities, including where I live. Do I really care about what goes on? No. But I think that the city has the right to say that 100+ people can't show up for a private event EVERY weekend and not not call it an organized event put on by a private club. The property rights of the neighbors is at issue. If that event was going on at a place that was already zoned for gatherings, then it should be no problem.

  20. phoenix Says:

    This is absurd. The problem seems to be parking violations and disorderly conduct, in which case, if you must enforce those laws, enforce them, don’t muddy the issue and try to attack the gathering. If I’m not coercing anybody, no one has a right to tell me what to do. You should be able to cocaine in your own home, or shoot up heroin, or engage in the wildest sex acts you can imagine so long as you don’t coerce anyone. People who do not understand this are savages.

  21. Lawrence Says:

    “They have to use this method in making the right to privacy argument because there is in fact no right to personal privacy spelled out in the Constitution.”

    It was the concern of the founding fathers that creating a “Bill of Rights” would cause exactly this kind of confusion, whereby others would infer that those rights so set forth are the only rights that citizens posess. This is far from the truth; it is backwards. We have a right to privacy because the constitution does not grant the government the power to invade our privacy.

  22. Kyle Says:

    LewP, I cannot believe that you equate “very sexually active” with “AIDS-infected.” That’s highly offensive to both AIDS patients AND the sexually active.

  23. TechTweaker Says:

    The city screwed up. By attacking this with a city ordinance and calling this a business they have now opened doors that they should have kept closed.They more or less condoning the activities as long as its in the business district.

    Craig Matthew hit the nail on the head. This could have been handled differently.

    Why not just hang out in the neighborhood with a camcorder and film all of the people attending the club? I bet business will fall dramatically.

  24. Brian Cuban (137 comments.) Says:

    All the comments have been great. Without regards to the morality, I don’t see how the current statute is enforceable.

    The city has the right to regulate sexually oriented businesses. There is no dispute there. However, In order to qualify the pit as a sexually oriented business, they have to prove it is run as a business. They have to follow the money. That means judicially obtaining records, receipts etc etc. One week they lose money on pretzels and its a gathering of friends? The next week they have a surplus and its a SOB?

    It just does not work and makes the statute unconstitutionally vague. Right or wrong, I predict the “The Pit” will prevail here.

  25. Jim Says:

    constitutional right against “unreasonable” search and seizure = right to privacy.

    As someone mentioned, what crime is being committed? Parking illegally? Issue parking tickets, tow cars. Tax evasion, from all that “donation” income to a group that’s not actually registered as a charity? Audit their taxes.

    But don’t go with the whole “they’re having sex in thar!” because it unnecessarily complicates the issue.

  26. Marty Says:

    Answer me this: how many of you have a name and logo for your house? Advertising something called “The Cherry Pit” using a logo and charging money sounds like a business to me, despite the fact that it’s in someone’s house. If it were more like: “come over to Julie’s house on 123 Cherry St. this weekend,” I might be more convinced. I think they’ve confused themselves, to be honest.

  27. Brian Cuban (137 comments.) Says:

    @Marty: That certainly would be one factor the City would use in arguing its a business….

  28. JFew Says:

    Couldn’t this be deemed a brothel of sorts? If money is being exchanged for access to sex (and let’s be honest, that’s what it is. No one’s paying $50 to chip n dip), why not?

    If the neighbors were smart, they’d set up cameras outside to film people going in and out. Only the real degenerates don’t care if their mom/boss/children sees them at a place like that.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t give a crap how many people you have sex with. I just don’t want your sex business next door to me and my kids. How hard is this to understand?

  29. DVS Says:

    Several people keep stating that there is no explicit right to privacy in the constitution, and I know technically that is correct, but I also think it is pretty well covered under “pursuit of happiness”. (On that matter I guess the orgies could be covered under that too. :-)

  30. Steve Says:

    You can’t do drugs or run gambling operations in your own home because those things are illegal.

    As it turns out, indescriminate sex isn’t illegal in any way. They’re all adults, they’re not hurting anyone, they’re just having fun.

    A hotel isn’t illegal because you pay for the right to use it and then have sex in it. Neither should this house.

  31. Brian Cuban (137 comments.) Says:

    @Steve: you are missing the point to a degree. The issue is not whether they are having sex in the house, the issue is whether they are paying for the privilege of doing it there. That makes it a SOB. No one is disputing that if there is no money changing hands they can have all the sex they want there..

    The gambling example is the same. No one is saying you cant have 100 people you don’t know over to gamble. What you can not do is make a profit off of it. That makes it a business and an illegal gambling operation.

    If a hotel is taking money in exchange for the express purpose of allowing people to have sex there, it ceases being a hotel and becomes an illegal brothel…

    Hope that explanation makes sense

  32. Khannea Suntzu Says:

    I dont care. I live in a free country where this wouldn’t be a topic of discussion – the netherlands. If the US wants to become the next suadi arabia, wtf do I care?

  33. Oran Says:

    Think everbody is missing one main thing here.when they started their parties no matter if they are for profit or not,it was legal.Now they come and try to change the laws because a bunch of holy roller fruit cakes don’t like it..DUH to bad

  34. Brad (4 comments.) Says:

    All of you on both sides seem to forget that for the last 60 years the government has ceased to give a shit about the rights of its citizens when they come into conflict with what the government wants to do. They always claim to be “working for the good of people” which really translates into “the good of the government”, don’t confuse the difference.

  35. Scott Says:

    Stalin is right, address the real problems; parking, disorderly conduct, lewd PUBLIC behavior, etc. HOWEVER what people do in the privacy of a home, whether you agree with it or not is not your business.

    Now for the comments to Frank and JFew. Where the hell did you come up with $50 entry fee. what I read in the article is …”a business is public – anyone can just walk into it and you must pay to get in and we are none of that”…”pitch in $5 or bring a dish”… Where did you find this price listed?

  36. Brian Cuban (137 comments.) Says:

    @Scott: I think “entry fee” is a misnomer. The actual term used by the owner of The Pit was “donation”. Since people often use the term “donation” to get around being “classified” as a business, it becomes a “form over substance” argument. It again is an instance where you have to “follow the money” to get a feel for what is really going on…. It is not an issue of the sex in the home but whether they are “charging” for the ability to engage in it in their home…. If the answer is yes, that makes it a SOB and subject to regulation.

  37. Jimbino Says:

    The Cherry Pit should just become a church. That would get the government busybodies the hell out of their affairs. It would give them a good First Amendment case for damages against the local Dallas fascists as well.

  38. Jeff Says:

    Brian, I should point out in the paragraph where you suggest that the government regulates private behavior “all the time,” you describe acts that are in any context illegal (doing cocaine, heroin). It’s fundamentally different for consenting adults to do acts that would not in themselves be illegal.

    Note that the statute doesn’t outlaw the acts themselves, just forming a business around those acts (since the purpose was to reduce the related “unsavory element,” as it were).

  39. Brian Cuban (137 comments.) Says:

    @Jeff: good point. I was actually just making the point that the government has the right to regulate things you do in the privacy of the home if there is a compelling government interest to do so. I clearly should have used more relevant examples….

  40. Tim Freeman Says:

    What is the ‘the “Pulp Fiction” apple in the mouth brand of entertainment’ mentioned in the article? I searched the script of “Pulp Fiction” for “apple” and only found cigarettes.

  41. Brian Cuban (137 comments.) Says:

    @Tim Freeman: when the Bruce Wilis and Ving Rhames characters are in the basement of the pawn shop with the big red balls stuffed in their mouths.

  42. Martin Vail Says:

    This sounds like a business to me.

    1. I don’t *name* my house the “BBQ Pit” when I have family and friends over for a pot-luck.

    2. I might ask people to RSVP for a bbq, but I don’t *condition* their attendance on an RSVP–or on a donation.

    3. Are “guests” of these parties given the option of *not* “donating” to the party? If not–it’s a business. If they can come for free, bring food/drink if they want as a nice gesture, contribute to the party fund if they want, but not being required to for entry, maybe then I’d by it as a social event. Otherwise, it sounds like a business to me.

    4. Municipalities have a pretty clear constitutional right to regulate the conduct of _business_ in their jurisdiction, with zoning laws. From the facts presented here, the “Pit” sounds like a home business, and I could care less if it’s a sex business or not, with that amount of traffic disturbing the neighborhood, I’d want it stopped, too. That’s precisely why you can’t open a burger shack on your cul-du-sac, even though you have a right to open a business. There’s a place for it. Residential neighborhoods aren’t it.

  43. Nick (1 comments.) Says:

    “100 guest @ $50 each, party every weekend without fail, that’s $5000 a week or $260,000 a year. That’s a hell of a lot of Doritos and Condoms.”-Frank

    Im pretty sure they have more than just doritos and condoms. At a party like this I assuming they have tons of good food, plenty of alcohol and much more. You also can’t forget the cost of electricity, water and bed sheets. If you think about it, the total cost adds up pretty quickly! So I doubt they make any profit from these swinger parties.

  44. Hoosier Says:

    Zoning laws are set so that private business and clubs cannot be put in residential neighborhoods. They should not have the right to do this anymore than they have a right to tear down their house and put a gas station on the lot. Laws are laws, they could just move out into the countryside or into a different property zone.

  45. Kobra (1 comments.) Says:

    As long as no unwilling or underage people are involved, fuck em; you can’t stop people from having raunchy sex.

    Kobras last blog post..Stupid Idea of the Year Award: 2008

  46. RC Says:

    even if it were a business, which i agree it probably is, there is a matter of principle at stake. sex clubs are not the same as brothels, or the same as prostitution generally. no one is being paid to perform sexual acts. they are paying not for the sex, but for the privilege of being in a place with other people who will likely WANT to have sex. so under the wrong-headed statute, it’s illegal, sure. but that law shouldn’t exist in the first place. the next step would be to say dating and hookup sites are illegal because people pay the proprietors to meet up with semi-anonymous people and engage in a vigorous boink – say goodbye, craigslist.
    but yeah, this should not be in a residentiaal neighborhood. it IS a business, after all.

  47. Jake Says:

    People on both sides of the issue seem fixated on the sex. As I understand it, the primary issue is whether or not this private club qualifies as a business (sexually-oriented or otherwise), subjecting it to government regulation. The facts that they named their home The Cherry Pit (copyrighted?) and that they advertise are certainly detrimental, however I think more information is needed and that the current attempt will fail. Where do the owners of the house get most of their income? Is the name of their home copyrighted? Do people other than the owners “work” at this site? Just how much money has passed hands?

  48. Charlie Says:

    From someone who has been to the Pit, allow me to address a few comments made here. The $50 is a suggested donation. Yes, you can get in without paying anything at all. While there may be 100 guests at a party, if they are all couples (most come as couples) it is $50 per couple, not per person. So your dollar totals can actually be cut almost in half to start.

    The parking when a party got large was a problem initially. That has been taken care of. The way the house is laid out (WELL off the street and heavily wooded) you can’t even tell much about how many cars are there. There is now also off-site parking to take care of any “spillover”.

    I have NEVER seen nor heard about any type of lewd public behavior outside the house. There are NOT people urinating in public or walking down the street drunk. The vast majority of those saying negative things about the Pit don’t know anything about what actually is the truth about the place.

    Just my $.02…

    The main problem was the traffic. Oh, and the morality some (not many) of the neighbors are trying to place on others.

  49. A. Nonymouse Says:

    I know for a fact that the Cherry Pit never gets 100 people to its parties. Most venues of this type would normally average around 30-40 people, with maybe 80 or so at set-piece events like Halloween. The 100 number is a classic piece of “OhMiGod” exaggeration.
    The “donation” concept is truly a donation. When I attended a venue recently and di not have enough cash, I offered them a smaller donation and they said Fine. If they start demanding the donation amount be paid, well, then that is probably not a donation…
    The commenters who pointed out that there are laws to govern most of the alleged infractions have hit the nail on the head. If the Cherry Pit was a Bible Study group, you can bet they would be using other laws to address the alleged issues. But because There Is Sex Involved, all of the emotional prudishness is surfacing, and the local politicians have suffered an attack of “Something Must Be Done”.
    I suspect that the city may yet find itself on the receiving end of one or more lawsuits, and may well end up on the losing end. The only pity is, that as the old lawyer saying goes, you can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the bust…

  50. MadMarty Says:

    This reminds me of a famous cause celebre in Britain about 20 years ago when police investigating a crime (I think burglary) found photographic evidence of people torturing others, so they arrested and charged several people with inflicting “grevious bodily harm” on others.

    Turned out it was a voluntary sado-masochistic sex club and the defence of the accused was that the “victims” were willing participants. Many of the “victims” indeed appeared as witnesses for the defence. It was not a business as no money changed hands.

    I can’t remember the outcome, but I do remember the classic opening sentence in one of the newspaper reports.

    “If a grown man wants to have his testicles sandpapered by an accomplice in the privacy of his own living room, is it any business of the police?”

    Discuss

  51. Dede (2 comments.) Says:

    I would not want this type of activity next door to me. I am not against people expressing their sexual desires but I would not want to have the traffic flow which certainly is a part of this whole scenario. I am not an attorney but I feel this is the same thing as running a business out of a private residence.
    If it were out in the country, it would not be an issue with me.

  52. ClintJCL (1 comments.) Says:

    You don't buy a right to an empty street free of cars when you buy your house. You only buy a right to not have cars in your own yard. Nice try, folks.

  53. CtDMoney Says:

    I think a call to the IRS estimating parties @$50 ea, twice a week, with 100 in attendance would launch an investigation into tax evasion. This is the kind of free money that creates an undue burdon on the taxpayers that work and pay taxes. Screw being outraged about the free sex, pissing on lawns, and illegal parking — I'm pissed that their not paying taxes on half a million bucks.

  54. Steff Says:

    re: cherry pit
    In my opinion a person should have the right to do whatever they want to do in the privacy of their own home unless it is harming other innocent people. Consenting adults can do what they choose to do & should be able to without the interference of government or law so long as it doesn’t harm others.

  55. @Maikeru48 (1 comments.) Says:

    Seems to me that on one hand, you have a clear issue of freedom of assembly, which is explicitly protected in the Constitution. But on the other hand, you have a case where the way that these people are going about exercising their freedom of assembly is causing a public nuisance for their neighbors. I'm all for sexual freedom, and I wouldn't be surprised if at least some of the grief the club organizers are experiencing is being motivated by the base desire of some with religious axes to grind to meddle in the private business of others. But at the same time, I can see how these folks' neighbors would be upset at having to deal with the problems that would inevitably be created by someone in their neighborhood having a private gathering with as many as 100 people in attendance, especially when it was more than an isolated one-time event. I support freedom of assembly, but no right is absolute – one person's right to swing their arms around ends where another person's nose begins (or however the saying goes).

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  1. Should the Government Regulate Sex Among Friends? | Criminal Law Blog Says:

    [...] Cuban, Esq. (the brother of Mark Cuban) wrote in his blog, The Cuban Revolution, Is There a Constitutional Right to An Orgy?, “What about gambling?  Consenting adult[s] coming together to play poker or even chess for [...]

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