“Two Women Were Told They Couldn’t Enter a Strip Club Without a Man, Sparking a Constitutional Battle in Florida,” The Washington Post
December 11, 2019
When Brittney Smith and Anita Yanes headed to the strip club, they didn’t anticipate that they would end up challenging Florida’s constitution.
In February 2018, the two friends made plans for a fun girl’s night out at Rachel’s Orlando, an adult establishment near Orlando International Airport that describes itself as a “World Class Gentlemen’s Club & Steakhouse.” Yanes had driven more than six hours from Spring Hill, Ala., after Smith, who lived in the Orlando area, “raved” about her experiences at the club, according to a lawsuit the women filed two months later. During her weekly visits to the strip club, Smith had noticed that one dancer bore a strong resemblance to Yanes, and she wanted her friend to see for herself.
But Smith had never been to the club without a male companion, and she was in for a surprise. When the two women arrived, they were informed they wouldn’t be allowed to enter without a man, the lawsuit says. A manager explained that the policy was intended to discourage prostitution and that unaccompanied women might take men’s attention off the strippers. Plus, there was the risk that women would come in looking for their husbands and “cause drama.”