A group of nuns in a tiny Illinois town is suing a $3 million strip club that opened in September behind their backyard garden for being unlawfully close to a place of worship. The Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo—who say in their suit they've suffered through Club Allure's blinking neon lights "every weekday and weekend ... until dawn," boozy fights, discarded condoms and syringes, and the noise pollution that tends to accompany said debauchery—argue that the club violates a state law designed to keep adult entertainment at least 1,000 feet from a school or place of worship; their convent houses three such places of worship. The suit is being filed on the nuns' behalf by the Thomas More Society and takes aim at the strip club and the Village of Stone Park.
The village actually denied the club owners' initial strip club proposal in 2009, but was sued and capitulated to avoid exorbitant legal fees. Now, the town finds itself on the other side of the legal battle, and its attorney tells the Chicago Tribune that the state law is unconstitutional because its broadness would actually prohibit any adult entertainment site in the entire village, which would conflict with rulings that municipalities can't initiate wholesale bans on strip clubs and thus deny First Amendment freedom of expression. But senior counsel for the Thomas More Society puts it plainly in a news release: "Strip clubs don't belong next to convents and single-family homes." (Click to read about a chemistry teacher's class field trip to a strip club.)