A few months ago we wrote on a Bill before the Kansas Legislature dealing with adult entertainment. At that time we related that the Bill had passed the Kansas House of Representatives and was now in front of the Kansas State Senate. We explained that Daniel Aaronson, Jeff Levy and Dr. Judith Hanna were called to testify on behalf of the “Equal Entertainment, Group, Inc.” in opposition to the legislation. Since that article, and the legislation getting out of the House Committee and being approved by the House of Representatives as a whole, a lot of finger pointing and blame has been passed around. Jeff Levy has come under fire for his testimony. Supposedly, it inflamed some of the religious right on the committee and therefore his testimony caused the legislation to get out of committee and ultimately be passed on the House floor. Jeff Levy a practicing Catholic pointed out, after testimony by representatives of the Christian Coalition slandering adult entertainment establishments, that priests and clergy are at the forefront of child abuse. He stated his credentials as having worked as a high school teacher for the Archdioceses of New York for a number of years, and that adult entertainment wasn’t this terrible venture as the ultraconservatives on the committee would have one to believe. No one will ever know the real total truth of what happened. It seems highly unlikely that one person’s testimony in opposition to the Bill could have inflamed so many, when not one of them even made a comment about it at the hearing. Rather more likely, is that one or two were offended and decided to get their pound of flesh by putting the blame on Mr. Levy. After his testimony, a number of members of the House of Representatives Committee approached him and thanked him for his candor and established relationships with him. They have reported that his testimony had nothing to do with the passage of the Bill out of Committee or the vote on the House of Representative floor. According to them it was a forgone conclusion that it would pass. Yet, as he was taking the blame and more appropriately said, having the blame put upon him, Jeff Levy never stopped his dedication to the First Amendment, adult entertainment and to defeat the legislation in Kansas. He continued to foster his relationships with those members of the House of Representatives who were impressed with what he had to say. He spoke with them and encouraged them to speak with their friends and colleagues in the Senate as to why this legislation should not get out of the Senate and why it was not good for the State of Kansas. He never stopped fighting the fight. If he is going to be given blame for the legislation getting out of the House of Representatives in the State of Kansas, then he also must be given that exact same amount of credit for the Bill and legislation dying at the State Senate. Yes, this legislative Bill that would have made Kansas equal to the State of Missouri in adult entertainment repression ended up dying in session with a 20 to 20 vote in the Senate. A tie means that the legislation does not get passed and therefore for the year 2010 this terrible legislation is still not law in the State of Kansas. Reports are that one of the major reasons why the legislation did not pass in the State of Kansas has to do with the fact that the State is as much as seven hundred million dollars in debt. Daniel Aaronson during his testimony pointed out that passing this legislation would cause the State of Kansas in order to defend it in excess of seven figures. So, why this legislation didn’t pass in the Senate, again, nobody will ever really know. However, those of us who speak for a living, know that every time a word exits our lips that it has the ability to be misinterpreted and thrown back in our face. We know that every statement can be a faux paux and every syllable can be fodder for someone to hang their hat on as to why they disagree with what we have to say. We who fight for adult freedoms should always stay united. We should not let our adversaries single one of us out as a culprit and get us to buy into it and therefore divide ourselves. We need to remember that as adversaries they do not have our best interests in mind, and we cannot trust what they say. Mr. Levy understood this and even as some turned their backs on him, he never turned his back on the cause. And maybe, just maybe, and we will never know, he might have not been the villain but the hero. But at a minimum he has been a friend always to adult entertainment.
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