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Sunday, November 7, 2010

OUTscene: (News) Seattle Eagle raided by Liquor Board for showing Porn!

"Unpaid Intern" Matt Luby has the story at The Stranger. On October 23, agents from the Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) on an inspection, observed footage from a "Guys Gone Wild" video being screened at The Eagle, 314 East Pike on Capitol Hill. While most "Guys Gone Wild" videos do not portray any sex acts, only nudity, this particular video did feature some masturbation at the end of the video. This is in violation of state law prohibiting the exhibition or portrayal of sexual acts in an establishment licensed for alcohol sales, (the same law which caused The Stranger to ban drinking at their Hump screening this weekend at On the Boards). WSLCB later sent The Eagle notification that they will be cited for an "administrative violation" which could result in a $500 fine or a five day suspension of the liquor license. A 5-day suspension would be disastrous for any bar; Owner Keith Christensen is quoted in the Stranger article, “I am barely keeping this thing afloat… it’s not a business that shows profit. I’m just trying to keep people employed until the economy turns around.”

You might remember that both The Eagle and R Place were targeted two years ago in a WSLCB crackdown on showing porn in (gay) bars. Prior to that time, both bars frequently screened hard core videos on screens or monitors in their establishments. While a few applauded the state's actions, for "cleaning up" the bars and discouraging "inappropriate" public displays of sexuality, others were horrified by the actions which seemed targeted at gay bars only, and seemed draconian and a violation of free speech. Fans of The Eagle in particular pointed out, that no one is being harmed by a bar with an obvious sexual overtone..."raunchy" bars, regardless of the sexuality or gender of their clientele, are visited by people looking for that particular experience, ie, you go to an obvious "sleazy" bar because you want to. If that scene doesn't interest you, you can go to a different bar. No one is "forced" to hang out in a seedy bar with seedy characters doing seedy things in a corner. Not your scene? Hang out at the bar at your local Applebee's or Chili's.

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