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Utah Supreme Court upholds licensing laws for escorts and sexually oriented businesses

Posted at 10:47 AM, Jan 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-25 12:47:42-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Supreme Court has upheld laws requiring escorts and sexually oriented businesses to have licenses in every city they work in.

In a ruling handed down Thursday night, the state’s top court sided with cities in an escort’s legal challenge to licensing requirements. Karlie Kidd was cited by Salt Lake City police for not having a license when she showed up to the Grand America Hotel and met an undercover police officer. Kidd, however, was licensed in Midvale.

“To Kidd, the statute promotes regulatory overkill and burdens her constitutional rights because the license Midvale issued to her satisfies Salt Lake City’s requirements and any legitimate interest the City might have in regulating her profession. Kidd claims that the imposition of multiple licensing requirements violates her First Amendment and Equal Protection rights,” Justice John Pearce wrote.

Utah law allows each city to require sexually oriented businesses and escorts to have a license. The Court rejected Kidd’s arguments about a First Amendment violation.

“Other than asserting that ‘[e]scorts are protected in their profession by the First Amendment,’ Kidd did not address what speech was allegedly infringed,” Justice Pearce wrote.

Read the Utah Supreme Court’s ruling here (refresh the page if it doesn’t immediately load):