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Adult entertainment or an honest living?

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A revised law could change the way one local entrepreneur is operating his business.

The City of Portland Board of Mayor and Aldermen recently voted on first reading to revise the city's adult entertainment ordinance.

A new business located on Main Street - Envy Bar and Grill has recently allowed

adult cabaret-style entertainment in a private room of the business, which prompted a study of the existing ordinance.

Director of Development Services Andrew Pieri reported to the council that the present ordinance has been in place since October of 1997. That ordinance did not mention adult cabaret -style entertainment.

According to Pieri, the state revised its statute in 2006; and if approved on second reading, the city ordinance will line up with the state statute.

Councilman Jody McDowell asked if Envy Restaurant Bar & Grill would apply to the revised ordinance. Pieri stated that it would have to be determined, if the cabaret show meets the definition of adult entertainment, and if so it would not be allowed in the commercial district.

According to the ordinance, adult entertainment is restricted to industrial districts.

McDowell added that there had been a lot of negative comments regarding the female impersonator show on social medial.

Pieri said, "The purpose of revising the ordinance was not to affect anyone's First

Amendment rights of freedom of expression or speech."

"Envy Restaurant Bar and Grill owner Vee Truong said he was unaware the cabaret-style shows would be looked at any differently than Portland High School or the chamber hosting a performance or fundraiser.

"If I knew it was considered to be an adult entertainment show I would never have done that," he said. "To me it was an art that gay people do. Some of them - that's their entertainment world.

"Some people oppose on my Facebook. It was all about discrimination and gays. I just say be open minded. They are doing that to make an honest living. That's all I'm fighting for; the freedom of human beings."

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