Judge rules in favor of city’s ban against Exxxotica porn expo

Despite East Dallas councilman Philip Kingston’s predictions earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater ruled in favor of the City of Dallas’ ban against the porn convention Exxxotica today. While it was only the preliminary injunction, the case could move forward to court where issues of free speech and the city’s sexual oriented business (SOB) ordinance will be dissected if Exxxotica appeals today’s decision.

Exxxotica’s representatives have not yet said whether they plan to appeal. But the council members who voted in favor of the band expressed their satisfaction with the judge’s decision.

“I am pleased with U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater’s ruling that our city council’s decision to ban this pornography expo was reasonable and not based solely on the subject matter,” Mayor Mike Rawlings, who initially called for the ban, said in a prepared statement. “The judge acknowledged our strong evidence that this expo violated both terms of its contract and state and local laws. As noted in the ruling, our attorneys produced evidence of the expo’s commission of ‘fraud, crimes, breach of contract and violations of the city’s [SOB] ordinance.’”

Earlier this week, Kingston told the Advocate that he thought the SOB argument would “fall flat on its face” but Rawlings credited it as a “key component of our defense in court.”

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After the verdict was announced, City Councilman Scott Griggs, who consistently has spoken out against the city’s ban, simply posted, “Looks like the legal costs are going to continue.” Kingston and Griggs, both attorneys, have argued that the ban is a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech and a waste of money.

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Kingston says that if the trial moves on the court and the judge rules in favor of Exxxotica, the city could be held liable for all damages. Since the expo hoped to return to the city-owned Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center next month, which clearly won’t happen now, the convention could potentially sue for additional damages from lost revenue.

Read the judge’s full decision here.

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