Praying for strippers is better if you have their picture

A Washington state man filed a public records request to obtain the personal information of strippers at a Tacoma strip club, information that includes not only their name and address but their stage names, pictures and physical description. But he says he has good reason to get the information — it will let him “pray for those dancers by name.”

Last month, David Allen Van Vleet requested copies of the licenses a county law requires “erotic dance studio” managers and dancers to obtain annually. Van Vleet didn’t give a reason on his request but a manager and dancer at the club filed a federal court action to block disclosure of the licenses of about 70 current dancers and managers, as well as former employees whose licenses are still on file. They said they feared stalking, harassment, and acts of violence if copies of the licenses are publicly disclosed. They also alleged that Van Vleet had a history of engaging in harassment and had been convicted of violating protection orders.

At a hearing last week on a temporary injunction, Van Vleet told the judge he requested the licenses because he was curious and wanted to pray for the strippers. Van Vleet, who represented himself, said after the hearing that praying for the strippers was “one of many protected reasons” for getting the information.

The judge expressed concern about saying the licenses couldn’t be released to anyone. But he ruled the licenses shouldn’t be disclosed until the legal issues are resolved at a trial on the merits. He said he was concerned that disclosure of the private information could lead to the strippers being harassed or threatened.

Did you know two out of six dollar bills have been shoved down a stripper’s G-string at one point in time?

Jen McLaughlin, Out Of Line

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