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Strip club sues Baltimore mayor, city council over COVID-19 ban

BALTIMORE — A Baltimore strip club has filed a lawsuit against the mayor and city council, saying a ban enacted on adult entertainment during the COVID-19 pandemic infringes on the club’s right to free speech.

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TC Entertainment, which operates the Penthouse Club, is seeking an injunction in federal court against the ban, enacted by Democratic Mayor Brandon Scott as part of a wide-ranging list of closures during his first week in office in December, The Baltimore Sun reported Monday.

Stefanie Mavronis, a spokesperson for the mayor, says the city’s law department is reviewing the lawsuit.

Adult entertainment clubs closed Dec. 11 when the order signed by Scott called for the closure of “indoor recreational establishments,” including bowling alleys, skating rinks, social and fraternal clubs, hookah lounges and adult entertainment venues. It forced restaurants to bar indoor and outdoor dining and capped the number of visitors to retail and religious institutions, gyms, malls and museums at 25% of capacity.

Since then, Scott has relaxed restrictions on many of the places identified in the order.

In December, the Restaurant Association of Maryland sued the city over the dining ban. A Baltimore Circuit Court judge denied the group’s request for an injunction and sided with the city.

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