Nude dancing case heard by Georgia Supreme Court

A strip club argued at the Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday that it should be allowed to continue serving alcohol during nude dances as it has for more than 22 years.

But an attorney for the city of Doraville told the court’s justices that the city has a right to restrict naked performances, and that the Georgia Constitution doesn’t give free speech protections to Oasis Goodtime Emporium.

The struggle began in March 2012, when Doraville annexed the area where Oasis is located, along Peachtree Industrial Boulevard near I-285. Before then, Oasis paid DeKalb County an annual $100,000 licensing fee to do business.

Doraville then passed an ordinance that prohibits full nudity and on-premises alcohol consumption. Only semi-nude dancing, with pasties and a G-string, is allowed in Doraville’s city limits.

Alan Begner, an attorney for Oasis, said the city was ruining the club’s business model.

“It would go out of business and die,” he said. “I think that’s unfair when they haven’t done anything wrong.”

But Scott Bergthold, an attorney for Doraville, said nude dancing in a sexually oriented business isn’t protected under the Georgia Constitution.

“The historical records of the Georgia Constitution don’t support a claimed right to nude dancing,” he said.

Oasis’ case is similar to the Pink Pony’s claim against the city of Brookhaven, which was founded in 2012.

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled in October that Brookhaven has the right to regulate sexually oriented businesses.

The Brookhaven City Council then voted in November to allow the Pink Pony to continue providing nude dancers and alcohol in exchange for a $225,000 annual fee.