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Relating to restrictions on the age of persons employed by or allowed on the premises of a sexually oriented business; creating a criminal offense.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 3520 would prohibit a sexually oriented business from allowing persons younger than 18 years old on the premises, or from employing persons younger than 21 years old. It would create administrative penalties for sexually oriented businesses that knowingly or recklessly allow persons younger than 18 on their premises, and attach a criminal penalty to sexually oriented businesses employing an individual under 21 years old.
We support the provisions of this bill prohibiting people under the age of 18 from the premises of a sexually oriented business. However, we oppose the provision raising the age to work at a sexually oriented business to 21 years old which is inconsistent with the principles of limited government and individual liberty. We would withdraw our objection with the adoption of an amendment to remove the provision treating a person as a minor until the age of 21.
The age of majority in Texas is 18 years, where individuals are then entitled to nearly all of the privileges of adulthood. Once an individual reaches the age of 18, he or she should be allowed to work in any vocation he or she chooses.
For content, it may be helpful to consider this non-exhaustive list of things a person may do in Texas without parental consent once they reach the age of 18: pay taxes, get married, enter into an enforceable contract, become a non-armed security guard, buy a house, obtain a commercial pilot certificate, vote for our elected leaders, be elected district attorney, be elected sheriff, serve drinks in a bar, join a fire department, work on an oil rig, take out a loan, get a credit card, get a tattoo, operate heavy machinery, board an international flight, join the military, go skydiving, make medical decisions, be admitted to the Texas State Bar, be tried as an adult, and be sentenced to death for certain offenses.
We do not endorse sexually oriented businesses, but we do endorse allowing adults to make adult decisions. If the legislature wishes to reconsider the age of majority, it should do so on a wholesale basis rather than pick and choose specific areas to treat adults as juveniles.