The Milwaukee Gay Arts Center is suing the city for shutting down its production of the popular musical revue, Naked Boys Singing. From the AP:
“Larry Dupuis, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, which is handling the case, said the city’s enforcement seemed unusually zealous, even given the musical’s content.
“I think the title made it kind of controversial,” Dupuis said. “But of course, `The Full Monty’ has nudity in it, and that doesn’t get it threats to shut it down.”
The lawsuit, filed Monday, says the city ordinance is unconstitutional because it gives officials “unbridled discretion” over when permits must be obtained and how applications will be handled. It also says the law could be used to restrict certain viewpoints.
Eileen Force, a spokeswoman for Mayor Tom Barrett, declined to comment on the lawsuit, and a call to the office of City Attorney Grant Langley rang unanswered Monday afternoon.”
At issue is the city’s theater permit application process, which has neither rhyme or reason, making it easy for the process to be withheld based on purely discriminatory reasons. The show’s director cancelled several performances after he was told that performers could be arrested before reopening several months later.