DALLAS - The Dallas City Council bowed to pressure Wednesday and voted against a pornography industry conference at the city-owned convention center.
The council voted 8-7 to deny holding the event at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas. The company hosting the expo called it an educational event and plans to sue the city over its decision.
“We'll walk straight out of here and walk into our lawyer's office basically,” said J. Handy, director of Exxxotica. “Obviously, we're disappointed.”
Mayor Mike Rawlings asked the council to refuse to rent the space for Exxxotica. Last year the event created a stir, but there were no reported problems.
Civic leaders urged the council to take a stand this year, with a local pastor saying he had no desire for Dallas to compete with Sin City. Councilwoman Jennifer Gates said she had not heard from a single constituent who thought Exxxotica was good for Dallas.
The former senator herself came out to oppose the convention in the publicly funded building with her name on it.
“I totally admire the leadership of the Mayor and those city council people who said if we have to litigate this issue, let's do it, because it's worth making it clear in the law that people who are coming here to gather to degrade women and children, and promotes activity that degrades other people, that they're not welcome here,” Hutchison said.
Councilman Philip Kingston argued if the city didn’t want a specific convention in Dallas it should get out of the convention business, which costs the city millions.
The city attorney said that the city's ordinance that regulates sexually oriented businesses does not apply to the XXX convention because it is only a temporary use of that land.
The Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau said the Exxxotica convention in August had little economic impact for Dallas. It generated 400 hotel stays compared with the 40,000 hotel rooms other larger conventions generate.