Joining the nuns in their crusade to shut down the club that sits in the town of Stone Park is the village of Melrose Park, where the convent is located. The club sits inches from the convent’s fence line in the neighboring village, reports NBC 5 in Chicago.
Despite the fact that the sisters were unable to prevent the opening of the club, the fight goes on with the village voting to join them in their lawsuit — set to be filed this week — against the club and the Village of Stone Park, which gave the club its license last year.
“This goes against our whole fiber, our well-being,” said one sister who lives in the structure bordering the club’s property. “We’ve been here more than 70 years,” she said. “We’re fighting for a safe, healthy environment here. And for the club to close.”
The nuns argue that according to state law, businesses are prohibited from operating within 1,000 feet of a place of worship. The sisters and Melrose Park will be represented by the Thomas More Society, a “public interest law firm.”
“The bottom-line is you can’t put one of these [adult-use establishments] within 1,000 feet of a place of worship, this is what the law says, and … Stone Park allowed the strip joint to open and gave them permits,” Thomas More attorney Peter Breen said in a press release. “Stone Park is not protecting its residents, and shame on the strip joint owners for putting it next to a convent.”
But the club’s lawyer is confident that the business’ operations fall within the lines of the law.
“The business is legally constituted,” he said. “It presents no real problems to anyone,” adding that there are fewer police calls than any liquor establishment in the village.
The club’s owner doesn’t want to get embroiled in a legal battle, but says he understands the moral objections of the nuns and as such, the club has tried to be neighborly and keep the noise down, as well as buying its supplies and hiring locally.
“I’m not here to hurt them in any way,” he said, portraying the club as more of a “gentleman’s club” with good food and a variety of shows, as well as semi-nude women and male acts.
“I can’t imagine why they would dislike us, except for the morality of it,” he said. “We are the most…cleanest version of what we are.”
Nuns Step Up Fight Against Neighboring Strip Club [NBC 5 News]