Both a state appeals court and a federal court have declared unconstitutional a county ordinance restricting adult businesses within 500 feet of churches and schools, leaving uncertain a neighborhood’s battle to close an adult book and video store on Whittier Boulevard.
Supervisor Gloria Molina held a rally May 5 in front of Andy’s Adult World Bookstore, 4624 E. Whittier Blvd., to encourage residents to continue their fight at the street level to drive the business away, despite the rulings.
The appeals courts decision was issued April 29; the federal court ruling came on May 2.
Merchants and residents have been picketing the store daily to discourage would-be customers, decrying the negative effect that they say pornography will have on their neighborhood and children. They have stepped up their efforts, joining with Mothers of East Los Angeles and two neighborhood groups in picketing the store.
“We can’t beat them in the courtroom, but we can beat them on the streets,” said Robert Alaniz, Molina’s press deputy. “They’re very determined to get rid of Andy’s Adult World.”
But Roger Diamond, attorney for store owner Greg Tucker, said customers usually enter from the alley, so picketers have ended up harming other businesses on the boulevard.
Diamond filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the county in November.
Alaniz said lawyers for the county will consider rewording the restriction and appealing the Court of Appeal’s decision to the state Supreme Court. No decision has been made on appealing the federal decision.