A Duncanville swinger sued the city Wednesday, contending that a new ordinance banning sex clubs violates his privacy and due process rights.
Jim Trulock, 59, and his partner, 29-year-old Julie M. Norris, call themselves advocates for the swinging lifestyle. On weekends, they turn their home near Cedar Ridge Drive and Interstate 20 into the Cherry Pit, where guests can mingle, dance and have sex.
Last month, the Duncanville City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance deeming sex clubs in private homes a public nuisance. City officials say they were acting in response to complaints about the Cherry Pit.
"Where it crossed the line was they took a private act and made it public," city spokeswoman Tonya Lewis has said.
The new ordinance classifies sex clubs as a public nuisance. Officials also contend that the Cherry Pit is an unlicensed business operating in a residential area, Ms. Lewis said.
The Cherry Pit's attorney, Ed Klein, said the city is trying to regulate private acts in a private home. The ordinance is unconstitutionally vague and overly broad, according to the lawsuit, filed in Dallas County Court-at-Law No. 2.
"The ordinance as written criminalizes the behavior of a substantial portion of the population of Duncanville who seek to engage in sexual activity," the suit says, "as well as each and every person who may be present on the premises at the time in question."
The suit alleges that a man interested in sex with his wife could be prosecuted. And if the encounter occurred in a hotel, every guest could face criminal action, the suit says.
Mr. Klein asked for a temporary restraining order to prevent the city from enforcing the ordinance while the lawsuit proceeds. Judge King Fifer denied the request.
Duncanville, which proclaims itself "the perfect blend of family, community and business," is an unlikely venue for a neighborhood swinger club. The city of 36,000, just southwest of Dallas, has about 50 places of worship and not a single registered sexually oriented business.
Other cities have wrestled with the same issue.
Phoenix, for example, prohibited live sexual performances in 1998, effectively outlawing swinger parties. An appeals court upheld the law in 2003, and Duncanville used it as a blueprint when passing a ban last month.