Claiming the city is violating her First Amendment rights, a bride-to-be has sued the District of Columbia over its ban on dancing at weddings.
Margaret Appleby, who is scheduled to get married on June 6, filed a lawsuit on Monday, with her lawyers comparing the dancing ban to “an imitation of the 1984 movie Footloose.”
The film starred a very young Kevin Bacon as a teen trying to overturn a dancing ban imposed on a small town by a minister played by John Lithgow.
After initially lifting a mask mandate, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser backtracked on May 1, yielding to pressure. Not only did she reinstate the mandate, she imposed stringent restrictions on weddings, permitting just 25 percent capacity at venues, and a waiver required if more than 250 people attend. Guests are required to remain seated and socially distanced during the entire event, which means no dancing.
Mayor Bowser has banned dancing at weddings in the District of Columbia.
But it’s a pretty ersatz imitation of Footloose. DC permits dancing at Zumba classes and strip clubs.
— tedfrank 💉 (@tedfrank) May 10, 2021
But fiancée Margaret Appleby claims Bowser is inconsistent with the requirements.
“The District of Columbia allows dancing in strip clubs, in Zumba and dance studio classes, and in programs sponsored by the government’s Department of Parks and Recreation,” the complaint reads, according to Law & Crime.
Having already caved to the liberal mob, the mayor defended her actions during an appearance on CNN, comparing the dancing ban to restaurant guidelines, which say “you have to be seated to enjoy the restaurant.”
D.C. @MayorBowser defends her ban on dancing: "An alternate headline may be, ‘Now You Can Host a Wedding in Washington, D.C.’ … And just like our restaurant guidelines suggest is that you have to be seated to enjoy the restaurant." pic.twitter.com/e2gILPVpNu
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 5, 2021
Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute and the Liberty Justice Center represent Appleby and they argue the U.S. Supreme Court has acknowledged that dancing is “a core part of the association and expression of the wedding as a whole.”
Hamilton’s senior attorney Adam Schulman added in a statement: “The First Amendment does not permit the District to irrationally discriminate against wedding dancing, while simultaneously allowing equally dangerous, though less expressive, activities to continue without remark.”
Pointing to the “last-minute alteration of the District’s COVID-19 protocols,” the soon-to-be bride said they had planned to include masked dancing as part of the celebration. Both she and her groom have also been vaccinated.
“Throughout the pandemic, both Appleby and her fiancé have made concerted efforts to adhere to the relevant COVID-19 guidelines to protect themselves and others,” the complaint said, according to Law & Crime.
Dancing is an integral part of what Appleby sees as a successful joining of a man and woman.
More from the complaint:
For Appleby, wedding dancing is an expression of community, symbolizing the celebration of the marriage rite, and representing the bringing together of two families into a common whole.
For Appleby, wedding dancing is unique and irreplaceable. No other medium will allow her to express the same message as wedding dancing at her reception.
Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter, to include a unique solution offered by more than one social media user:
Footloose is a perfect analogy. DC and that movie both banned dancing based on a misguided interpretation of religion — in Footloose it was Christianity. The DC law is bad on the religion of Covid “science.”
— Blumey (@Mikeblumey) May 10, 2021
I think that what actually happens at DC strip clubs is really his point.
— Blumey (@Mikeblumey) May 10, 2021
Obviously the solution is to hold their wedding at a strip club. Problem solved!
— DVDMon (@dvdmon) May 10, 2021
Here’s a solution: the bride should have the men stuff their money in her bra and panties during the dollar dance. Then they can call her a stripper and it’s legal! The only question is: can she still wear white?
— Susan (@willthink4food2) May 11, 2021
Good for @tedfrank on this. Complete arbitrary government overreach. The strip club around the corner from my office is open, but healthy people can’t dance at their own wedding. https://t.co/vYVU2lkaL2
— Matthew Dowd (@TheRealMattDowd) May 10, 2021
— (((Aaron “Worthing” Walker))) (@AaronWorthing) May 10, 2021
— Will Chamberlain (@willchamberlain) May 10, 2021
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