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State of Utah asks federal judge to dismiss 'Deadpool' lawsuit

(KUTV) — The state of Utah has asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by local movie theater Brewvies over their screening of "Deadpool."

According to court documents, the Utah Attorney General's Office argues that prohibiting alcohol services during sexually explicit movies does not violate the theaters First Amendment rights.

The battle over obscenity laws and booze began in April, when the state fined Brewvies for showing the film, despite its liquor license.

The movie's star, Ryan Reynolds, donated $5,000 to help pay the theater's legal bills.

State regulators eventually withdrew the fine, but the legal fight continues. Earlier this month, former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson filed legal papers against the state on behalf of Brewvies arguing that the law remains unconstitutional.

The office also said the Utah law should be upheld because "combining alcohol and sexual content is an 'explosive combination.'" It went on to argue in its latest motion that the theater's First Amendment right to show "Deadpool" is "only slightly inconvenienced, if at all, by the state's regulation, and the public's access to protected speech is not impeded at all."

"Deadpool," released in 2016, is rated R for strong violence and language throughout, sexual content and graphic nudity. The Marvel film had the biggest R-rated opening weekend of all time with $132.43 million, according to Business Insider.


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