updated 6/7/2007 1:40:43 PM ET 2007-06-07T17:40:43

Strip-club owners and dancers will try to give voters a chance to overturn a law that forbids touching strippers and halts nude dancing after midnight, a spokeswoman for an industry group said Thursday.

The opponents are beginning to collect signatures needed to put the issue on Ohio’s November ballot. By naming itself Citizens for Community Standards, the group took a swipe at Cincinnati-based Citizens for Community Values, the social conservative group that pushed for the strip-club restrictions in the Legislature.

The measure, which was passed by the Legislature in May, is seen by club owners as an unconstitutional infringement on free expression, said Sandy Theis, spokeswoman for the Buckeye Association of Club Executives, which represents strip-club owners.

“Even though the law is not scheduled to take effect until Sept. 4, it’s already hurting the clubs and the dancers who work there,” she said. “Customers think it’s gone into effect so they are afraid to patronize Ohio’s adult cabarets.”

The committee will need to collect roughly 240,000 signatures — a number that equals 6 percent of the total vote cast in the 2006 governor’s race — to get the issue on the ballot.

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