Canadian Supreme Court strikes down prostitution laws

posted at 1:01 pm on December 21, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Something interesting happened in Canada this week, and for once it had nothing to do with Justin Bieber or Captain Kirk. Their Supreme Court effectively struck down the nation’s laws involving prostitution, though the definitions of the specific laws in question aren’t as straight forward as the title might suggest.

The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down the country’s major prostitution laws, saying that bans on street soliciting, brothels and people living off the avails of prostitution create severe dangers for vulnerable women and therefore violate Canadians’ basic values.

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, writing for a unanimous court, stressed that the ruling is not about whether prostitution should be legal or not, but about whether Parliament’s means of controlling it infringe the constitutional rights of prostitutes.

“Parliament has the power to regulate against nuisances, but not at the cost of the health, safety and lives of prostitutes,” she wrote.

“The prohibitions all heighten the risks. . . . They do not merely impose conditions on how prostitutes operate. They go a critical step further, by imposing dangerous conditions on prostitution; they prevent people engaged in a risky – but legal – activity from taking steps to protect themselves from the risks.”

As you might infer from the judge’s comments, prostitution itself is apparently already legal in Canada. (Keeping in mind that Canadian law isn’t my strong suit. And who knows what those Canadians are up to anyway?) The laws in question dealt more with the ancillary activities surrounding the practice of the trade and mitigating the effects it has on the community, all of which were challenged on the unintended negative consequences they produced. For example, one law criminalized anyone “profiting from” prostitution. It was intended to eliminate the practice of pimps controlling the prostitutes and taking their money. But it also wound up making it illegal for anyone to provide security services (such as bodyguards) to the prostitute, leaving them more vulnerable to violence.

Another prohibited the establishment of brothels, seeking to prevent the negative impact on neighborhoods resulting from the trade. But this effectively put the prostitutes back out on the street. And of course, “street soliciting” was also prohibited, resulting in something of a conundrum. All in all, the court determined that the negative effects on the “sex trade” workers outweighed the possible benefits to the community.

None of this, though, addresses the underlying question of whether prostitution should be legal in the first place, a subject which Doug Mataconis takes up at Outside the Beltway.

All of this, of course, brings up the philosophical question of whether prostitution ought to be legal at all, whether in Canada or anywhere else. The libertarian answer, of course, would be that women ought to be free to engage in any profession they wish and that individuals ought to be free to engage in any voluntarily transaction they wish, as long as there isn’t force or fraud involved. The traditional objections to legalization are that that prostitution is often a profession that women are forced into, often when they are underage, and that it involves a significant amount of violence, force, and victimization. Much of those negative impacts, of course, are arguably an outgrowth of the fact it is illegal in most places. If you look at places where prostitution is legal, such as Nevada and certain places in Europe, many of those negative aspects of prostitution disappear for the most part, especially if there at least some regulation involved that is designed to ensure the health and safety of the women involved, and to ensure that people under 18 are not being victimized. The most significant point, though, seems to me to be that we are talking about what is called, fairly accurately, the world’s “oldest profession.” Whether it is legal or not, there is seemingly no place in the world where it doesn’t exist. Indeed, it’s even been found to exist among primates who have been taught how to use money. Given all of this, one wonders what the value in trying to ban the practice actually is.

Randy gibbons with credit cards aside, the idea of legalization – or at least decriminalization to some degree – of prostitution in the United States is one we’ve been wrestling with for a while. I think it’s been fairly well established that the lives of real life prostitutes are rarely if ever the Cinderella romance tales of the “hooker with a heart of gold” described in Pretty Woman or Risky Business. But Doug does have a point in saying that a large number of the problems arising from the trade probably have their roots in the opportunities presented to other criminals by the fact that the business is illegal. And it’s equally true that a significant percentage of the women (or even men) who have “willingly” gone into the trade didn’t do so because it was a lifelong dream. Desperation was probably the cause in the majority of these cases.

But from the small L libertarian point of view, I’ve always had to ask what business the government has to tell someone that they can’t engage in that kind of commerce if it’s entirely consensual and results in the “worker” in question turning a profit. The demand is obviously there, has been for all of recorded history and is unlikely to go away any time soon. When they dug out the ruins of Pompeii, buried by a volcano almost 2000 years ago, one of the first buildings they found was a brothel. So is the goal for us to continue to suppress the activity as much as possible or to bring it out of the shadows, make it as safe as possible for those plying the trade and eliminate the profit motive for those who would exploit or commit violence against the prostitute for their own gains?

I wonder what the United States Supreme Court would say if the same question was put to them?


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Let the good times roll?

flipflop on December 21, 2013 at 1:03 PM

The Windsor Ballet will become even more of a performance art. Although it was already going on.

Flange on December 21, 2013 at 1:06 PM

I would think the gay rights crowd would be ecstatic. Freedom!!

CWchangedhisNicagain on December 21, 2013 at 1:09 PM

US Supreme Court strikes down prostitution in the WH, the congress and the senate.

It’s high time.

Schadenfreude on December 21, 2013 at 1:09 PM

So is the goal for us to continue to suppress the activity as much as possible or to bring it out of the shadows, make it as safe as possible for those plying the trade and eliminate the profit motive for those who would exploit or commit violence against the prostitute for their own gains?

If your goal is to get the chocolate out of chocolate so that chocolate can both exist and be nothing like chocolate –

you’re in an argument with physics.

Axe on December 21, 2013 at 1:10 PM

And Aristotle.

A is A.

Axe on December 21, 2013 at 1:11 PM

I wonder what the United States Supreme Court would say if the same question was put to them?

“Does the ban in question consist of a tax that falls under Congress’ taxing authority?”

JohnGalt23 on December 21, 2013 at 1:12 PM

I think the point is that Canada is a Federal government, (like the US) and he is accusing Parliament of over-reaching. Something Justice Roberts could not bring himself to do in spite of the Constitution.

pat on December 21, 2013 at 1:13 PM

They could legalize bank robberies. It would make it safer involved for all. Think about it: No guns, no knives, and nobody gets hurt.
/

CWchangedhisNicagain on December 21, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Justice Roberts

pat on December 21, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Blech. Not at lunch time please.

CWchangedhisNicagain on December 21, 2013 at 1:14 PM

Lorien?

Ugly on December 21, 2013 at 1:16 PM

What should be said is this: what business is it of the “Federal” govt’s? Aside from illegal immigrants, human trafficking, and minors, it ought to be very little.

However if a state or county wants to 100% ban or 100% allow prostitution (and every variable in between), that ought to be only the business of that jurisdiction’s voters.

I would fight against it in my town. But I won’t dictate that standard to another city.

Get the Federal govt out of either side of the equation.

HDFOB on December 21, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Federal Judge: Right to Same-Sex Marriage Is ‘Deeply Rooted in Nation’s History and Implicit in The Concept of Ordered Liberty’

(CNSNews.com) – Judge Robert J. Shelby, whom President Barack Obama appointed to the U.S. District Court in Utah last year, issued an opinion on Friday declaring that a right to same-sex marriage is “deeply rooted in the nation’s history and implicit in the concept of ordered liberty.”

One of obama’s boys…

Schadenfreude on December 21, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Update from Drywall coming next week

DarkCurrent on December 21, 2013 at 1:26 PM

HDFOB on December 21, 2013 at 1:17 PM

+1

tdarrington on December 21, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Now they can count prostitutes in the labor force. I bet their employment numbers……rise

jaywemm on December 21, 2013 at 1:29 PM

But Doug does have a point in saying that a large number of the problems arising from the trade probably have their roots in the opportunities presented to other criminals by the fact that the business is illegal.

Oh. You mean like the “war on drugs.” Prohibition of sex, drugs and/or rock-n-roll serve to create a black market. A black market which affords opportunities for criminals to exploit and fight over. It also, and here is the good part, provides opportunity for governments to “save” us from the criminals it created with prohibition by eroding our civil liberties.

MJBrutus on December 21, 2013 at 1:30 PM

MJBrutus on December 21, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Good argument, therefore nothing should be illegal…why protect banks from robbery, it just causes a “black market of robbery”. And that law just provides an opportunity for governments to “save” us.

Or why have patents, it just stifles production, keeping it out of the hands of many who could make the same item, maybe even for less.

Or why even have a stop sign, it just enables others to depend on you stopping, and if they don’t, provides an opportunity for government to “save” us.

Or have kids smoking at a certain age, or drinking, heck why even force them to go to school, let them do whatever they want.

No leash laws, no drivers license, no marriage license, no liquor license, have anyone sell liquor if they want…

right2bright on December 21, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Prostitution is a scourge that kills the soul, which is why so many prostitutes are hooked on heroin and other drugs. Sure, it always has gone on, and always will go on, but ask yourself — when is it ever a good thing?

Paul-Cincy on December 21, 2013 at 1:43 PM

right2bright on December 21, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Your response is a marvel of illogic and non-sequiturs.

Most of your rant is “for the children.” Well, kiddies aren’t adults and should not be granted the privileges of adults. Denying adults the rights of adults so that children can be denied is textbook nanny-state liberalism. You may want to be infantilized the Bloomberg way, but I don’t.

As for marriage licenses, for example, it is a contract just like any other. I have no idea why you would even mention it here.

Traffic laws are needed because our roads are owned and shared by all of us, unlike our bodies, and so should be regulated.

I could go on, but I’ve already wasted too much time debunking this silliness.

MJBrutus on December 21, 2013 at 1:47 PM

The pimps legalize the whores.

Logical.

profitsbeard on December 21, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Denying adults the rights of adults so that children can be denied is textbook nanny-state liberalism.

MJBrutus on December 21, 2013 at 1:47 PM

I should have used the word “freedoms” and not “rights” in this sentence.

MJBrutus on December 21, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Paul-Cincy on December 21, 2013 at 1:43 PM

So don’t employ (or be) one.

MJBrutus on December 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Paul-Cincy on December 21, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Sexophobie!

Annar on December 21, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Update from Drywall coming next week

DarkCurrent on December 21, 2013 at 1:26 PM

No, it ain’t. He’s gone.

Schadenfreude on December 21, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Always has been legal in the US. It is just up to the states. It was legal in most states, too, up until about WW I period. Most states had brothels, particularly out west. States starting outlawing prostitution at about the same time the temperance movement started gaining steam. Brothels and saloons were being shut down at about the same time. With the repeal of prohibition the saloons came back, but the brothels never did. In Nevada it depends on the individual county.

But I would like to point out that anti-prostitution laws have never actually stopped prostitution, it simply changes who is willing to be one. When you make it illegal you have a lot of drug addicts and economically desperate women in the trade. Where it is legal, you have a better quality vendor of services and less crime. Anti-prostitution laws just provide another market for organized crime. They don’t actually reduce the number of prostitutes.

crosspatch on December 21, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Update from Drywall coming next week

DarkCurrent on December 21, 2013 at 1:26 PM

No, it ain’t. He’s gone.

Schadenfreude on December 21, 2013 at 1:55 PM

At least now he can ply his trade without fear of being arrested.

Thomas More on December 21, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Paul-Cincy on December 21, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Don’t like it, either, but I don’t believe in trying to legislate morality. People have a God-given right to be sleazy and make bad choices.

If such things affect people that don’t want it around them and thus affects them (their businesses, property values, overall safety, quality of life) then that’s a different matter. Local governments do indeed have the right (obligation actually) to regulate all businesses to an extent and to do what they can to maintain a safe environment for citizens and commerce.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 21, 2013 at 2:02 PM

No, it ain’t. He’s gone.

Schadenfreude on December 21, 2013 at 1:55 PM

I missed that. Darn.

DarkCurrent on December 21, 2013 at 2:11 PM

(CNSNews.com) – Judge Robert J. Shelby, whom President Barack Obama appointed to the U.S. District Court in Utah last year, issued an opinion on Friday declaring that a right to same-sex marriage is “deeply rooted in the nation’s history ……

Schadenfreude on December 21, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Yeah, I remember reading about the Gay Pilgrims on the Mayflower, escaping from England, because noted homophobe King James wouldn´t allow them to marry.

LegendHasIt on December 21, 2013 at 2:11 PM

No, it ain’t. He’s gone.

Schadenfreude on December 21, 2013 at 1:55 PM

I missed that. Darn.

DarkCurrent on December 21, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Me too, dagnabit!

ladyingray on December 21, 2013 at 2:18 PM

Stupid people really annoy me. So the premise is that if we make prostitution legal, all of the illegal activity associated with it will disappear. Hey, I have an idea, let’s make murder legal. If it’s legal then people will be less inclined to do it because it has lost its appeal. As a matter of fact, let’s do away with all laws. Criminals often say that part of the reason that they commit crimes is because of the excitement that comes from the possibility of being caught. Get rid of that element and criminal activity should disappear.

bandutski on December 21, 2013 at 2:18 PM

This and drugs is where I part from my libertarian brothers.

The premise only works when we’re considering a well-functioning society, with citizens of conscience who will own their actions.

The quasi-legalization of hemp has done nothing to curb criminal activity. In fact, it’s made easier victims of the people leaving the dime shops as they’re held up and/or shot.

A widening of legalized prostitution will result in more human trafficking at lower, decentralized levels where competitors will fight to fill niche markets.

Don’t want a fat white girl, how about 14 y/old Asian that no one even knows is in country? Or this boy from the projects.

This crap already goes on and expanding prostitution will only create pimp versions of Kermit Gosnell.

budfox on December 21, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Dudley Do-Right hardest hit.

WhatSlushfund on December 21, 2013 at 2:25 PM

budfox on December 21, 2013 at 2:19 PM

If the activity were legal and therefore out in the open, government agents would be able to inspect brothels, etc and enforce laws against underage or enforced prostitution. It is only when the activity is forced underground that it becomes so far beyond the reach of law enforcement.

If you really cared about the well being of prostitutes and that they are not being forced to work, you would want it to be legal.

MJBrutus on December 21, 2013 at 2:27 PM

When did Rywall get the boot? He was here for years. What did him in?

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on December 21, 2013 at 2:28 PM

This and drugs is where I part from my libertarian brothers.

The premise only works when we’re considering a well-functioning society, with citizens of conscience who will own their actions.

The quasi-legalization of hemp has done nothing to curb criminal activity. In fact, it’s made easier victims of the people leaving the dime shops as they’re held up and/or shot.

A widening of legalized prostitution will result in more human trafficking at lower, decentralized levels where competitors will fight to fill niche markets.

Don’t want a fat white girl, how about 14 y/old Asian that no one even knows is in country? Or this boy from the projects.

This crap already goes on and expanding prostitution will only create pimp versions of Kermit Gosnell.

budfox on December 21, 2013 at 2:19 PM

QFT.

The assumption that once prostitution is legal, the black market for prostitution will go away is absurd. Tobacco is currently legal. Has that done away the black market for tobacco? Hardly. The black market simply fills a different niche: now, they’re providing a product free of government regulation and taxation. And, interestingly, “regulate and tax” is what folks say we should be doing with prostitution and drugs.

Heck, there are black markets for just about everything, from DVD’s to designed handbags. If you legalize prostitution, the criminals will just turn to filling niches that the legal market cannot. And that can potentially, as mentioned, drive the criminal activity to even more abhorrent practices like human trafficking of children for the sex trade.

Shump on December 21, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Stupid people really annoy me. So the premise is that if we make prostitution legal, all of the illegal activity associated with it will disappear. Hey, I have an idea, let’s make murder legal. talk about STUPID!!!! yea, stupid people annoy me to!!!!

svs22422 on December 21, 2013 at 2:36 PM

svs22422 on December 21, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Nothing good has ever come from dancing. Let’s make it illegal!

And donuts too!

MJBrutus on December 21, 2013 at 2:38 PM

Think about cutting back the scope of the all intrusive nanny state.

Personally, I’m repulsed by prostitution, and by illicit drugs, so, get that straight. But I know that (other) people are going to partake in nearly the same amount of “prostitution services” whether it’s legal or not. Just like drugs, even the most draconian controls are just going to make the problem worse and more dangerous, and as a byproduct add to the invasive costly corrupt police state, where these vice squads are just running out of control and are their own justification ($$). Violent bank robberies and knockout game assaults are real problems: concentrate our police and judicial and penal resources where it matters to us, not on the Sisyphean (unwinnable) effort to stop victimless criminals from engaging in mutually consensual transactions. But get it off the streets. By making it not illegal to conduct the trade off the streets.

anotherJoe on December 21, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Stupid people really annoy me. So the premise is that if we make prostitution legal, all of the illegal activity associated with it will disappear. Hey, I have an idea, let’s make murder legal. If it’s legal then people will be less inclined to do it because it has lost its appeal. As a matter of fact, let’s do away with all laws. Criminals often say that part of the reason that they commit crimes is because of the excitement that comes from the possibility of being caught. Get rid of that element and criminal activity should disappear.

bandutski on December 21, 2013 at 2:18 PM
talk about STUPID. yea,stupid people like you annoy me to!!!

svs22422 on December 21, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Prostitution is big business for human traffickers. Huzzah modem day slave traders!

Murphy9 on December 21, 2013 at 2:42 PM

MJBrutus on December 21, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Good argument, therefore nothing should be illegal…why protect banks from robbery, it just causes a “black market of robbery”. And that law just provides an opportunity for governments to “save” us.

Or why have patents, it just stifles production, keeping it out of the hands of many who could make the same item, maybe even for less.

Or why even have a stop sign, it just enables others to depend on you stopping, and if they don’t, provides an opportunity for government to “save” us.

Or have kids smoking at a certain age, or drinking, heck why even force them to go to school, let them do whatever they want.

No leash laws, no drivers license, no marriage license, no liquor license, have anyone sell liquor if they want…

right2bright on December 21, 2013 at 1:38 PM
are adults CONCENTING to being robbed?

svs22422 on December 21, 2013 at 2:47 PM

svs22422 on December 21, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Let me help you out a little since your comprehension skills need some work. First off, “talk about STUPID. yea,stupid people like you annoy me to!!!” is not what I would call a well thought out response. If you want to engage someone on an intellectual level then comments like “you’re stupid” don’t make the grade.
Second of all, it’s not just a matter of making prostitution legal. If you make it legal then you have to hire more police to make sure it is legal. After that you have to hire more people for health and human services to monitor the health of the prostitutes. Of course there would probably be a “sin tax” so their price would probably at least double. To top it all off where would you put the new brothels? I don’t think many home owners and business’s will want them next door.
Then there’s the “in places where it’s legal prostitute related crime has all but dissipated” argument. Did you know that according to the WHO America is ranked 32nd in overall healthcare? However, when you take in to account the size and population we are ranked #1 (USA,USA,USA). The same correlation can be applied to prostitution. It’s easy to police the prostitutes or have a great healthcare system when your entire country is the size of ONE of our states. Check and mate!

bandutski on December 21, 2013 at 2:59 PM

I think the arguments ‘why have any laws at all’? — as if , if we legalize murder we should also legalize prostitution. That’s a straw man.

Consider the laws in New York against saturated fat. Suppose, for the sake of argument, someone should argue against repealing this as a bad law and an intrusion on freedom. “Don’t repeal ANY law, no matter how poorly thought out or executed, because we might as well legalize murder” doesn’t make any sense in that case either.

Some laws are bad laws and need to be repealed.

The question is, does making a law and enforcing it do more harm than good?

Is the harm that people suffer from legalized prostitution and legalized drugs greater or less than that suffered by creating a black market for same, thereby meaning more police to launch crusades to save us from ourselves?

I grew up for part of my life in Las Vegas (1972-1978). I was six years old, and prostitution was legal. My family went to church, ate at the casino buffets because they were cheap. I never even learned what a prostitute was until many, many years later.

SO: Based on this and on what I’ve read in Europe, I think legalized drugs and legalized prostitution will cause less societal harm than continued wars on both. I think our country has gone wayy off the deep end in terms of militarized policing, and the more we limit the powers both of the police and of the government the better off we are.

However, I would keep the laws against both theft and against murder — because murder is a form of theft, of life instead of property. The laws against theft, which protect private property, are fundamental to society, and without it no society is possible.

And that’s why I would want laws against theft to be both made and enforced, but not laws against prostitution. Many societies have survived for centuries with legal prostitution and come to no harm; no society has survived legalized theft. It is a fundamental basic law which we cannot do without. Laws against prostitution and drugs we can.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

pendell2 on December 21, 2013 at 3:06 PM

bandutski on December 21, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Really? We’re worried about zoning laws as the reason? You really think that municipal governments lack the sense to keep cat houses out of residential neighborhoods and away from schools?

And the health impacts? Next you’ll be telling us that big sodas should be banned because they’re no good for our health too. Never mind the fact that legal prostitutes could be required to take regular health exams to work, unlike the illegal kinds.

MJBrutus on December 21, 2013 at 3:11 PM

This kind of ruling is what made abortion what it today. Neither side want to anything as there is bigger problems than to be the morality police.

tjexcite on December 21, 2013 at 3:19 PM

I see the social cons are missing the point again by comparing this to bank robbery. Bank robbery is not a mutually beneficial transaction between two consenting adults, is it? If someone wants to have sex for money, that’s their business. By making the ancillary activities also legal, it makes the business a lot safer for the women, the lack of which was the only cited reason for making it illegal in the first place.

Besides, nothing is more old school American than a brothel. The West couldn’t have been won without them. It was all part of the culture that created America west of the Mississippi – and quite a bit east, too. Brothels, saloons, and card games. If the meddlesome moral busybodies had ruled the land, America wouldn’t have been America.

keep the change on December 21, 2013 at 3:20 PM

If they follow the example of Nuevo Laredo they’ll set up a “boy’s town” of the North complete with sawdust-on-the-floor saloons, licensed hookers, guard posts, and barbed wire topped walls. The illegals would feel at home, it would be kept out of sight (except for the hordes of dirty kid’s offering to guide you there), and everyone would be happy, happy, happy.

claudius on December 21, 2013 at 3:21 PM

As you might infer from the judge’s comments, prostitution itself is apparently already legal in Canada. (Keeping in mind that Canadian law isn’t my strong suit. And who knows what those Canadians are up to anyway?)

Jazz, does it even cross your mind to do what every other lazy driver on the Superhighway does when they need some quick info: check Wikipedia?

Scopper on December 21, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Scopper on December 21, 2013 at 3:26 PM

He may not be able to read their law books. Not everyone can speak Canadian you know :-)

MJBrutus on December 21, 2013 at 3:29 PM

I would think the gay rights crowd would be ecstatic. Freedom!!

CWchangedhisNicagain on December 21, 2013 at 1:09 PM

I wonder which will happen first: the lawsuits to require brothels to have gay prostitutes available, or the lawsuits to require individual prostitutes to service both same- and opposite-sex clients?

Sockpuppet Politic on December 21, 2013 at 3:31 PM

I see the social cons are missing the point again by comparing this to bank robbery.


keep the change on December 21, 2013 at 3:20 PM

You’re as dimwitted as ever. My point was about the safety.

You are always good for a laugh.

CWchangedhisNicagain on December 21, 2013 at 3:33 PM

“Parliament has the power to regulate against nuisances, but not at the cost of the health, safety and lives of prostitutes,” she wrote.

Screw the rest of the population!

GarandFan on December 21, 2013 at 3:34 PM

The simple question — should the exchange of sex for money be illegal? But look at today’s hook up culture. So: if you buy drinks and food and then get sex — should that be legal? After all, if you just gave money and the person bought their own drinks and food — how is that different? Of course socons will say both are immoral. But one is illegal (in most US jurisdictions) while the other is legal.

Anyway it is like a certain media personality said: “I don’t pay them for sex, I pay them to go away afterwards.” And that is really a key difference today between straight out escort services and the hook up culture. The escort will go away. (Of course another difference is that a reputable escort is 99.9% likely to be clean and disease free, while the hook up has been riding the carousel of c*cks and has who knows what diseases.)

Yeah I said it.

SunSword on December 21, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Another Saturday only Jazz Queer/Doug Matagayness thread.

Like clockwork

Eph on December 21, 2013 at 3:37 PM

I wonder which will happen first: the lawsuits to require brothels to have gay prostitutes available, or the lawsuits to require individual prostitutes to service both same- and opposite-sex clients?

Sockpuppet Politic on December 21, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Interesting spin on that one…

Would it be discrimination for a hooker to insist on preference for clientele or could the hooker be sued civilly or prosecuted under federal law for not servicing clientele that doesn’t fit their criteria for preference?

workingclass artist on December 21, 2013 at 3:40 PM

“the lawsuits to require individual prostitutes to service both same- and opposite-sex clients?”

Ask Doug and Jazz that question. They should know

Eph on December 21, 2013 at 3:43 PM

Sex trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery in which a commercial sex act is induced by force,
fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act is under the age of 18
years. Enactment of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) made sex trafficking a
serious violation of Federal law. The TVPA also recognizes labor trafficking, which is discussed in a
separate fact sheet.
As defined by the TVPA, the term ‘commercial sex act’ means any sex act on account of which
anything of value is given to or received by any person.
The TVPA recognizes that traffickers use psychological and well as physical coercion and bondage,
and it defines coercion to include: threats of serious harm to or physical restraint against any
person; any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that failure to perform an
act would result in serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; or the abuse or
threatened abuse of the legal process.
Victims of Sex Trafficking and What They Face
Victims of sex trafficking can be women or men, girls or boys, but the majority are women and girls.
There are a number of common patterns for luring victims into situations of sex trafficking,
including:
A promise of a good job in another country
A false marriage proposal turned into a bondage situation
Being sold into the sex trade by parents, husbands, boyfriends
Being kidnapped by traffickers
Sex traffickers frequently subject their victims to debt-bondage, an illegal practice in which the
traffickers tell their victims that they owe money (often relating to the victims’ living expenses and
transport into the country) and that they must pledge their personal services to repay the debt.
Sex traffickers use a variety of methods to “condition” their victims including starvation,
confinement, beatings, physical abuse, rape, gang rape, threats of violence to the victims and the
victims’ families, forced drug use and the threat of shaming their victims by revealing their
activities to their family and their families’ friends.
Victims face numerous health risks. Physical risks include drug and alcohol addiction; physical
injuries (broken bones, concussions, burns, vaginal/anal tearings); traumatic brain injury (TBI)
resulting in memory loss, dizziness, headaches, numbness; sexually transmitted diseases (e.g.,
HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea, syphilis, UTIs, pubic lice); sterility, miscarriages, menstrual problems; other
diseases (e.g., TB, hepatitis, malaria, pneumonia); and forced or coerced abortions.
Psychological harms include mind/body separation/disassociated ego states, shame, grief, fear,
distrust, hatred of men, self-hatred, suicide, and suicidal thoughts. Victims are at risk for
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – acute anxiety, depression, insomnia, physical hyper-
alertness, self-loathing that is long-lasting and resistant to change (complex-PTSD).
Victims may also suffer from traumatic bonding – a form of coercive control in which the perpetrator
instills in the victim fear as well as gratitude for being allowed to live.
Types of Sex Trafficking
Victims of trafficking are forced into various forms of commercial sexual exploitation including
prostitution, pornography, stripping, live-sex shows, mail-order brides, military prostitution and sex
tourism.
Victims trafficked into prostitution and pornography are usually involved in the most exploitive
forms of commercial sex operations. Sex trafficking operations can be found in highly-visible
venues such as street prostitution, as well as more underground systems such as closed-brothels
that operate out of residential homes. Sex trafficking also takes place in a variety of public and
private locations such as massage parlors, spas, strip clubs and other fronts for prostitution.
Victims may start off dancing or stripping in clubs and then be coerced into situations of prostitution
and pornography.

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/orr/resource/fact-sheet-sex-trafficking-english

Murphy9 on December 21, 2013 at 3:47 PM

victimless criminals from engaging in mutually consensual transactions

anotherJoe on December 21, 2013 at 2:40 PM

Sorry, but that’s just not true. The victims might or might not be an adequate reason to make it illegal, but it certainly is NOT a victimless crime.

Screw the rest of the population!

GarandFan on December 21, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Isn’t that sort of the point?

GWB on December 21, 2013 at 4:02 PM

This is not a “philosophical” question.
It is a moral one. It is a moral understanding of what is right and wrong that is supposed to inform law, not the uninformed street philosophy of entitled unwed animals like Jazz and Stossel.

And this is why libertarianism is an evil as great as progressive thought.

For the sake of the invented virtue of “consistency” they throw families, particularly wives, to the dogs.

StubbleSpark on December 21, 2013 at 4:06 PM

MJBrutus on December 21, 2013 at 3:11 PM

“You really think that municipal governments lack the sense to keep cat houses out of residential neighborhoods and away from schools?” Are we talking about the same municipalities that are removing words from Christmas songs because they might offend an extremely small segmant of society? Or the ones that raise school taxes while our children get more out of control, more violent and their grades drop? No, I trust them explicitly (sarc).
Brian P., so what do you think the pimps will do when it becomes legal? Apply for a business license, submit to OSHA inspections and start paying minimum wage? Or will they continue just as they are while keeping 99.9 percent of the profits? And “less social harm”? You mean the thousand of violent crimes committed every day by drug dealers and pimps? Do you honestly think that they will give up control over their massive organization, submit to countless laws and regulations enforced by federal and local government so that they can keep much less of their profits? Not to even mention all of the lives of those people who end up overdosed or afflicted by aids and many other communicable diseases. As far as what transpires in Europe,I neither know or care what transpires in these countries as in regard to their disposition of laws. I have lived overseas and they are far from the paradise that people like to portray them as (in my humble opinion).

bandutski on December 21, 2013 at 4:07 PM

saying that bans on street soliciting

I have no problem with legalizing most behavior but keep it off the streets.

Laurence on December 21, 2013 at 4:09 PM

“the lawsuits to require individual prostitutes to service both same- and opposite-sex clients?”

Eph on December 21, 2013 at 3:43 PM

As sick, sad, and horrible as prostitution is, still, I find that funny as hell.

Paul-Cincy on December 21, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Are we talking about the same municipalities that are removing words from Christmas songs because they might offend an extremely small segmant of society?

bandutski on December 21, 2013 at 4:07 PM

LOL! We are scraping bottom now.

So because some city council or school board won’t let your precious darling sing “Rock of Ages” at the school’s recital you think that they’re incapable of keeping a house of ill repute away from kiddies and that is why we should not allow people to earn money and do what they wish with their own bodies.

It’s all so well thought out and logical. /s

MJBrutus on December 21, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Wow. Bet all our American libertarians er libertines are green with envy.Amoral filth!

redware on December 21, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Murphy9 on December 21, 2013 at 3:47 PM

I don’t think legalizing prostitution will stop trafficking anymore than raising the legal marriage age has stopped child brides.

workingclass artist on December 21, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Why not? Isn’t prostitution done by “consenting adults” in privacy. I thought that was the litmus test to what is legal and illegal. Doesn’t matter that most of these woman are usually drug addicts who can’t competently consent to a legal contract..

melle1228 on December 21, 2013 at 5:19 PM

MJBrutus on December 21, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Of course those were just one of many examples which you would understand if you were actually interested in debating the facts as apposed to concentrating in endless sarcasm. I noticed that you don’t propose any ideas of your own but just criticize people who do. Maybe it’s because you are so morally bankrupt or just don’t have the intelligence to come up with your own ideas, I don’t know. I do know that people like who who think in such simplistic terms such as “lets just pass a law” without any regard to the consequences are what’s wrong with this country. Just because an issue (like taking God out of all public forums) isn’t important to YOU doesn’t mean that it is meaningless. You accuse me of a lack of compassion (do what they want with their own bodies) when you denigrate and insult anyone who doesn’t agree with you. That famous liberal compassion and understanding that I am always hearing about.

bandutski on December 21, 2013 at 5:21 PM

bandutski on December 21, 2013 at 2:18 PM , I have an idea, let’s make murder legal. sounds pretty stupid to me.

svs22422 on December 21, 2013 at 5:23 PM

So would local regulatory regimes also be an infringement on that trade? Regulations create a barrier to entry because those in the trade must invest money and time to go through the hoops, sign the paperwork, establish a residence and place of business… all of which requires more than just health inspectors, building inspectors and the such, but also is required for running a business in Canada is the Goods and Services Taxes.

Do note that many locales institute extra taxes on hotels and other public accommodations and would most likely do the same for prostitution. Heck, we have that in the US, too. So if a prostitute has the funds, time, energy and such to get a business license, establish its place of existing for tax purposes (and a residence may or may not be allowable due to zoning at the same address or building), gets the OK from various inspection agencies on the facilities… then there will be the hoops for check-ups to make sure that they are disease-free, and taking preventative measures against disease spread and transmission that goes way beyond condoms.

All of that is a barrier to entry for making prostitution a business, and if some locales allow ONLY sole proprietorships, then there is no ability by groups of prostitutes to run a company together.

Now if such stuff is a bar to prostitution and is struck down, then ALL regulations must now be brought under scrutiny as they ALL put an a barrier to entrance into ANY legal business.

And that is why you will get criminal prostitution still existing EVEN if it is legalized: it costs a bundle to do all that stuff while doing it on the cheap, not reporting it, not having a fixed abode or business address, not paying taxes, not seeing a doctor regularly…. that sort of savings adds up over time.

You can’t get rid of the sex trade by legalizing prostitution, or even clean it up all that much as it is a price sensitive service. Of course under Obamacare it might be made into a MEDICAL SERVICE because it is ALSO that! Say, maybe the Canucks are on their way to establishing State Prostitutes outside of Parliament, that is.

Just like Rome.

So much easier to get the tips and extra funds when they are on the payroll.

Illegal drugs would only go away once Big Pharma got their production up so that no one could beat mass-produced prices… until the new recreational drugs come in from Big Pharma, of course, there will then be a black market on those due to the cost of research, etc. to find them. You’ll be pining away for the days when it was only marijuana, heroin, crack, LSD… and you won’t be able to save the addicts until you offer an enticing, drug-free lifestyle that is attractive and makes a point of societal stigmatization of the use of even recreational drugs as dangerous to one’s health, one’s family and one’s soul. It would still be the business of the individual, of course, but that doesn’t mean anyone has to say it is great and ok, just that it is legal and stupid.

The Left wants an immoral society by making ‘everything good’, including infanticide and addicts robbing people for the latest and greatest black market drugs, and free-lance prostitutes being chased down by the police and thrown in the slammer for more time while the legal and State endorsed ones seek to protect their business turf. All under the ever watchful eye of the NSA/FBI/IRS looking to see if you have bad thoughts about leading a moral life and actually do anything about it.

ajacksonian on December 21, 2013 at 5:23 PM

I wonder what the United States Supreme Court would say if the same question was put to them?

…doesn’t matter…Justice Roberts will declare it a tax…no matter what!

KOOLAID2 on December 21, 2013 at 5:32 PM

I wonder what the United States Supreme Court would say if the same question was put to them?

We know what alchemist would say: “There’s nothing wrong with gay prostitution, but hetero prostitution has a long, dark history of negative consequences on society so it should be banned”, lol.

xblade on December 21, 2013 at 5:42 PM

I don’t think legalizing prostitution will stop trafficking anymore than raising the legal marriage age
has stopped child brides.
workingclass artist on December 21, 2013 at 5:04 PM

I think legalizing prostitution would make sec trafficking worse.

Murphy9 on December 21, 2013 at 5:46 PM

svs22422 on December 21, 2013 at 5:23 PM

What a brilliant comment. How will I ever come back from such a scathing reply? Just a suggestion. Maybe Hot Air can make a children’s section so people like svs22422 can post their inanities with people who share the same IQ.

bandutski on December 21, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Murphy9 on December 21, 2013 at 5:46 PM

Agreed. Child brides are legal in some Mideast countries and violence against women and children is at appalling levels.

bandutski on December 21, 2013 at 6:14 PM

I agree with George Costanza “It’s like going to a prostitute. Why should I pay, when if I apply myself, maybe I could get it for free?”

bandutski on December 21, 2013 at 6:17 PM

ya thing da War On Drugs has been a Long and utter Failure….

roflmmfao

donabernathy on December 21, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Has anyone heard from AP?
He mentioned something about a road trip to Winnipeg . . .

Bubba Redneck on December 21, 2013 at 6:38 PM

So is Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin a “madam” in more ways than one?

viking01 on December 21, 2013 at 6:52 PM

A widening of legalized prostitution will result in more human trafficking at lower, decentralized levels where competitors will fight to fill niche markets.

budfox on December 21, 2013 at 2:19 PM

The legislature of Nevada, and the evidence contained within the borders of that state, would like to disagree…

JohnGalt23 on December 21, 2013 at 7:10 PM

Just great, and now my Canadian Beavers will start demanding
a Boinking Union!!!!!!!
(sarc)

canopfor on December 21, 2013 at 8:06 PM

If you look at places where prostitution is legal, such as Nevada and certain places in Europe, many of those negative aspects of prostitution disappear for the most part

That’s why amsterdam is closing down its red light district. because there wasn’t much human trafficking right?

Also, giggity giggity goo.

lorien1973 on December 21, 2013 at 11:46 PM

Why not? Isn’t prostitution done by “consenting adults” in privacy. I thought that was the litmus test to what is legal and illegal. Doesn’t matter that most of these woman are usually drug addicts who can’t competently consent to a legal contract..

melle1228 on December 21, 2013 at 5:19 PM

And don’t you dare talk about the diseases that are transmitted by this type of promiscuous sex. Dave brings AIDS or an antibiotic resistant case of gonorrhea or hepatitis home to his wife, and it’s a victimless crime?

Nope. Don’t think so.

Even in Nevada, where it’s legalized — at brothels only — it’s subject to strict regulation:

Prostitution is legal in Nevada only at licensed and regulated brothels. Registered female brothel prostitutes must be tested weekly for gonorrhea and Chlamydia trachomatis, and monthly for HIV and syphilis. Testing of male prostitutes is also required. Condoms must be used. If a customer becomes infected with HIV after a sex worker tests positive, the brothel owner can be held liable. Street walking and other forms of sex for money are illegal just like everywhere else.

http://renotahoe.about.com/od/governmentcityservices/a/Legal-Prostitution-In-Nevada.htm

JannyMae on December 22, 2013 at 12:07 AM

The legislature of Nevada, and the evidence contained within the borders of that state, would like to disagree…

JohnGalt23 on December 21, 2013 at 7:10 PM

That’s because it’s licensed — and very carefully regulated — at brothels only.

Idiot.

JannyMae on December 22, 2013 at 12:09 AM

http://www.mynews4.com/mostpopular/story/Prostitution-ring-ends-in-several-arrests/uvbzwYLtnEyIJjBLGBaHkQ.cspx

RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) — More than a dozen people were arrested in downtown Reno this weekend, and they’re linked to a prostitution investigation.

Reno Police and FBI joined forces to find those who were commercially sexually exploiting minors.

Thirteen were arrested or issued citations for solicitation of prostitution. Twoo were charged with pandering. One was charged with possession of methamphetamine. A 17-year-old was recovered as a victim of exploitation.

As part of the sting, undercover police used the Internet to set up several prostitution arrangements.

Yeah, talk to Nevada. Nice try, LIEbertarian boy.

JannyMae on December 22, 2013 at 12:12 AM

That’s why amsterdam is closing down its red light district. because there wasn’t much human trafficking right?

lorien1973 on December 21, 2013 at 11:46 PM

Right.

Prostitution is like gambling. It brings other vices in its train.

David Blue on December 22, 2013 at 12:20 AM

svs22422 and keep the change,

If you look upon women as chattel, then legalizing prostitution would seem like a good idea. That said, a large number of prostitutes are forced into the trade, are basically enslaved, and are often victims of violence. But hey! As long as your own selfish needs are satisfied, who cares, right?

Both of you should consider thinking with the head on your shoulders rather than the one between your legs.

zoyclem on December 22, 2013 at 6:23 AM

MJBrutus on December 21, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Let me know when your daughter starts up in the busieness and what city she’s working.

smoothsailing on December 22, 2013 at 9:00 AM

The legislature of Nevada, and the evidence contained within the borders of that state, would like to disagree…

JohnGalt23 on December 21, 2013 at 7:10 PM

Your daughter too.

smoothsailing on December 22, 2013 at 9:02 AM

careful husbands, boyfriends and others. With the increasing level of governmentm, once it is legal how soon before ALL women are required to fill openings in the sex trade if a position is open to retain their government beneifts….

Become a prostitute or lose your benefits in Germany

Talk about a case against legalized prostitution!
A 25-year-old waitress who turned down a job providing “sexual services” at a brothel in Berlin faces possible cuts to her unemployment benefit under laws introduced this year.
…Under Germany’s welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job – including in the sex industry – or lose her unemployment benefit…
The government had considered making brothels an exception on moral grounds, but decided that it would be too difficult to distinguish them from bars. As a result, job centres must treat employers looking for a prostitute in the same way as those looking for a dental nurse.
Great, so now the government can be your pimp…Hey Germany, how about giving decriminalization a try?!

http://feministing.com/2005/01/31/become_a_prostitute_or_lose_yo/

unseen on December 22, 2013 at 11:18 AM

Some “trades” are inherently fraudulent. Selling addictive drugs for the purpose of hooking someone on them for life is fraud, and thus a government is delinquent if it does not prohibit it.
Where that leaves prostitution, I’m not sure, but it does seem similar.

Count to 10 on December 22, 2013 at 12:06 PM

All under the ever watchful eye of the NSA/FBI/IRS looking to see if you have bad thoughts about leading a moral life and actually do anything about it.

ajacksonian on December 21, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Hey, no need to bring the NSA into this.
Otherwise, pretty spot-on. Particularly what would happen when the pharmaceutical industry got into producing new addictive drugs.

Count to 10 on December 22, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Canadian users and purveyors of horizontal services are now upright citizens after all, evidently.

virgo on December 22, 2013 at 1:56 PM

This is a difficult question for folks of religious conscience. While we recognize the psychological, emotional, and physical harm that prostitution frequently inflicts upon practitioners, we also have to understand that much of that harm is a byproduct of providing an illegal service. I hate to say this, but were we to legalize it, tax the crap out of it, mandate health checks, work environment regulation, and then let the free market handle costs, we’d not only eliminate organized crime from the equation, but almost completely get rid of streetwalkers, pimps, and forced sex trade through drugs and violence. It’s one of those situations, like the War on Drugs, where our objection and legal opposition to it actually makes the problem worse.

eyesights on December 23, 2013 at 7:02 AM

As socialism runs out of money

they legalize formerly criminal activity so as to tax it

gambling

weed

prostitution

sniffles1999 on December 23, 2013 at 10:25 AM

And it’s equally true that a significant percentage of the women (or even men) who have “willingly” gone into the trade didn’t do so because it was a lifelong dream.

So we’re ending all careers that weren’t a lifelong dream?

Well crap… guess I’m looking for work.

Anyone need an untrained race car driver? I’ll get my application in before the rush.

gekkobear on December 23, 2013 at 2:14 PM