Heartbreakers : The Legality of the Ladies of the Night
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Since the mid-nineteenth century, prostitution has been legal in the state of Nevada. Brothels (commonly known as “whorehouses” ) were required to have health-checks in the late thirties. Then to avoid troops getting sexual transmitted disease during the Second World War, prostitution was suppressed near military bases—affecting the red-light districts of Reno and Las Vegas. After the war ended, the order was lifted causing resistance by Reno officials. The Nevada Supreme Court upheld this action in the year nineteen forty-nine. In the year nineteen fifty-one, both Reno and Las Vegas had ceased their red-light districts as public nuisances, but brothels continued to exist throughout the state. In nineteen seventy-one, Mustang Ranch Owner, Joe Conforte convinced convince county officials to pass an ordinance which would provide for the licensing of brothels and prostitutes, thus avoiding the threat of being closed down as a public nuisance.
Six years later officials in Nye County officials tried to shut down the Chicken Ranch for public nuisance. At that time it was not a prerequisite to have a licensed in that county, and a plethora of others brothels were operating. Plankinton, the owner of Chicken Ranch and CEO of Princess Sea Industries filed suit, claiming that the 1971 state law had implicitly absentminded the posit that brothels are public nuisances per se. The Nevada Supreme Court acceded with this interpretation in 1978, and so the Chicken Ranch was sanctioned to operate. In another case, brothel owners in Lincoln County dissented when the county outlawed prostitution in 1978, having issued licenses for seven years. It was ruled in the Nevada Supreme Court that the county had the right to do so. Brothel advertisement was prohibited in counties where prostitution was illegal but this was punctually disputed on the grounds of the First Amendment.
But in the eighties, the Nevada Supreme Court declared it to be constitutional. In the summer of 2007, the law was overturned by a U.S. District judge as "extravagantly broad", and advertising in Las Vegas commenced anon after. In the Spring of 2010, the district judge's decision was inverted back by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The well-known advocacy group, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) appealed to the full Ninth Circuit Court in spring of 2010. It additionally appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States in 2011
Albeit, brothels and prostitutes are subject to federal income tax and withal pay local fees, Nevada has no state income tax, and brothels are exempt from the state regalement tax and do not pay any other state taxes. Brothel owners lobbied in the year 2005, to be taxed in order to increment the legitimacy of the business, but the legislature rebuffed it. Brothels pay taxes to their respective counties. Goldman accurately estimated that Lyon County receives approximately $400,000 to $500,000 per year from these taxes.
The debate over the legalization of prostitution is once again in the news after Dennis Hof, ‘Bunny Ranch’ Owner and GOP Candidate for Nevada Legislature, recently found Dead after Party. This happened after a case was made against Hof for sexual assault. Many would argue that prostitution should be illegal due to the fact 45 to 75% prostitutes have the chance of experiencing sexual violence at some point in their careers and a 32 to 55% chance of experiencing sexual violence in a given year. And in the United States, the homicide rate for female prostitutes was estimated to be 204 per 100,000. But those who are for it such as CNN reporter S.E. Cupp claim that the numbers are unreliable and that most are too afraid to report attacks — or any other crimes they may have been victims of — for fear of being found out. For those who do, in most states, sex workers aren’t protected by rape shield laws, meaning their prostitution, current or past can be used as character evidence against them. Thus legalizing it will “keep it in check and under control by giving it a legal framework.”
Opponents of prostitution would often bring up diseases. Jeffrey J. Barrows, DO, Health Consultant on Human Trafficking for the Christian Medical Association, wrote in the Sep. 9, 2005 article "HIV and Prostitution: What's the Answer?" published on the Center for Bioethics Human Dignity website:
"Even if a prostitute is being tested every week for HIV, she will test negative for at least the first 4-6 weeks and possibly the first 12 weeks after being infected. If we assume that he or she takes only 4 weeks to become positive, because there is an additional lag time of 1-2 weeks to get the results back, there will be at best a window period of 6 weeks for a prostitute. The average prostitute services between 10-15 clients per day. This means that while the test is becoming positive and the results are becoming known, that prostitute may expose up to 630 clients to HIV. This is under the best of circumstances with testing every week and a four-week window period. It also assumes that the prostitute will quit working as soon as he or she finds out the test is HIV positive, which is highly unlikely. This is not the best approach for actually reducing harm. Instead, in order to slow the global spread of HIV/AIDS we should focus our efforts on abolishing prostitution."
"Even if a prostitute is being tested every week for HIV, she will test negative for at least the first 4-6 weeks and possibly the first 12 weeks after being infected. If we assume that he or she takes only 4 weeks to become positive, because there is an additional lag time of 1-2 weeks to get the results back, there will be at best a window period of 6 weeks for a prostitute. The average prostitute services between 10-15 clients per day. This means that while the test is becoming positive and the results are becoming known, that prostitute may expose up to 630 clients to HIV. This is under the best of circumstances with testing every week and a four-week window period. It also assumes that the prostitute will quit working as soon as he or she finds out the test is HIV positive, which is highly unlikely. This is not the best approach for actually reducing harm. Instead, in order to slow the global spread of HIV/AIDS we should focus our efforts on abolishing prostitution." But just as the case for violence, one can argue that keeping prostitution illegal only exacerbates the issue rather than addressing the effects. Many even juxtapose the criminalization of prostitution to Prohibition of alcohol.
Opponents of prostitution and sex trafficking would argue that prostitute makes up a harmful, pervasive, illegal, and violent criminal industry involving pimps and traffickers who are tied to gangs, drugs, and street violence... Marshall Frank, Retired Captain from the Metro-Dade Police Department argued that;
" "It's time for legislators to wake up from slumber land by legalizing and regulating prostitution... Some folks disapprove of the immoral nature of sex for sale and, perhaps, rightfully so. But judging morality is for churches, employers, family members and peers. It should not be a matter for law enforcement, court dockets and jail cells, costing the taxpayer dearly, every day, every month, every year... Prostitution flourishes in the black market that would not exist if brothels and hookers were legitimized, licensed, medically inspected, zoned and taxed. Like drugs, gambling and other crimes of morality, or alcohol prohibition of years past, the black market is nourished by draconian laws that forever fail to accomplish its intended purpose... In Germany, and other countries, prostitution is legal and taxed. They turn the 'crime' into an economic plus. In other countries like the United States, we create the 'crime,' which turns the behavior into an economic negative. And, it's still a thriving business, law or no law."
Now I am not sure what should be done both make good arguments. On hand it is a filthy and immoral that reduces people into sexual objects but on the other hand prostitution will always exist like other “crimes against morality:” and having prostitution remain illegal will only make the conditions of the world’s oldest occupation worst. And the fourth question can’t be roperly answered until the third question has been resolved.,
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