Counter-point: Prostitution is a fact, our laws should reflect reality

Let me start out by saying that just because an Ontario court ruled to make the sex trade “more legal”, doesn’t mean that the province will turn into Amsterdam, which is considered by many riding around their moralistic high horses as the present day version of Sodom and Gomorrah.

But that’s what a lot of people opposed to the recent strike down of certain prostitution laws would want you to think since Susan Himel started us on this slippery slope last week.

If not appealed, prostitutes will come out in masses to further degrade a morally bankrupt society.

Of course, that isn’t true but it does represent a viewpoint that is marred with such illogical and obtuse perceptions that come from nothing more than what people have seen on TV or in movies.

Those who disagree with the court’s decision, including the federal government, really don’t seem to grasp that this isn’t an issue pertaining to morality, it’s about legality.

I know that Minister Nicholson and the rest of the government would probably approve of (and waste a lot of money on) inducing some form of state morality, but I’d like the angels on their shoulders to remind them that the state has no place in the bedroom (or an hourly rate motel or the backseat of a car).

Whether you agree with prostitution or not, can’t we all agree that we don’t want these women parading around dark alleys and would rather have them under the umbrella of the law?

Forcing something like prostitution underground and into the shadows only further perpetuates the dangerous and seedy conditions that people are so vehemently against.

Let’s also remember that prostitution itself isn’t technically illegal and these girls have a choice to do what they do, and agree with it or not we have to respect and tolerate that choice.

Affording these “skilled labourers” the opportunity to work in a clean, safe and controlled environment will help reduce the risk of violence these women are constantly faced with and this court decision is a giant leap forward towards this end goal.

Sexually transmitted diseases are likely to decline with increased regulation as well.

In fact, it would be in the government’s best interest to help provide a clean environment for the sex trade, instead of so ardently opposing the idea.

Once the sex trade is regulated, it can be controlled (well, controlled easier I’ll say) and taxed. The federal government is hurting for money considering how they’ve spent everything except the magic beans, so why not jump out from the shadows cast by the moralists and into bed with the sex trade workers (no pun intended)?

I know I said that Ontario won’t turn into Amsterdam, but would that really be so horrible? Taxes on the sex trade net the city a cool $100 million in annual revenue, which is no small chunk of change. Dutch police officers have publicly come out in favour of a regulated sex trade, proclaiming that it’s much safer for both buyer and seller.

The Ontario court decision to strike down provisions on prostitution is controversial and will split many considering it’s a moral hot-button issue.

While I understand the viewpoint of those that see prostitution as morally wrong, the industry will exist one way or another. It can’t be stopped (they don’t call it the world’s oldest profession for nothing, you know), but it can be controlled and regulated for the safety of everyone involved.

It’s time for us to part with our moral grievances and accept that sex trade workers are people too and that they deserve the same societal benefits that the law (now) affords them.

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