Thursday, August 13, 2009

Where it's illegal for prostitutes to give massages

The complicated legal situation in Rhode Island makes indoor prostitution legal, but requires masseurs to be licensed, so prosecutors "brought charges against alleged brothels for performing unlicensed massages."

This from a story by Sarah Schweitzer in today's Boston Globe, Many seek ban as prostitution thrives in R.I..

The debate over whether to change the law and (re)criminalize indoor prostitution is revealing, and suggests some of the complexities underlying repugnance to prostitution.

"Prostitution has flourished in Rhode Island, and the state has the distinction - a dubious one, many say - of being the only state in the nation to permit what is often referred to as indoor prostitution, a phrase that distinguishes it from streetwalkers’ solicitations. (In Nevada, the practice is permitted only in certain counties.)
Legislators have repeatedly proposed banning all prostitution in the state, without success. Yet, as the number of spas has exploded in recent years, pressure has mounted for change. This year, both the House and the Senate passed separate antiprostitution bills. Legislative leaders are now trying to hammer out a compromise with the backing of Governor Donald Carcieri."

"Leaders of the push to ban indoor prostitution say Rhode Island is encouraging a dangerous profession, and embarrassing itself in the process.
"In addition to support from Carcieri, Giannini’s bill has won backing from Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence and state Attorney General Patrick Lynch."

"Opponents also have a broad spectrum of support, including local chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Organization for Women, and a group of academics from around the globe who recently penned an open letter to the Rhode Island Legislature saying that, “compared to street workers, women and men who work indoors generally are much safer and less at risk of being assaulted, raped, or robbed.’’ "

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Prostitution is illegal because of religious influence and the damage to the purveyor. Prostitution is generally considered denigrating to women and exploits those with limited resources. Mind you, we make it illegal to take harmful drugs that only hurt the individual as well as suicide. But, free will and regulation to prevent disease and it sounds ok to me. Rhode Island here I come.
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