Keep It Legal, Make It Safe.

Today the House of Reps will vote on a law that seeks to end private, indoor, sex-for-money trades in Rhode Island. I don’t think I have to guess if the Governor will sign this one, since it’s practically his only long-awaited opportunity to strangle your reproductive organs with his rosaries.

Sex Workers protesting for legal protections in San Francisco

I won’t deny that the industry here is dangerously unregulated, and that could use some fixing, but I don’t see how adopting the same policy of prohibition that has failed in 48 other states will improve our situation at all. We should re-regulate the industry and set guidelines for parlor owners that force them to register employees, subject them to random regular inspections, and make sure that their employees are privately interviewed off-site annually to make sure they’re working willfully. Also, we should tax the crap out of the parlors. This law makes it impossible to regulate or tax the industry, and virtually guarantees that the trade will move farther underground, where trafficking, slavery, abuse, and pimping are even more rampant.

This law will not only create an outdoor prostitution/pimp problem (since the market for that is currently undercut by the parlors and independent escorts), it will cost taxpayers anywhere between $7M and $30M annually to enforce, not including judicial overhead or the cost of expanding the womens’ prison.

Call or email your rep today and let them know that they should reject this legislation until a comprehensive study of the sex industry in Rhode Island is presented, including employment and economic factors.

All of our neighboring states are moving in more socially-liberal and progressive directions — this is absolutely counter-productive to that.

4 thoughts on “Keep It Legal, Make It Safe.”

  1. Well said, Jef!

    Rhode Island isn’t going to ‘bible thump’ it’s way out of bad times, it’s going to take creative and different ways of using our small size to our advantage.

    A lot of people are asking ‘why should Rhode Island be any different than the rest of the country?’ with regards to this law, and I think Rhode Island -has- to be different if we want to be a better place.

  2. The oldest profession is not going away because the Assembly wishes really hard that it would. Legalize it, regulate it, and tax it. Then advertise it all over New England so people come her to spend their money in a clean well regulated environment.

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