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-   -   judge decriminalizes prostitution in ontario (http://www.raptorsforum.com/f/f23/judge-decriminalizes-prostitution-ontario-17205.html)

'trane 09-28-2010 11:43 PM

judge decriminalizes prostitution in ontario
 
Judge decriminalizes prostitution in Ontario, but Ottawa mulls appeal - The Globe and Mail

Quote:

A Superior Court justice gutted the federal prostitution law in Ontario on Tuesday, allowing sex-trade workers to solicit customers openly and paving the way for judges in other provinces to follow suit.

Justice Susan Himel struck down all three Criminal Code provisions that had been challenged – communicating for the purposes of prostitution, pimping and operating a common bawdy house.


The decision will take effect in 30 days unless Crown lawyers return with arguments that are strong enough to persuade her to grant a further delay, Judge Himel said.

Her landmark ruling drew immediate fire in Ottawa, which has little time to regroup and battle the judgment. A domino effect of judicial decisions could quickly topple prostitution laws across Canada, as happened several years ago with prohibitions against gay marriage.
Quote:

In her 131-page ruling which took her a year to produce, Judge Himel found that laws set up to protect prostitutes actually endanger their safety, forcing them to furtively engage in hasty transactions conducted in shady locations.

“By increasing the risk of harm to street prostitutes, the communicating law is simply too high a price to pay for the alleviation of social nuisance,” she said. “I find that the danger faced by prostitutes greatly outweighs any harm which may be faced by the public.”

Quote:

Ms. Scott said that prostitutes will begin pressing immediately for a regulation regime that includes workers’ compensation, health standards and inclusion in the country’s income-tax scheme. “We don’t have to worry about being raped or robbed or murdered,” she said.

“We would like to tell residents and business owners: Don’t be afraid,” Ms. Scott added. “We are not aliens. Sex workers across the country … want to work with municipalities and to be good citizens running good businesses.”

Quote:

However, Prof. Young also said that the public need not fear that prostitutes and pimps are about to run amok in their communities. Nor, he said, should people allow any distaste they may have for prostitution to cloud the central issue in the case.

“This case is all about protecting the security and safety of people working in the sex trade, regardless of what you think of sex-trade work,” he said. “We have had a moral aversion to the sex trade for hundreds of years, but any time you can do something that increases peoples’ safety, you have done something good.”
Quote:

The Crown argued that prostitution can be equally dangerous whether it is conducted in a car, an open field or a luxurious boudoir. It urged Judge Himel to also reflect on the fact that prostitution is inherently degrading and unhealthy, and should not be encouraged as a “career choice” for young women through a slack legal regime.

Prof. Young countered that prohibiting communication renders prostitutes unable to “screen” potential clients, hire security or move behind the relative safety of closed doors.

thoughts?

GrannyFro 09-29-2010 12:25 AM

cool, make that money

bjjs 09-29-2010 12:37 AM

Their needs to be numerous restrictions and red tape slowing this down before they just go and legalize pimping and prostitution. Wrap it up in with so many restrictions and regulations so it's essentially illegal for most people again.

Claudius 09-29-2010 08:42 AM

I think that the judge who made this ruling is naive in thinking that it's only a social nuisance. I don't think she has ever saw one nor seen one in her neighborhood before.

Many of the ones I've seen are turning tricks for two things. Meth and Crack. That's it. I've seen many use it in the same vicinity where they are turning tricks. And this isn't some back alley where it's happening. It's typically in parks.

I can speak to two occasions where it's happened in parks in recent memory about 50 yards away from children I'd find the crack pipe. How is that only being considered a social nuisance?

I'd love to see pimps, johns and prostitutes take up their trade in the ritziest neighborhoods in this country and then I'd like to hear back what they have to say and if it should become 'legal'. For the most part the business isn't 'organized' with set locations. It's about men selling women or sometimes men selling men, to take advantage of a dangerous addiction.

Barracuda 09-29-2010 08:47 AM

Well, I guess my jobhunting days are over...

'trane 09-29-2010 08:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Claudius (Post 438543)
I think that the judge who made this ruling is naive in thinking that it's only a social nuisance. I don't think she has ever saw one nor seen one in her neighborhood before.

Many of the ones I've seen are turning tricks for two things. Meth and Crack. That's it. I've seen many use it in the same vicinity where they are turning tricks. And this isn't some back alley where it's happening. It's typically in parks.

I can speak to two occasions where it's happened in parks in recent memory about 50 yards away from children I'd find the crack pipe. How is that only being considered a social nuisance?

I'd love to see pimps, johns and prostitutes take up their trade in the ritziest neighborhoods in this country and then I'd like to hear back what they have to say and if it should become 'legal'. For the most part the business isn't 'organized' with set locations. It's about men selling women or sometimes men selling men, to take advantage of a dangerous addiction.

the whole point of this is to legitimize the trade to create safety, both for the workers and for communities. setting it up in established businesses with benefits and proper wages would go a long way to reducing the involvement of drugs and criminality. when you think of crack and meth, you are thinking of street walkers. the value of this decision is that it takes the trade off the streets and puts it into storefronts that can be regulated.

another strong advantage is that it takes power away from pimps and puts it into the hands of the women who do the work. if you aren't criminal, you no longer need the same level of street protection. a smart woman could have a location and a security guard and could control her own employment instead of being a slave to a pimp.

the reality is that prostitution is not going to go away. i am happy to see a judge take a progressive stance to legitimize the trade and create safety and security for the women rather than finding some convoluted argument to criminalize sex and force prostitutes into unsafe working conditions.

Barracuda 09-29-2010 09:01 AM

I'm curious to see how this plays out. Both of the Toronto neighbourhoods I lived in were pretty well-known for their prostitutes (especially with drug problems), so if this changes that... wonderful. It was always so sad to see.

bjjs 09-29-2010 09:29 AM

What is stopping the pimp from opening up a bawdy house and whoring out his prostitutes while feeding them crack. What is stopping pimps from taking advantage of young woman. The 18 year old/19 year old who doesn't take out the bank loan and open up her store front shop, but instead gets mindfucked by some man who feeds her kind whispers and gets her on the pipe.


Look at Las Vegas, it's practically legal their but still shady as hell and still very dangerous.

Especially 30 days from now, I don't see how this will be a good thing. This needs to be a slow transition.

Prostitution - Disease - Health Benefits - Workers Comp....That whole idea seems a bit ridiculous.

I understand the idea and hope by gutting these laws, but I think efforts could be focused elsewhere to protect prostitutes.

Windex 09-29-2010 09:34 AM

its simple, they want prostitutes and pimps to pay taxes
isn`t it only legal if its brothels
and it would actually decrease diseases since they have to be tested, unlike the ones that are in back alleys

'trane 09-29-2010 11:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bjjs (Post 438555)
What is stopping the pimp from opening up a bawdy house and whoring out his prostitutes while feeding them crack. What is stopping pimps from taking advantage of young woman. The 18 year old/19 year old who doesn't take out the bank loan and open up her store front shop, but instead gets mindfucked by some man who feeds her kind whispers and gets her on the pipe.


Look at Las Vegas, it's practically legal their but still shady as hell and still very dangerous.

Especially 30 days from now, I don't see how this will be a good thing. This needs to be a slow transition.

Prostitution - Disease - Health Benefits - Workers Comp....That whole idea seems a bit ridiculous.

I understand the idea and hope by gutting these laws, but I think efforts could be focused elsewhere to protect prostitutes.

nothing seems to stop that now, so i don't see how this law makes it easier for pimps. what it does do, though, is give the women somewhere else to turn. and the crack part is still illegal.

we also have to remember that the majority of sex trade workers are not street walking women. they are often people with good heads on their shoulders. some are doms, some cater to baby play fetishes, some are transexuals, and others cater to the many and various fetishes that men (and women) have that are not easily satisfied by meeting people in bars or whatever. it's pretty hard to introduce a fetish quickly in a relationship, so there is a market for providing those services. this is what the back pages of now magazine are about. and now these people have safe ways to ply their trade.

to your point about vegas - it's still shady in vegas because it is still illegal. but in the rest of nevada, women work in the sex trade (at places like the chicken ranch) and have access to health care, to disease prevention, to good wages, and to safety standards.

on a related subject, i wonder if craigslist will allow the personal pages back in ontario?

Ligeia 09-29-2010 12:10 PM

A little personal perspective....


I live in the neighbourhood that MacLeans called Canada's worst. I've also volunteered in a group that helps get women off the street. This does not mean that I'm an expert, nor does it mean that anything I say speaks towards prostitution everywhere. I hope it does, however, shed some light on why I support this sort of legislation.


I find the characterization of prostitutes as "junkies looking for their next rock" to be incredibly unfair. A lot of the prostitutes I have met are women with no education, no friends, no supportive family, and kids to raise. Often they were drawn into the business by dominant men who they thought they loved. One of the biggest battles we face is drawing women away from gangs that control their lives, and the lack of viable legal alternatives makes the problem more difficult to address.

At the most, less than half have a crack problem. Even if they do, I'm not sure that's a good reason to deny them legislation that can help protect them.

From my perspective, bringing the sex trade above ground will only be a good thing for these women. Why would anyone work for a pimp if they can work in an environment where everyone is tested, safe, counselling is provided, etc.?

There are a lot of liberal arguments that can be put forth in support of legal prostitution, but I think there is also a very strong moral case you can put forth: that keeping prostitution increases the aggregate harm and, thus, is an unjust state of affairs.



Quote:

Originally Posted by bjjs (Post 438555)
Prostitution - Disease - Health Benefits - Workers Comp....That whole idea seems a bit ridiculous.

Could you explain what precisely you find ridiculous?

Quote:

Originally Posted by bjjs (Post 438555)
I understand the idea and hope by gutting these laws, but I think efforts could be focused elsewhere to protect prostitutes.

Which is all very well and good for you to say, but can you give some examples of what else you think should be done?

bjjs 09-29-2010 01:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ligeia (Post 438591)



Could you explain what precisely you find ridiculous?



Which is all very well and good for you to say, but can you give some examples of what else you think should be done?

I find the notion that we can make prostitution healthy and clean is ridiculous. Test the prostitutes all you want, that's possible. Test all the customers? Keep prostitutes from sleeping with untested customers, is that possible?? It's unrealistic.

The idea that the prostitutes are going to be organized in thirty days to reap these benefits is also unrealistic.

Trane brings up the point of sex trade workers who cater too niches and "have good heads on their shoulders". From what I understand, these people are finding a way to make money now. They can do it behind clothes doors, without breaking the communication law, and they can make good money doing it. I just don't see how this will help the ones on the street. I don't see where any real progress is made against "bad" prostitution.

The mature, healthy, self-promoting, independant prostitute has cleared a hurdle perhaps, but who is going to organize the drug addicted street walkers in to groups. A glamourized pimp. What wonderful pimps we'll have that although still making money off misguided youth, they'll alteast be supplying health benefits and cheap rent.

Their needs to be more ground roots help for prostitutes. Drug counselling, career counselling. Etc. This is can be done without making prostitution legal.

'trane 09-29-2010 01:43 PM

the idea isn't that everyone needs to be tested before sex. that would be absurd and impossible. the idea is that the women can be tested and can find medical help if necessary, that they have health care benefits, that they can have a safe place to do it, that they can be protected and can work together to build something sustainable instead of living on the fringes of society.

i can't think of a single reason why it should be illegal. people sell their bodies for work all the time. this is just a holdover of a puritan taboo.

Ligeia 09-29-2010 02:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bjjs (Post 438607)
I find the notion that we can make prostitution healthy and clean is ridiculous. Test the prostitutes all you want, that's possible. Test all the customers? Keep prostitutes from sleeping with untested customers, is that possible?? It's unrealistic.

The idea that the prostitutes are going to be organized in thirty days to reap these benefits is also unrealistic.

Trane brings up the point of sex trade workers who cater too niches and "have good heads on their shoulders". From what I understand, these people are finding a way to make money now. They can do it behind clothes doors, without breaking the communication law, and they can make good money doing it. I just don't see how this will help the ones on the street. I don't see where any real progress is made against "bad" prostitution.

The mature, healthy, self-promoting, independant prostitute has cleared a hurdle perhaps, but who is going to organize the drug addicted street walkers in to groups. A glamourized pimp. What wonderful pimps we'll have that although still making money off misguided youth, they'll alteast be supplying health benefits and cheap rent.

Their needs to be more ground roots help for prostitutes. Drug counselling, career counselling. Etc. This is can be done without making prostitution legal.

I think you might be misunderstanding what I'm suggesting.

By no means am I suggesting that this is a panacea. I don't think they'll eliminate pimps, or STD's, or drug addiction by legalizing prostitution. I do, however, think we can make much bigger improvements in those respects by providing a legal framework in which workers have some grounds for recourse should things go awry.

Imagine a system in which:

1. Businesses are required to test their workers at least once every 2 weeks.
2. Businesses are required to provide their workers with access to career counselling.
3. Businesses are required to provide their workers with access to addiction counselling.
4. Businesses are required to enforce the use of condoms.
5. Businesses are required to follow all other OH&S and tax regulations that a normal business would have to.

It seems clear to me that providing a legal framework in which these issues are brought above ground will help to reduce harm. Again, it is not a panacea but it can help reduce suffering.

As someone who has provided "ground roots help" to prostitutes, I can tell you that they need a heck of a lot more than just that. They need a framework in which they continue the business they're in while minimizing the risk they absorb until such time that a transition out of prostitution is feasible for them. And, contrary to your opinion, even the clever prostitutes need this sort of legislation because they have little-to-no legal recourse if they're, let's say, raped by their john.

You're absolutely right that it's not as simple as saying "It's legal now" but that's certainly the first step towards some long-term resolution of an age-old issue.

INSIDER 09-29-2010 02:12 PM

i'm actually all for it.
the world will be a better place.
seriously.

regardless if prostitution is legal or not, it will always be around.
why not legalize it and make it more safe for the women who do it. turning a blind eye towards it and trying to keep it covered up isnt going to work, and will just make things worse.
remember when strip clubs were illegal?

Aar_Canada 09-29-2010 02:24 PM

This is long overdue.

LX 09-29-2010 03:20 PM

Now I can take my kid to a dominatrix whenever he needs a good spanking.:dancing:

Yeah - I know - I don't have any kids. Too bad.

Renihan_00 09-29-2010 03:32 PM

Good stuff.

Aar_Canada 09-29-2010 03:45 PM

So, when's the RF Brothel Party? Who's in?

'trane 03-26-2012 11:38 AM

ontario superior court down, only the supreme court to go...

Ontario’s top court legalizes brothels in bid to protect prostitutes - The Globe and Mail

Quote:

Ontario’s top court has legalized brothels and pimping that is specifically aimed at protecting prostitutes.

In a landmark decision today, the court said that prostitution is extremely dangerous work where inherent risks are multiplied by laws preventing prostitutes from working together under one roof or hiring security staff.

Quote:

The case will inevitably be appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. A final decision is likely to be at least a year away.



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