SWOP Las Vegas denounces Senator Reid’s call to eliminate Nevada brothels

The Sex Workers Outreach Project, Las Vegas denounces Senator Reid’s call to close down the legal prostitution businesses in Nevada . This move would put over a thousand people out of a job in the hopes of possibly attracting new businesses to Nevada who allegedly stay away because of the brothels.

“To begin with, it’s just insanity in this economy to even suggest putting so many people out of work,” said Susan Lopez, founder of SWOP Las Vegas . “Where will these women go for jobs once their livelihoods are destroyed? Does Senator Reid honestly believe that it will be easy for prostitutes to find jobs in those businesses he hopes to attract? Does he really wish to destroy these peoples’ lives in this way? This is just political posturing on the backs of real, working women with real livelihoods at stake. Will Senator Reid promise to hire all the women who will be put out of their jobs at equivalent wage rates?”

“ Nevada ’s brothels are safer places than the streets for selling sex,” said Dr. Barb Brents, sociology professor at UNLV. “Brothels can actually help fight trafficking. Furthermore, prostitution still exists in the 49 states where prostitution is illegal. Outlawing brothels will send hundreds of women into the already huge black market, where safety, labor rights, and access to services will become issues.”

Tessa Joy, a Nevada brothel worker and voter, says, “Harry Reid needs to listen to the voices of the sex workers who depend on their jobs in the Nevada brothel system to make a living; to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. As somebody who claims to be so concerned about creating more jobs in Nevada , it’s very hypocritical for Harry Reid to try to put more of us out of work for making a legitimate living. This is going to take away the only legal way that sex workers in prostitution can work in the United States and the results will be tragic in terms of both our livelihoods and our safety. I’ve never tried to put Harry Reid out of work, so he has no business trying to put me out of work either.”

Brothels bring in much-needed revenue to the rural counties in which they operate, helping to fund public services such as firefighters, police, schools and more. Lopez says, “Scapegoating the brothels as being responsible for the bad economy is both disingenuous and dangerous. There is no guarantee other businesses will move to Nevada even if the brothels are eliminated, and if these businesses have issues with prostitution, who is to say they won’t have issues with gambling as well? Are the casinos next on Harry’s chopping block?”

Lisa Mellott, co-director of SWOP Las Vegas and social justice activist, says, “It’s ironic that Senator Reid would single out the brothels as keeping businesses away. Las Vegas ’s entire economy is based on being an adult playground. Wouldn’t that keep those same businesses away?”

“Contrary to Senator Reid’s sentiment that the brothels are a throw-back to the Wild West, Nevada prostitution policy is more in step with the rest of the world than the rest of the US . Other countries across the globe are increasingly decriminalizing prostitution, as it allows the state to more easily address harms and grant sex workers rights,” says Dr. Brents.

Jenny Heineman, a co-director of SWOP Las Vegas and a Nevada resident who voted for Reid, is outraged at his proposition to “take away [her] sisters’ jobs.” She says, “I am a tax payer, a PhD student at UNLV, a sex worker, and an advocate for human rights. As my representative, I demand that he turns his attention to the real inequities suffered by Nevadans: namely the lack of revenue to support our education system. Stop screwing us for free!”

SWOP Las Vegas will fight for the rights of brothels to operate here in Nevada- the only place in America where women truly have the right to legally choose sex work.

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NV: Reid takes on Old West, says time to ban brothels

By SANDRA CHEREB, Associated Press – Tue Feb 22, 5:27 pm ET

CARSON CITY, Nev. – U.S. Sen. Harry Reid took aim at the world’s oldest profession Tuesday, telling state lawmakers the time has come to have an adult conversation about Nevada’s legal sex trade if the state hopes to succeed in the 21st century.

The Democratic Senate majority leader made the comments before a joint session of the Legislature as brothel owners and lobbyists — and working girls from the rural establishments — looked on from the gallery.

In his autobiography, Reid, a Mormon, wrote about growing up in the mining hamlet of Searchlight, Nev., and learning to swim in the pool at a bordello. His mother took in laundry from the 13 brothels around town.

But when the nation thinks about Nevada, Reid said, “it should think about the world’s newest ideas and newest careers — not about its oldest profession.”

He received a smattering of applause when he first suggested Nevada outlaw bordellos. By the time he finished with the topic, his remarks were met with silence from the representatives of a state whose identity is woven tightly with gambling, alcohol, quick marriages and prostitution.

Reid, who won re-election to a fifth term in November, focused his speech on job creation efforts in a state facing record joblessness, bankruptcies and foreclosures in the wake of the Great Recession.

“We’ve recovered in the past and we’ll recover in the future,” he said. “We’ve met crisis before and we’ve prevailed. Winning is what we do. Winning is what we have to do.”

Reid drew applause when he said he would work to reform education and pledged to do “everything I can to help ease the burden on state and local school districts.” He also spoke against the state’s term limit, which he called “destructive,” and urged lawmakers to have voters consider a repeal.

Reid also touted renewable energy, saying “the future of our economy depends on it and so does the future of our environment and our national security.” He also gave a nod to tourism, saying it “will always be Nevada’s biggest industry, but it can’t be our only one.”

But when it comes to attracting businesses, Reid said, “parents don’t want their children to look out of a school bus and see a brothel. Or live in a state with the wrong kind of red lights.”

“So let’s have an adult conversation about an adult subject,” he said.

Brooke Taylor, a prostitute at Bunny Ranch east of Carson City, called Reid’s speech “offensive” and said Reid should be proud of the way the state’s brothels regulate the sex industry.

“We’re the first ones to do it right,” Taylor said.

The infamous Mustang Ranch east of Reno was licensed as Nevada’s first legal brothel in the early 1970s. Brothels now operate in outlying areas around the state, paying local jurisdictions assorted fees that can be a significant portion of their budgets. They are outlawed in five counties, however, including those encompassing Las Vegas and Reno.

Speaking with reporters afterward, Reid was asked why he was bringing up brothels now. He grew impatient with reporters’ incessant questions about prostitution — a small fraction of his speech — and at one point suggested, “It seems to me you guys should get a new life.”

Former state archivist Guy Rocha said this was the first time he has heard a U.S. senator ask the Legislature to act on the issue.

“I don’t see how brothels are undermining the economy,” Rocha said.

Two years ago, brothel owners supported a bill to impose a $5 tax on sex acts, but the measure died in committee.
___
Associated Press writer Michelle Rindels in Carson City contributed to this report.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110222/ap_on_bi_ge/us_nevada_legislature_reid

NO: Federal lawsuit challenges sex offender registration for prostitutes

Published: Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 12:03 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 1:20 PM
By Laura Maggi, The Times-Picayune

People who must register as sex offenders because they were convicted of engaging in oral or anal sex for money filed a lawsuit against state officials last night, arguing the requirement is unconstitutional and discriminatory.

Only in Louisiana can people convicted of selling their bodies be required to register as a sex offender, according to the lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights. The plaintiffs include several women from New Orleans and the surrounding areas, as well as transgender women and a man.

The registration requirement only affects people prosecuted under the state’s crime against nature by soliciation law, which is used when a person is accused of engaging in oral or anal sex in exchange for money. People accused of prostitution, which includes any sex act, are not required to register. Continue reading

CA: Woman found slain in Burnaby park identified as 27-year-old Carla Marie Smith

VANCOUVER SUN
Tuesday, February 16, 2011

Kim Bolan

Second woman in a week found slain in a Metro Vancouver park

[photo caption]
Carla Marie Smith, 27, has been identified as the woman found slain in a North Burnaby park Monday.
Photograph by: Photo submitted, Special to the Vancouver Sun

METRO VANCOUVER — The woman found slain in a North Burnaby park Monday has been identified as 27-year-old Carla Marie Smith.

Smith was known to Vancouver police as being involved in the sex trade, Cpl. Dale Carr of the RCMP’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said Tuesday.

She also used the names Carmen and Justine.

Carr said investigators have not yet determined the cause of death, or if Smith died where she was discovered or at another location.

“We are hoping that today’s autopsy will assist us with that determination,” Carr said. Continue reading

Police Bust Restaurant in Suphanburi Forcing 30 Laotian Girls into Sex Service

UPDATE : 9 February 2011
The Human Trafficking Suppression Police have cracked down on a brothel in central Suphanburi province, rescuing more than 30 Laotian girls.

Human trafficking police said they have arrested 48-year Surapha Pudpa, the owner of a restaurant called ‘Phraew’, along with two staff members, for their involvement in sex trade.

Police said a man notified officers after he recently visited the restaurant, where a man at the restaurant asked if he wanted to sleep with a Laotian girl.

Original article:
http://www.thailandoutlook.tv/tan/ViewData.aspx?DataID=1040574

After saying yes, the man, who refused to give his real name, was invited to the back of the restaurant where he found at least 30 Laotian girls waiting to be chosen.

The man said he deeply sympathized with an 18-year Laotian victim who claimed she was deceived and brought into the sex business.

Police added that the restaurant acquired the women through an agency that paid 5,000 baht to the parents of the victims, claiming the girls would be working at a good restaurant.

The initial investigation found that the Laotian girls have been forced to sell sex services without receiving payment, and were threatened to be chained and beaten up.

The girls were reportedly allow just one meal a day.

Police concluded by promising that all of the victims will undergo mental health rehabilitation and receive further care, in line with an international treaty, as soon as possible.

Boynton Beach escort dies, former FAU cop charged with murder

By MICHAEL LAFORGIA
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 5:22 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4, 2011
Posted: 1:50 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4, 2011

A woman who city detectives say was shot and wounded by an off-duty Florida Atlantic University police officer died this morning of her injuries, and investigators this afternoon added a first-degree murder charge to the allegations against him, police said.

Jimmy Dac Ho, 47, of Boynton Beach was arrested Tuesday in the shooting of Sheri Carter, 29, an escort who advertised her services on a website that has factored in numerous prostitution and human trafficking investigations.
Continue reading