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.

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

Murder Investigation Uncovers Illegal Brothel in Las Vegas

POSTED: JAN 04, 2011 9:26 PM PST
UPDATED: JAN 05, 2011 11:28 AM PST

By Aaron Drawhorn, Reporter

LAS VEGAS – A high-end home turned brothel is the talk of Red Scott Circle.

“They had a red light on in the back, pretty much at late hours,” said neighbor Partap Khalsa. “It was definitely, ‘We’re in business.'”

That business, and the money it generated, may have led to the murder of Young Shil Park. Last month, hikers found the 39-year-old’s charred body in Arizona near Hoover Dam.

Metro Police say 30-year-old Min Soon Chang and 19-year-old Keon Kyun Park confessed to Young Shil Park’s murder. Police say the men beat her to death, then burned and dumped her body. Keon Kyun Park is not related to the victim. Continue reading

Details Exclusive: Meet America’s First Legal Male Prostitute

Former Marine “Markus” auditioned at Nevada’s Shady Lady Ranch for a chance to sell his body. He got the job, but at what price?

By Ian Daly
January 13, 2010

Today, a 25 year old from Los Angeles (by way of Alabama) will become the first legal male prostitute in this country’s history. “Markus” (his working name) was fresh off the Greyhound bus yesterday when he granted Details an exclusive first interview in a cottage at the Shady Lady Ranch brothel, two-and-a-half-hours northwest of Las Vegas. His story is about to become a national sensation. Read on to find out why.

Q: So you’d rather be called a gigolo than a prostitute.
A: I think for a male, if you want to be successful in this type of venture, you’re not a prostitute. You’re a surrogate lover. You encompass everything that’s required of you—not only emotionally, physically—but psychologically. Because women are wired differently. They’re much more sensitive creatures. You actually have to enjoy what you do. You can’t necessarily say, “Oh, it’s just a job.” You actually have to say it’s a passion. I think it’s the same situation as with anything that happens when you break apart a social institution. There has to be some kind of change in terminology to Continue reading

Country’s first legal gigolo starts work in Nevada

By Oskar Garcia
Associated Press Writer / January 22, 2010

This undated photo provided by OC Modeling of Chatsworth, Calif. shows "Markus" Nevada's first male prostitute. A brothel in an isolated Nevada town has hired the state's first male prostitute, a muscular college dropout who abandoned a brief stint as a porn actor in Los Angeles to become the only legal gigolo in the United States. (AP Photo/OC Modeling)

BEATTY, Nev.—A brothel in a Nevada desert town has hired the state’s first male prostitute, a muscular college dropout who abandoned a brief stint as a porn actor in Los Angeles to become the only legal gigolo in the United States.

The Shady Lady Ranch successfully won state and county approval to clear the way for the “prostidude,” as Nevada’s newest sex worker is already being called. After a slow first week on the job, his first appointments are scheduled for this weekend.

The male prostitute — known as “Markus” — has quickly become the center of attention in Nevada’s brothel industry.

He has been criticized by female counterparts for not being willing to have sex with men. And he created a dustup after telling Details Magazine that his pioneering role in the sex business was “just the same” as civil rights icon Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat and move to the back of the bus. Not surprisingly, he has been forbidden from doing interviews after the remarks. Continue reading

LV: March of the red umbrellas

On the scene as sex workers take to the Strip

Abigail Goldman

Tue, Dec 22, 2009 (7:10 p.m.)

“I don’t mind strippers,” the woman says, shrugging with open palms as if to say I’ll give you that, “but I have a problem with prostitutes, ’cause of the diseases they spread.”

This doesn’t go over well.

“That’s a myth,” someone snaps. And before the woman can respond—standing in sweatpants on the Strip, surrounded by people holding protest signs—another person pounces:

“If your pussy is your money, you keep that shit clean.” Continue reading

Memorial for Catherine Lique

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