Canadian sex workers rejoice! In a landmark decision, Ontario’s highest court ruled today that brothels will soon be legal throughout that fair, icy province.
When I first wrote about this case almost a year ago, it was far from certain that common sense would prevail. And indeed, it didn’t entirely; “communicating for the purpose of prostitution” will remain illegal. (I’m not sure how you can set up this kind of transaction without “communicating,” but I’m thinking it’s targeted at various methods of solicitation.) But prostitutes in Ontario will now be able to legally set up brothels and hire staff to protect them, which can only improve the safety of their working conditions. This is long overdue, considering the fact that prostitution itself has been legal in Ontario for quite some time.
I am especially impressed by the way the court smacked down the crown’s illogical argument that it’s okay to make laws that make prostitutes less safe, because prostitutes know prostitution is dangerous:
The judges also explicitly rejected a Crown argument that prostitutes make an informed decision to enter a dangerous trade, saying that prostitutes deserve as much protection as other citizens who work in “dangerous, but legal, enterprises.”
Valerie Scott, one of the litigants, was inspiringly happy at the results. “I feel like a debutante,” she told The Globe And Mail, “I feel like a citizen.” Hooray!
Click here to watch lawyer Alan Young and dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford lay out why they are unequivocally right in super cute Canadian accents.
(Via The Globe And Mail)