“Marijuana has gone mainstream, casino gambling is everywhere and sports wagering is spreading. Could prostitution be next?”
I didn’t ask the above question, but a writer for the New York Times, Jesse McKinley, did — just last week. McKinley wrote that lawmakers across the country are beginning to reconsider how to handle prostitution, as calls for decriminalization are slowly gaining momentum.
McKinley wrote: “Decriminalization bills have been introduced in Maine and Massachusetts; a similar bill is expected to be introduced to the City Council in Washington D.C. in June; and lawmakers in Rhode Island held hearings in April on a proposal to study the impact of decriminalizing prostitution.”
Monday a bill was introduced in New York by state legislators that would bring dramatic changes to free up the sex trade in the state.
“This is about the oldest profession, and understanding that we haven’t been able to deter or end it, in millennia,” said Senator Jessica Ramos, a Democrat from Queens who is one of the plan’s backers. So I think it’s time to confront reality.” wrote McKinley in last week’s article. “The New York legislation appears unlikely to pass in the coming months, but the idea of decriminalization has already amassed a growing coterie of prominent supporters, suggesting that it might continue to gain traction.
“The debate is unquestionably polarizing in many circles, even among advocates for sex-trafficked and abused women who fear that creating a legal path for prostitution will not eliminate, but rather actually encourage, underground sex trafficking.
“And decriminalization is already facing intense pushback in state capitals from opponents who call the measures naïve and potentially dangerous.”
• CONSIDERING the actions of a majority of both Houses of Illinois government in recent days, it is no stretch to believe that legalizing prostitution in our state could be a reality in the near future. After all, there is money to be made in taxing the prostitutes, johns and others associated with the sex trade business. Maybe there could be a “Prostitute Productivity Health Care Act” introduced in order to make it a “health” issue. We’ve been down that road before and it certainly worked in basically taking all of the restrictions off of abortion on demand at any stage of the pregnancy — in the name of women’s health.
• DEMOCRAT Senator Ramos, a from Queens, that I mentioned earlier in this column as one of the plan’s backers, indicated that “It’s time to confront reality.” Her comment that “This is about the oldest profession, and understanding that we haven’t been able to deter or end it, in millennia,” is ridiculous and even laughable. With that reasoning, why don’t we take all of the speed limit signs off of the roads in our state because we have a lot of people who speed anyway and the signs have not been able to deter them? Or, using that argument, how about legalizing pornography because “we haven’t been able to deter or end it”? The argument that “they are going to do it anyway, so we need to legalize and tax it” is simply a phony excuse for bad legislation.
• AS FAR AS I know there is not any active move to legalize prostitution in Illinois, but, based on what happens in some of the states that are testing the waters, and considering the votes of the majority of our state legislators on other deplorable issues, I would not be shocked if the world’s oldest profession (besides farming) is one day legally operating in Illinois and brothels will be another “fine” addition to the culture of our cities across the state — along with lots of gambling, marijuana, any stage abortion on demand, high gasoline taxes and one of the top states for taxing its citizens. We are fast becoming the moral and financial armpit of the nation!
• I’VE WRITTEN a lot about the actions of our state government the past few weeks, not only because of the total disregard of the safety and concern for our citizens, but because, all of those actions impact on communities like ours, where local city councils, school boards, and other commissions have to deal with them. The people I talk with every day in my contact with the public are appalled at what has been going on at the state level. One couple told me in a restaurant the other day that they have lived in Decatur all of their lives and they are moving out of the state because it is not a good place to live anymore — especially based on the decisions made in the last session. Other people who want to move cannot for financial reasons and what they see going on makes them sick.
Politicians have ruined the reputation of this state and the mindset remains in Springfield that unlimited spending is the only standard that matters. The “new” budget has over $1 billion in NEW spending! Such actions by our governor and legislature are killing the spirit and destroying the soul of this once proud state.