Crossposted from STACLU
Since New York Governor Eliot Spitzer brought the topic
into the national discussion, I thought it would be interesting to dust off this oldy but goody. I know that some more libertarian leaning people actually agree with the ACLU on this, but I don't. It will be interesting to watch the debate in the comments.
Keep in mind that all laws are based on some moral code. That code isn't necessarily that of any one specific religion, but a reflection of the collective morals of the community and general public. It is my belief that issues like this one should be decided at the state level by the representatives of the people.
Also keep in mind that even in States where prostitution is legal it is regulated. The ACLU believe it should be unregulated. I think this is the most retarded and absolutist position that the ACLU has on this one. I don't know about you, but I don't want someone being pimped on the same corner my kid catches the school bus.
Not only have the ACLU argued before a federal appeals court
that having a ban on federal funds to organizations that promote commercial sex work inhibits free speech, but they even advocate the legalization of unregulated prostitution
The ACLU's Policy 211 is straightforward. "The ACLU supports the decriminalization of prostitution and opposes state regulation of prostitution". They base their argument on several points, including that existing laws are discrimination against women, and the right of individual privacy. They argue that what two consenting adults in private do is their own business. However, when you also oppose zoning laws, and regulation you can hardly argue that prostitution is a private business.
As for it being a privacy issue, it seems a contradiction to me when they also state that the "public" solicitation of prostitution is "entitled to the protection of the First Amendment". "It's not just the bedroom that the ACLU wishes to make off-limits to public censure, but also the local street corner, presumably even if that corner is regularly used by school children crossing the street
And what good would it do for women's rights to decriminalize this? One could argue that women should not be punished for their own exploitation. But how does decriminalizing pimps, buyers, procurers, brothels or other sex establishments offer any solution to this? Decriminalization would do nothing but expand the sex industry and send a message to society that it is acceptable. And a system unregulated would do nothing for women's health, and would only promote the spread disease.
They don't belive in zoning laws, and do believe in fully legalalized, and unregulated prostitution. So there wouldn't be any law that could keep a prostitution house from being a certain distance from your neighborhood, your Church, or your child's preschool. This is especially disturbing when they think child pornography distribution and possession should be legal,
and fight for convicted child molesters to live across the street from elementary schools and parks.
This is just one of many in a very long list of extremist positions of the ACLU.