Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sex crimes laws struck down

A big victory for civil rights as three sections of the Criminal Code of Canada which actually made it impossible for legal sex workers to do their trade were struck down by a lower court.   Judge Susan Himel, ruling in Bedford v. Attorney General of Canada, has invalidated the provisions regarding operating a "common bawdy-house," living off the avails of prostitution, and communication for the purposes of prostitution.   It's important to remember that hiring a sex worker under the age of eighteen remains totally illegal, as it should be.

As troubling as the sex trade is for me, what's worse in my consideration is what happens to those who become victims through no fault of their own.   If you don't believe that, ask the women who were lucky enough to survive being tortured by Robert Pickton.   (Decision in PDF here).

Rather than just gut check and appeal this and short-circuit what's a win for both women and men, let's fix the laws so that those who walk the streets are safe and those who prey on the workers with ill intent are the ones who are punished.

Kudos to fellow blogger Wendy Babcock, who among other women helped me change my mind on this issue.

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