(Ryan Tarinelli | Associated Press) – Nevada’s legal brothels are holdovers from the state’s Wild West past that draw customers and the curious to the rural areas where they are scattered.
Republican state Sen. Joe Hardy says brothels have no place in the state and attract women with few economic options who get stuck in an abusive industry.
“It’s not an easy exit for someone,” he said. “So I’d like to give them hope, that not only can they get out, but they can get an opportunity to get retrained.”
Hardy plans legislation that would ban brothels in the only state where they are legal — though even he acknowledges the bill might lack support among colleagues who see the brothels as an economic boon for rural counties.
Sex workers and other backers of the brothels say they’re ready to fight the measure. They argue a ban would hurt struggling rural economies and drive women working in the world’s oldest profession out of a regulated environment that requires regular STD tests and into dangerous street prostitution.
“It’s either going to happen in the streets and in Vegas and in the hotels, or it’s going to happen in a safe, legal atmosphere where women such as myself can feel safe and protected,” said Christina Parreira, a sex worker who formerly worked in multiple brothels.