(Chuck Muth) – In response to an outpouring of opposition to a proposed “lockdown” rule that would confine legal courtesan to brothel premises round-the-clock for 10 days at a time, with only one six-hour window of freedom, the Nye County Commission announced today that the provision has been dropped.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is the Commission has decided to leave in place the existing 24-hour “lockdown” rule that’s almost as bad.
Under Section 9.20.150 of the County Code covering “Health Examinations and Tests,” the current provision reads…
“Every prostitute who is off the brothel premises in excess of twenty-four (24) hours shall be subject to all the medical testing requirements set forth in this chapter and any other applicable State laws and regulations.”
That’s really just the same story, different chapter.
The ONLY reason given for the 24-hour lockdown rule is to protect the public health. But that excuse is absurd on its face.
What those supporting this lockdown rule are saying is that if a brothel worker is away from the ranch for 23 hours and 59 seconds, the public is safe from the possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted disease and no re-testing is needed.
But if they stay out TWO SECONDS LATER…
The main argument against the totally arbitrary 6-hour rule applies even more so to the 24-hour rule. The fact is, someone off the brothel premises could potentially pick up a sexually transmitted disease from the back seat of a car in 24 seconds, let alone 24 hours.
So if the purpose behind this so-called “re-testing” provision is to protect the public health, the 24-hour window of freedom is a loophole you could steer a battleship through.
Indeed, if commissioners really believe allowing a courtesan to leave the brothel property poses a danger to the public, then the ONLY way to protect the public is to completely lock them down and NEVER let them leave for ANY period of time whatsoever without “re-testing.”
Which would be insane.
The truth is, the testing isn’t what keeps the public safe. It’s the MANDATORY CONDOM USE requirement that protects the public.
So whether a courtesan leaves the brothel premises for 23 hours and 59 seconds or two full days, once they return their clients are still fully protected from contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
In fact, no other county in Nevada has a similar 24-hour lockdown rule in place and there’s NEVER been a single case of AIDS/HIV traced back to a legal brothel. Not one.
There is simply no medical or public health reason for this archaic, anti-woman 24-hour lockdown rule.
All this does is perpetuate the stigma that legal, professional sex workers are somehow second-class citizens – not unlike how gays were treated by society not that long ago – who can’t be trusted and need to be locked up and kept away from the community.
It’s not enough for the Nye County Commission to scrap the proposed 6-hour lockdown rule. It needs to REPEAL the existing 24-hour rule, as well. So let it be written; so let it be done.
Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a limited-government grassroots advocacy organization, and government affairs counsel to the Nevada Brothel Association. His views are his own.