Canadian Supreme Court Says Prostitution Ban Violates Rights of Prostitutes


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The strange thing about this decision is how its talk of values and its pretense that it isn’t taking a position on prostitution resembles the gay marriage rulings in the United States. Or maybe it isn’t surprising at all.

The Canadian Supreme Court struck down laws against deriving income from prostitution, aka a ban on pimps, because, and I quote, “It also criminalizes those who “increase the safety and security of prostitutes,” such as legitimate drivers, managers and bodyguards.”

Furthermore it found that a ban on solicitation in public was also illegal.

In addition, the law on prohibiting soliciting was designed “not to eliminate street prostitution for its own sake, but to take prostitution off the streets and out of public view in order to prevent the nuisances that street prostitution can cause. The provision’s negative impact on the safety and lives of street prostitutes, who are prevented by the communicating prohibition from screening potential clients for intoxication and propensity to violence, is a grossly disproportionate response to the possibility of nuisance caused by street prostitution.”

“These restrictions on prostitution put the safety and lives of prostitutes at risk and are therefore unconstitutional,” Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin wrote.

The prostitution decision follows much the same underlying logic as gay marriage. You can fully ban something… but you can’t partially ban something.

Civil unions legally made gay marriage inevitable. As long as prostitution is allowed, attempting to artificially restrict it by context, will be struck down by leftist justices.

Lawyers for the federal and Ontario governments argued that if prostitutes want to avoid the inherent risks of prostitution, they could simply choose not to engage in it.

But that would just be crazy. We all know that oppressed classes don’t have choices. Gay men don’t choose to be gay. Prostitutes don’t choose to be prostitutes. Transsexuals don’t choose to be transsexuals.

“Yes, great day for Canada, Canadian women from coast to coast,” declared Terri Jean Bedford, bedecked in dominatrix attire.

Kim Pate, executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, called it a “sad day.”

“We have now confirmed that it’s okay to buy and sell women and girls in this country,” she said. “I think generations to come, our daughters, their granddaughters and on will look back and say, ‘what were they thinking?’”

This is what happens when the left takes over.

  • Canadianpatriot

    This ruling is akin to saying that drug dealing should be allowed because it’s waaaay too dangerous for dealers, or that drug dealers should be allowed to carry and use weapons because their profession is waaaaay too dangerous. I don’t like to criticize judges who can’t fight back, but this ruling doesn’t seem particularly rational.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      And if drug sales are legalized, that is what will eventually happen. Just wire in disproportionate impact and you have a win.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.anziulewicz PolishBear

    I never quite understood the laws against prostitution. Why should it be illegal for someone to SELL something to willing customers, when it would otherwise be perfectly legal for the same person to GIVE IT AWAY for free?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      If a cop lets you off with a warning… for free.., there’s no problem. If you pay him to let you off with a warning, there’s a major problem.

      An economic relationship has larger consequences.

      • Honk

        I do not see how that comparison applies. The cop is breaking a legal contract, the prostitute is not. On a different note, I always thought the solution to gay marriage is to make civil unions equivalent to marriage, then abolish marriage. Stop pestering people!

    • NAHALKIDES

      We could argue about that for a long time. But note that the problem here is that this was not a legislative act but a judicial one, and the court blatantly usurped the legislative function by weighing the nuisance of prostitution on public streets against other considerations. Such weighing of opposing considerations is part of what a legislature does as a deliberative body (at least in theory – obvious the U.S. Congress doesn’t deliberate anything these days).

      One could take a different path than the court did here and argue there is a “right” to sell sexual favors that outweighs any concern we might have about protecting women from pimps and johns. But this proposition is by no means obvious, which means the matter belongs with the legislature.

  • Wolfthatknowsall

    The real purpose behind this decision? Legalize it, then regulate and tax it. Big government finds another way to gain power and money …

  • Jsjk

    By legalizing pimps (notorious abusers of women) the Supreme Court in its insanity believes it’s “protecting women”. It demonstrates just how out of touch with reality the Left is. Good grief. It’s too obscene for words.

  • Veracious_one

    outlawing home invasions violates the rights of the muggers too….

  • fush

    Prostitution is not explicitely forbidden in the bible. What is forbidden is “temple prostitution” which is a form of idolatrous worship and, of course, adultury – a married woman cannot be a prostitute. If a young woman who is still living in her father’s house prostitutes herself, this is considered an act of irresponsibility and neglect on behalf of the father. Kidnapping is also forbidden, and as a consequence so is kidnapping women and selling them into sexual slavery. A widow or a divorcee or an orphan may turn to prostitution as a means to survival.

    Nobody wants hookers hanging out on their front lawns, which is why red-light districts are established. A little discretion is only polite – as a matter of public decency. Who wants to have to explain this matter to children under the age of 13-14?

    A man should pay the woman her fee and perform only the acts which they have agreed upon. The woman should be able to call upon the “city guards” and receive some kind of justice if the man does not stick to the agreement.

    A prostitute should never reveal the names of her clients to anybody, and should certainly never speak to their wives or indulge in any form of blackmail. Anybody who does not use a condom is an idiot.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      It’s ambiguous whether the term used is limited to only temple prostitutes. That said, the general term for prostitute is Zona which is synonymous with immorality that the Bible frequently warns against.

      • fus

        All of what goes down on a typical Saturday night in a medium to large town is Zona-ism and none of it is illegal under US, British, Australian or Canadian law.

  • Cecilia Roders

    Canada just de-facto legalized slavery, because that’s what prostitution is. This does NOT protect the rights of prostitutes, it helps the traffickers and slave owners operate without the interference of the law. The prostitues rights are NOT being legally protected here, they are being stripped. Count on masses of Canadian girls to turn up missing in the near future, with no help from law enforcement to get them back to their frantic families.

  • uighurs rule

    A blow against Sharia.

  • Francostars

    Get prostitution legalized and taxed to cope with the crisis.