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Guess Whose Fault It Is That Heterosexual Secret Service Agents Were Caught In A Straight Prostitution Scandal

Jim Burroway

April 17th, 2012

Family “Research” Council’s Tony Perkins is the Einstein who connected these dots:

Perkins: Yeah, you know that’s a great point. Just for a moment step back and look at the implications of (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal), over the weekend we saw the news of the President’s Secret Service detail in Colombia and the issue of them hiring prostitutes and now the White House is outraged about that. Actually in a meeting this morning my staff asked, ‘why should the President be upset’? It was actually legal; it was legal there to do that, so why should we be upset? Well, the fact is we intuitively know it’s wrong, there’s a moral law against that.

The same is true for what the President has done to the military enforcing open homosexuality in our military. You can change the law but you can’t change the moral law that’s behind it. You can change the positive law, the law that is created by man, but you can’t change the moral law, it’s wrong. So what you have is you have a total breakdown and you can’t pick and choose. Morality is not a smorgasbord; you can’t pick what you want. I think you’re absolutely right, this is a fundamental issue going forward because if we say ‘let them do what we want,’ what’s next? You cannot maintain moral order if you are willing to allow a few things to slide.

Comments

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JesterKatz
April 18th, 2012 | LINK

So many smart-ass comments, so little time (close to my bed time):

This makes more sense:
If you try to change something, something will happen!

Allow military gays & lesbians to server openly; straight people will have sex. Oh the horror!

You keep using those words (moral & law), I do not think it means what you think it means.

JesterKatz
April 18th, 2012 | LINK

(oops, accidentally pressed post instead of preview.)

“You can change the law but you can’t change the moral law that’s behind it. You can change the positive law, the law that is created by man, but you can’t change the moral law, it’s wrong.” Slavery was a “moral” law, and that went away.

“Morality is not a smorgasbord; you can’t pick what you want.” Speaking from experience?

Hunter
April 18th, 2012 | LINK

@ JesterKatz

“Morality is not a smorgasbord; you can’t pick what you want.”

Coming from a first-rank cafeteria Christian, the irony in that statement is deafening — Perkins is in my book as one of the most dishonest people in the public sphere, and it’s a pretty crowded category. Of course, if your idea of “morality” only includes other people’s sex lives, I guess that gives you an out.

As for the first quote you cited, anyone with any knowledge of history at all realizes that morality is culture specific, aside from the few basic rules that allow any culture to survive, such as “You don’t kill the neighbors.”

I’m starting to think that global warming is not the result of burning fossil fuels, but the result of Tony Perkins and his ilk and all the hot air they generate.

John
April 18th, 2012 | LINK

Wow, what a horrible understanding of positive law vs. moral law. Laws against homosexuality are positive laws regardless of whether or not they are ordained by God.

jpeckjr
April 18th, 2012 | LINK

Mr. Perkins’ logic is something like this:

“Men were not interested in having sex with women until men who were not interested in having sex with women were allowed in the military. Once that happened, men who had not previously been interested in having sex with women started having sex with women. In this case, they paid the women, but we hear it is also happening without money being exchanged.

If only we had continued the ban on men who are not interested in having sex with women from serving in the military, then men would not be interested in having sex with women.”

I would think about that some more but my head already hurts.

Craig
April 18th, 2012 | LINK

“Morality is not a smorgasbord; you can’t pick what you want.”

OMG! Is he planning to take away my bacon cheeseburgers and shrimp cocktails? (I’m fairly certain they sometimes serve those forbidden foods in military locations!)

Jarred
April 18th, 2012 | LINK

‘let them do what we want,’

The problem is, no one who exists outside of Tony Perkin’s head (and the heads of others like him) is actually saying “Let people do what they want.” What people are saying is “there is no compelling reason to prevent people from doing this particular thing, as it neither breaks another person’s arm nor picks their pocket.”

If other activities do break another person’s arm and/or picks their pocket, then that’s a valid reason to disallow those other activities.

Ryan
April 18th, 2012 | LINK

To be ever so slightly fair to the man, I don’t believe he’s saying the repeal of DADT caused these Secret Service men to solicit prostitutes. He’s saying instead that we as a nation have no moral right to condemn or punish the men for the “sin” of prostitution when we hypocritically refuse to condemn or punish people for the “sin” of homosexuality. Once you let one sin slide, it’s unfair to single out another, is his argument. It’s a ridiculous notion to be sure, but not quite as ridiculous as the gay media is portraying it.
It’s interesting, because it finally opened my eyes to his thought process, especially when he used the term “let it slide”. I think he thinks that even those who are for marriage equality or DADT repeal are doing so because even though they know “instinctively” that homosexuality is wrong, they’re willing to “let it slide” for the sake of some progressive agenda like equality. The idea that some (many now) don’t see homosexuality as a moral failing *at all*, (and in fact see opposition to gay rights as the true moral failing) doesn’t occur to him. That’s why he doesn’t understand why he’s called a hater. It’s like prostitution. Even those of us who think it shouldn’t be illegal don’t think of it as something moral or just. We don’t go to Prostitute Pride parades, and we don’t call those who think it’s a sin “haters”. We’re just willing to “let it slide” for the sake of libertarian or progressive values. And that’s what Tony thinks gay-friendly straight people think about gays. It would be almost sad if he weren’t such an shameless liar and bigot.
I can’t believe it took me this long to figure that out.

MJC
April 18th, 2012 | LINK

Perkins is a loon. It would be good if he came out of the closet. What are these ‘moral laws’?

MattNYC
April 18th, 2012 | LINK

I think he may have pulled something with this stretch…

Blake
April 18th, 2012 | LINK

@jarred: yeah, the crazy-anti-gays seem to be really good at figuring out counterarguments to counter the straw-men/red-herring arguments they set up.

Ryan, I agree with your analysis 100%.

Although I take it a step further & suggest that his thinking is so clouded by the conclusions he wants to reach that hes incapable of seeing that he’s lying or being anything less than honorable.

Just as he can’t see that he’s a hater, he can’t see that he’s lying, he can’t see that he’s bigoted, he can’t see that his reasoning is puts conclusions ahead of evidence.

Hunter
April 18th, 2012 | LINK

Ryan & Blake:

I suspect Perkins knows very well he’s lying. I’ve seen him challenged on some of his misrepresentations and outright fabrications, and he doesn’t try to insist on the factual accuracy of his statements at all — he changes the subject. This isn’t the reaction of a man who’s convinced he’s right, it’s the reaction of a liar who’s been caught and knows he has nothing to back up his claims.

Timothy Kincaid
April 18th, 2012 | LINK

Ryan,

well said.

Timothy Kincaid
April 18th, 2012 | LINK

Blake,

Yep. Perkins knows that he is a good guy, by definition. So of course he doesn’t hate or lie or engage in bigotry. Good people don’t do that.

It’s all distortion and lies by the homosexual activists, you know.

And he is so invested in his own perception as a warrior for God and for good that he can’t even see that he is hurting not “radical militant homosexual activists that want to destroy Western Civilization out of their hate for God” but real living people.

Timothy Kincaid
April 18th, 2012 | LINK

Hunter,

Those are just details. So what if he gets a few figures or statements wrong, the bigger TRUTH is still true.

It’s like the cop who gives you a ticket because even if you weren’t speeding this time, it makes up for the time you didn’t get caught.

He KNOWS that homosexuality is an assault on God so its a bad thing. If this one fact isn’t correct, well it makes up for the fact that you didn’t get caught on. And he will Never Ever notice that all of his facts are wrong.

aNDREW
April 18th, 2012 | LINK

Perkins has a point, albeit a strange one – and Ryan has it right, while the headline of this article has it wrong.

His argument is that there are things that we “know” are wrong, and there are things that are illegal, and sometimes these are not the same thing – that is, there are things that, although legal, are still “wrong”.

The problem is that, in this case, we’re talking about professionals charged with representing the United States and handling security arrangements engaged in behavior so egregious that the hosts got pissed off, and did so by consorting with folks who could easily be deemed security risks. Oh, and instead of engaging as professionals, they were screwing around, possibly on the clock.

When Perkins talks about gays, however, he’s talking about us existing.

It’s an abuse of the logic here – I think we all know that me working my ass off 8 hours a day and then going home, making dinner for my husband, and maybe gettin a little before bed would be substantially different from me going on a work junket, partying so loud the hotel owner got pissed off, and inviting non-work related people to my room, and then screwing them out of money. Last time I checked, when I travel for business, my head is supposed to be on the job. That’s why one travels instead of dialing it in.

The issue here is a gross incompetence and a violation of professionalism, not the commitment of personal sins.

jpeckjr
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

@Ryan. I do agree with your comments.

Just couldn’t let the twistedness of Perkins remarks slide by without some snark.

Hunter
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

Timothy:

“He KNOWS that homosexuality is an assault on God. . . .”

My response to him is “Which god would that be, specifically?” — because there have been plenty of them who had no problem with homosexuality at all.

SharonB
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

And Perkins’ special blend of scapegoating gays for every societal failing, ladies and gentlemen, is the kind of sociopathic behavior that earns his designation as a hate group.

Priya Lynn
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

Ryan said “To be ever so slightly fair to the man, I don’t believe he’s saying the repeal of DADT caused these Secret Service men to solicit prostitutes. He’s saying instead that we as a nation have no moral right to condemn or punish the men for the “sin” of prostitution when we hypocritically refuse to condemn or punish people for the “sin” of homosexuality.”.

Society has no moral right to condemn people for either prostitution or gayness. Neither hurt anyone so both are moral by definition.

Ryan said”It’s like prostitution. Even those of us who think it shouldn’t be illegal don’t think of it as something moral or just. We don’t go to Prostitute Pride parades, and we don’t call those who think it’s a sin “haters”. We’re just willing to “let it slide” for the sake of libertarian or progressive values.”.

You don’t speak for me. I do think prostitution is moral and just. If there was a prostitute pride parade I’d be there with bells on, people who think its wrong are haters.

I consider prostitutes heroes, doing an unsavoury job in order to provide a valuable service. How many more rapes would there be if there were no prostitutes? How valuable to someone who doesn’t have the charm or looks to get a woman to sleep with him willingly for free is it to be able to have an outlet for one of mankind’s strongest drives? No, I don’t agree with you at all, quite the opposite, I look up to prostitutes as one of society’s greatest citizens.

Jarred
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

How many more rapes would there be if there were no prostitutes?

While I’m totally in favor of legalizing prostitution (or other sex work) and see nothing morally wrong with providing such a service for money, I’m not sure I agree with that line of reasoning. Rape tends to be about power and control more than about actual sex. Plus, prostitutes and other sex workers are among those who get raped and otherwise abused. What’s worse, they don’t have the luxury of reporting when it happens because to do so would require them to self-incriminate.

As an aside, giving sex workers the ability to report when they are assaulted, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by either their clients or their pimps — the real moral problems I see with such work as it is too often practiced today — is one of the reasons I actually consider it a moral imperative to support the legalization of such work.

Priya Lynn
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

Jarred said “Rape tends to be about power and control more than about actual sex.”.

Sometimes, but it is also sometimes just about sex. And sometimes potential rapists live out their power and control fantasies with prostitutes thus making it less likely they’ll rape someone. That rape is about power and control rather than sex is a popular talking point, but I’ve never seen any studies to back up the claim (that some make) that this is always the case.

I agree that the criminalization of prostitutes results in them being assaulted, exploited, or otherwise mistreated far more than would be the case if it were legal and they could use the justice system to fight against abuse. As you say, it is a moral imperative to support the legalization of prostitution.

Priya Lynn
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

Also, about prostitutes being raped, that doesn’t necessarily mean the rape is about power and control, it may just mean the rapist doesn’t want to pay for sex.

Timothy Kincaid
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

Hunter,

The one he created to back up his biases of course

Ryan
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

Sorry, Lynn. I didn’t mean to speak for you. I don’t think too many people believe prostitution prevents rapes, though. That’s about as nonsensical as saying DADT prevents rapes. A pretty nasty view of men you seem to have.

Regan DuCasse
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

Priya Lynn, we need to talk some more about the distinction between criminality, and services.

Prostitution, by definition, gives power to the patron of it. The patron is someone who typically uses this service because they don’t consider such people worthy of attachment and commitment. The prostitute is providing body parts for use as if not the entire of a PERSON and their needs.

In the case of these SS agents, they didn’t even WANT TO PAY at the end of the transaction.
Service providers, can be treated very poorly. Especially when such service providers are plentiful.

You are mistaken that prostitution contains rapes. VERY mistaken.
The higher end of sex workers, where there is regulation, health checks and security, is EXPENSIVE.
The biggest and cheapest, I’m talking 80% range of the sex trade is unregulated, street trade. And the workers are very desperate and extremely young. Sex trafficking in America is a national disgrace, with sex workers as young a nine years old being sold into it. Some, by their own parents.

The moral implications here: how cheap the life of females, the weak and economically strained are that enters into such work in the first place. It’s exploitation of the weakest members of society.
And the terrible reality is, that this weak demographic is also the biggest target for rape. Rapists are not in it for the power, humiliation and control. It’s what feeds THEM and their twisted needs.
Prostitution has that at it’s foundation of sex for pay. Which is why making it legal will just make those who think they are entitled, feel MORE so.
Such as in the case of the SS agents.
And we can’t be having that.

Regan DuCasse
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

Oops, typo I meant rapists ARE in it for the power, humiliation and control. Sorry for the error.

Priya Lynn
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

Ryan, I don’t think any of us can say with any degree of certainty whether or not prostitution prevents rapes or if rape is more about power and control than sex, I haven’t seen any studies on the subject but would certainly be interested if someone can show them to me.

I think your attempt at analogy fails as there is no logical link between preventing people from acknowledging their gayness and discouraging rape but it is reasonable to assume that if sex is available to all men for a price that means rape is generally unnecessary to obtain it.

You’re correct, I do think men are pretty nasty. While men are capable of the most noble of acts there is a long history of war, rape, murder, and crime that has primarily been instigated and carried out by men. The last I heard there are 20 men incarcerated in the States for every woman – crime is primarily a male thing.

When I was growing up I recall over and over it was the boys picking fights, bullying, and beating kid’s up and the girls trying to discourage such behavior, so I do tend to think of men as bad and women as good. Ironically I’ve found my husband epitomizes all the goodness and honour I thought was only inherent in women although he is not in any way feminine. Because of him I recognize that there are some men who are as good as the best of women but it still hasn’t changed my general impression that men are mostly not as nice as women.

Regan DuCasse
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

Some times, I wish I could share MY work a bit more extensively with my civilian friends.
Before I even got with the LAPD, I took a friend, new to Los Angeles, on a field trip. And showed her the strolls where the prostitutes were. Male and female.
She was amazed that a nice girl like me, even knew about it, let alone where to find it.

And then there was that time I was waiting on a bus, dressed in a turtleneck, baseball jacket, jeans, combat boots and a beret, and an older man in a big Oldsmobile yelled out at me to come over and ‘handle his business’.
Without a word I took out a pen and pad and wrote down his license plate and description and told him why. He peeled out of there, but another woman at the stop was outraged that such a man would talk to me like that. She told me. I looked like a good, college girl.
She loved what I did to make him run away.
Eventually, I’d heard on the news that police women would be on the streets, dressed in nice clothes to arrest men for just that type of harassment I got.

I had to start escorting some of the pre adolescent girls in my building and I held a neighborhood street smart meeting at my apartment to show the kids what to do when men would approach or follow them.
I’m not kidding. It’s BAD out there and no one can know when predators can or will pounce.
And they don’t care if you’re a child, or a nice girl. You’re just meat to them.

And also, a lot of the prostitutes in my city, are trans women. Several have been murdered, one of them was the student of a friend of mine at a school I volunteered at. Bea was only 24 when it happened and she was very pretty and sweet.
Too many turn to prostitution for the aforementioned reasons. They have a harder time getting a legitimate job and we can’t be having that either.

You know I love ya, Priya and respect you to the core. I wish things COULD be so that prostitution was good, clean business between consenting folks.
It’s not.
And I don’t think there is a thing that will make it that way.

Priya Lynn
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

Regan, I never said prostitution contains rapes, I think its availability means there are fewer rapes but as to what percentage I have no idea. We can argue about the percentage but I am certain it is not zero. Once again, if anyone has any studies that contradicts this I’m happy to look at them.

To the best of my knowledge there is no regulated sex trade in the States. I abhor sex trafficing and minors being forced into prostitution but the criminalization of prostitution has not only failed to stop such abuses, its made them worse. It discourages willing women of age from getting into the trade thus providing incentive for males to force women and minors into it to meet demand that will never go away. Criminalization discourages those in the trade from seeking help because they are then themselves subject to criminal sanctions. Because the trade is illegal there is no regulation or monitoring of it and once again this makes the problems associated with it much worse than they’d be if prostitution was legal, regulated, monitored, and women with disputes and problems were able to seek the help of the judicial system without fear of being persecuted by it themselves.

Priya Lynn
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

I’ll add that one of the reason’s prostitutes are preyed upon and murdered is that the perpetrators know they are unlikely to involve the police because they are criminals themselves. Lots of murderers seek out prostitutes because they think no one cares about them, a message that is reinforced by criminalizing an honest job.

Priya Lynn
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

I just remembered there is legalized prostitution at the Bunny Ranch in Nevada. I would just ask out of the prostitutes that work there, how many have been raped or murdered, how many are there against their will, how many of them are nine years old?

Timothy Kincaid
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

Regan,

Just a small observation. When writing about prostitution, it may be best to avoid sentences that start with, “I had to start escorting …”

That one woke me up.

:)

Timothy Kincaid
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

My perspectives on prostitution are driven from two acquaintances.

One was a fellow I met when in my early 20’s. He seemed like a nice older middle-aged bald heavy set fellow in his 40’s. He was my age. But while not particularly attractive, he was quite intelligent.

The other was a boy who wasn’t lazy or careless, he just wasn’t very smart. He was never, ever, going to have an executive position – okay, he was never going to have a position that required employment skills more challenging than a burger waiter. I think barista was beyond him.

And I got to thinking… in a world in which one person can fairly easily get money but not sex and another person could making a living off sex but otherwise is not really be capable of putting food in his mouth or a roof over his head, how moral is a morals code that prohibits prostitution?

Désirée
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

I have to go with George Carlin on this:
Selling stuff is legal
F*cking is legal
Why isn’t selling f*cking legal?
What’s wrong with someone paying for something they can get for free?

****************
It simply makes no sense to ban a consensual activity between adults. The activity will continue to happen, it’ll just take place in the shadows rather than in the light. Regan describes some horrible things that go in the prostitution business while ignoring the fact that the business is that way *because* it is banned.

Regan DuCasse
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

Priya Lynne, you left out several of the most important aspects of why we are having this conversation.

1. In regulated legal environments, it’s not CHEAP. Remember, the SS agents, didn’t even want to pay a 47.00 bill for services provided. Even if no rapes take place, and there are no underage workers, OUTSIDE of such places THERE ARE. Even where prostitution is legal, there is MUCH MORE of a kind that isn’t. Brothels aren’t patronized that much for the very reasons that would make prostitution at least safer for the prostitutes. Too many people don’t want to have ANY rules to abide by.

2. It’s not an elite job, it’s a job that degrades and those who patronize it, don’t respect those providing the service. Regardless that it’s the most INTIMATE service that can humanly be provided, those providing it are not treated like human beings. Prostitutes are lower than maids, or counter persons and field workers. After all, you’re giving up intimate parts of your body to contact with another intimate body part. Think of the implications of that.
The implications of that, is the objectification of sex and females. Recently there were some women who wanted male prostitutes to be provided for female and male patrons of legal brothels. Didn’t happen.

3. The criminalization of prostitution has nothing to do with the reduction of rape. One cannot reduce the other.
The PROBLEM is the objectification, and a person that obsessed or detached from sex and what it actually does, is someone who uses prostitutes as a repository for other issues. And besides, however regulated, there’s also the issue of married and committed patrons. Elliot Spitzer and Charlie Sheen come to mind and the impact of prostitution on their families and socio/political credibility.

4. And TIM, a person who you believe isn’t bright enough or skilled enough to be anything else but a prostitute, is someone who could be easily abused and exploited, even so. This is a country of considerable opportunity, even for the untalented and unskilled. Why would you take it for granted that such a person would have skills in sex enough to satisfy a customer?
An unsatisfied customer might turn to abuse or with hold payment any time they felt like it. Or the boss of the brothel might do the same.
That’s the danger of being unskilled in ANY situation, let alone something that’s even more risky than other less skilled jobs.
Are you kidding me?

I had to be a BODY GUARD for my neighbor’s children. I was harassed on the street myself. I happen to be a tall, muscular woman with some fighting skills. I was taken for granted and still am sometimes, ONLY because I’m a female. Serious predators aren’t looking for me. They ARE looking for who is the weakest. Which tend to be girls and boys.

Hate to break it to ya folks, but sex obsession of some, is a very destructive factor in our nation. It’s not just vestiges of Puritan values that drive the issue, but the extremes and unrealistic ideals people have about decriminalization or legalization of certain behaviors.
The worst that comes out because of them, are not lessened, but worsened.
We live in an age where people are offended by regulation, standards and showing good manners.
The hunting grounds will change, that’s all.

Charles
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

Tony Perkins jumped the shark with this attempt to blame the gays.

Timothy Kincaid
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

Regan is right in many regards. Prostitutes are treated with disregard and contempt, and this seems to be something that reaches across many cultures and across broad expanses of time.

Additionally, I am only going by anecdotal observation, but it is my observation that many of the people I know who have at some point been engaged in prostitution have a very distorted perspective of sex. It seems that the connection between sex and intimacy is either missing or oddly extremely heightened. Also – again just observation – dishonesty seems to be a central theme to their existence.

I do know one exception – someone who started down that road and then didn’t like who they were becoming and stopped.

HOWEVER, it is difficult to determine if those attitudes and consequences are inherent to prostitution or are the result of institutionalized religious and governmental condemnation.

And it also may be that due to heavy pejorative associations, only those with less of a sense of self worth enter the profession – thus resulting in prostitutes exhibiting the behavior one associates with those who don’t much like themselves.

And it may be that absent any condemnation, being a prostitute might be like being a movie star – those with the most talent and most fortunate genes being admired and perhaps even contributing to society.

It is easy to see how prostitution came to be seen in negative terms. In a world before effective contraception, prostitution was a career likely to result in fatherless children: a huge problem when one’s entire position and future was based on family. And as a woman’s security was closely tied to finding some man to be contractually obligated for her care, regimented sex rules were her assurances of food after youth and beauty had gone. A prostitute not only weakened her ability to ensure continued care, but also threatened to place one more person in the community with no way of caring for herself as the years passed.

It’s no wonder that state and religion often either banned the practice or highly regulated it (sometimes even as an function of religion).

But a woman is no longer reliant on a man for her care and protection. And sex does not include the threat of unwanted pregnancy.

So perhaps what once was immoral under other circumstances is no longer irresponsible or a threat to others.

Priya Lynn
April 19th, 2012 | LINK

Regan, criminalizing prostitution doesn’t eliminate any of those drawbacks, it makes them worse because it discourages prostitutes from seeking help for abuse because the justice system in turn criminalizes them. If you have any sympathy for prostitutes it doesn’t make their lives any better to arrest them for it. You can’t claim to be concerned about the well being of prostitutes on one hand and then advocate criminalizing them on the other.

It reminds me of our prime minister recently admitting the war on drugs is a failure but saying it still needed to be illegal because drugs really messes up some people’s lives. Guess it never ocurred to that genious that putting such people in jail won’t make their lives any less messed up.

You say in regulated legal environments it is not cheap, I disagree. It may not be cheap like a bottle of beer, but its certainly price competitive with a night of drinking in the bar and financially within the reach of virtually everyone with a job. You mention the SS agents not wanting to pay a $47 bill – that’s damn cheap by my standards, especially for people paid like they are and I think it is both hilarious and fitting that such absurdly cheap losers are going to lose their jobs over what was a pittance to them because they were too damn tight to pay a very reasonable price.

You can’t hide behind the fact that legalizing prostitution won’t make all illegal prostitution disappear. Legalizing alchohol didn’t make all illegal alcohol production and sales disappear but it sure got rid of the vast majority of it and the Al Capone gangland violence it financed.

Legalized prostitution is going to provide most of the demand to customers penalty and relatively risk free just as legalized booze meets virtually all the demand for alcohol now. The pimp beating his non-STD tested girls and turning out 9 year olds simply isn’t going to be able to compete and will find all his business has dried up.

Criminalizing prostitution won’t make it any less degrading or ojbectifying, in fact it makes those things worse. When prostitution is illegal not only is the woman a prostitute, she’s also a criminal. Legalizing it would immediately result in an increase in status amongst prostitutes as no one could look down on them as criminals anymore, people would have one less justification for abusing them, they couldn’t say “Well, they’re criminals anyway they deserve to be punished.”

When society criminalizes drugs, alcohol, prostitution or gambling it denies those involved in it the justice system as a peaceful dispute resolution mechanism and forces people to resolve their disputes with violence and the morality of “might makes right”. Criminalizing these things has never gotten rid of them, will never get rid of them and only makes the problems associated with them far worse. As a society we need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot and adopt a harm reduction strategy to these things that requires legalization and has been relatively successful around the world.

Désirée
April 20th, 2012 | LINK

Mark this day, it may be a while before it happens again, but I agree with Priya Lynn 100% on this topic.

Priya Lynn
April 20th, 2012 | LINK

I’ve marked it down Desiree, LOL

Timothy Kincaid
April 20th, 2012 | LINK

Desiree,

I actually cut this sentence to paste in agreement:

As a society we need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot and adopt a harm reduction strategy to these things that requires legalization and has been relatively successful around the world.

This much agreement is a little scary

Priya Lynn
April 20th, 2012 | LINK

Now I’m scared – maybe its a sign of the apocalypse.

Regan DuCasse
April 20th, 2012 | LINK

Priya Lynne, you made a leap at assuming I’m all for criminalizing the PROSTITUTES.

You skipped over the part where MY concern is with the OBJECTIFICATION of the weak, females and sex.
THAT is a cultural problem, about the PATRONS of sex, not those whose circumstances might FORCE them into it, even if it IS legal.

You skipped over the part where I responded to Tim about those whose skills and perhaps intellect is THAT weak, then they are still ripe for exploitation as most low skilled workers usually are.

AND you skipped over the part where I was adamant about how there are too many people whose sense of entitlement will make them BALK at ANY structure or standards.
The marketplace is well saturated with sex workers, making competitive rates impossible, actually.
And what about the boast of some men that they ‘don’t have to pay for it?’
What about the sex worker as a repository for every form of crazy, nasty kink and the demand for more and more of it?
AND you skipped right over the part about MARRIED patrons and the impact on their families? THAT has nothing to do with the legality of prostitution, but the ethical lacks of the patrons.

Give me credit for being VERY analytical about this issue. And exceptional in being able to read the issue, not just from the criminal point of view, but the impact on EVERYONE.

You went off on the least important matters of the post, to try and make the issue right in your head that legalization solves problems.
But it won’t. And I pointed out many reasons WHY.
You pointed out some very unrealistic and idealistic suggestions, that are in fact, not the kinds of remedy this situation needs.

Sandhorse
April 20th, 2012 | LINK

While I agree with Ryans analyses, I am not 100% sure it applies to this specific statement by Perkins.

Being accepting of someone’s orientation is not necessarily being accepting of their actions in all circumstances.

For example, just about everyone is cool with heterosexuality. (right?) That doesn’t mean that it’s appropriate for male and female co-workers to hook up in their employer’s bathroom. And this would be unacceptable even if they were married, on their lunch break, had complete privacy and were ‘quiet’.

The military also has never had an issue with heterosexuality. Yet the UCMJ prohibits certain acts, even if they are preformed between a heterosexual marred couple, while OFF DUTY in the PRIVECY OF THEIR OWN HOME!

Believe it!

Perkins is stating gays just ‘being’ in the military seems to equate to an anything goes mentality. And as we all know, or should know, the repeal of DADT did not mean orgies in the barracks would be acceptable behavior. Perkins knows this but that doesn’t ‘sell’. This is confirmed by his use of the term “…the military enforcing open homosexuality in our military”. How does the military (or anyone for that matter) go about ‘enforcing open homosexuality’? And precisely what does that mean?

It’s clear what it ‘sounds’ like and for Perkins, that’s all that matters. And make no mistake, he knows the reaction this type of comment will encite in the less informed and he will be held accountable for such behavior in the sight of the God he claimes to follow.

(sorry, got a little preachy there at the end. it’s just that this type of blatent untruth and dishonesty really chaps my…)

Priya Lynn
April 20th, 2012 | LINK

Regan, I don’t believe you when you say you oppose the criminalization of prostitutes when at the same time you oppose the legalization of prostitution. You can’t make prostitution illegal without criminalizing prostitutes and their customers. You can claim the justice system will go easy on the prostitutes or isn’t out to get them, but it always has and always will until the trade is legalized.

I didn’t skip over your concerns about the objectification and exploitation of the weak, females and sex. I agree that is a negative associated with the trade but criminalizing it doesn’t make it better, it makes it worse. Females who’ve been exploited aren’t going to seek the help of the justice system which criminalizes and punishes them. Illegal prostitution happens in the dark shadows where women can’t be observed and protected by society and its justice system. Criminalizing prostitution discourages strong well adjusted women from getting into the business and ensures its the weak and easily exploited who end up doing the job

Once again, I ask you, at the bunny ranch in Nevada, how many have been raped and murdered, how many are there against their will, how many are nine years old? There’s no denying there is less exploitation and fewer problems associated with legal prostitution.

You say “The marketplace is well saturated with sex workers, making competitive rates impossible, actually.”.

That doesn’t make sense. When there is a great deal of supply that’s when rates are at their most competitive – you’ve got it exactly backwards. You can’t argue on one hand that legalized prostitution is not cheap (and $47 dollars to spend the night in Columbia is very cheap) and then claim there’s an unlimited supply. An unlimited supply always forces prices downwards. And if the marketplace is saturated with sex workers, what’s the point of criminalizing them and their customers and spending huge sums on law enforcement for a pointless effort?

You ask “And what about the boast of some men that they ‘don’t have to pay for it?’”.

What about it? Why should I care? Good for them I say. Unfortunately for a lot of men they do have to pay for it and there is no shame or crime in that.

You said “AND you skipped over the part where I was adamant about how there are too many people whose sense of entitlement will make them BALK at ANY structure or standards.”.

So what? That such people exist didn’t prevent the legalization of alcohol from shutting down virtually the entire illegal alcohol business. I don’t buy the idea that people don’t like structure or standards and therefore will not use a legal prostitute. I could see you making the same argument about the illegal alcohol business if we were in the time of prohibition – “The alcohol traders and users are criminals, they won’t stop being criminals if we legalize booze.”. Well, yes they will.

If a prostitution customer has the choice between a legal prostitute without black eyes, tested for STD’s, with no threat of criminal punishment or being robbed or assaulted you’re going to try to tell me he’d prefer to take the illegal option and the associated risks and drawbacks? Not the vast majority of prostitution customers I’m sure.

You can’t logically claim most prostitution customers will balk at any structure or standards when law enforcement has denied them prostitution with structure and standards and forced them to be criminals to get their needs met.

You ask “What about the sex worker as a repository for every form of crazy, nasty kink and the demand for more and more of it?”.

Once again, criminalizing prostitution doesn’t prevent that, it just makes it worse. In the illegal trade the prostitute is more likely to be dominated by a pimp that will force her to do such things. In a legalized free market where she’s her own boss she can refuse to perform the service, or say “You want that disgusting service I want $1000 for the half-hour” and both her and the customer walk away contented with their transaction.

You said “AND you skipped right over the part about MARRIED patrons and the impact on their families? THAT has nothing to do with the legality of prostitution, but the ethical lacks of the patrons.”.

And once again, criminalizing prostitution will do NOTHING to prevent that, it’ll only increase the abuse and crime associated with prostitution. With legalized prostitution at least the prostitutes will be tested regularly for STDS and more likely to use condomns thus meaning less of a risk for unknowing spouses and families.

You bring up such objections as though when society criminalizes prostitution it doesn’t happen and you know better. You’d have a point if that was the case, but it isn’t and after over 100 years of trying to prohibit prostitution its time to admit it can’t be done and the prohibition of prostitution or drugs just makes things worse like the prohibition of alcohol did.

You complain about prostitution objectifying women, but who are you to tell them they shouldn’t allow themselves to be objectified if they choose to do so? You often talk about the anti-gays infantalizing gays and treating them as though they don’t have the smarts to decide what they want to do with their lives. What you want to do with prostitutes is no different, you want to say “I’m the adult and I don’t think you should be allowed to do that even if you want to.”. That’s just as unsavoury as when the anti-gays do it to the gays. Neither you nor society has the moral right to tell any woman how to live her life or what she may or may not do with her body. Its not for you to decide you know better than her what’s good for her and try to deny her such a lifestyle. That you think its bad for them doesn’t justify you controlling them anymore than the bigots thinking gayness is unhealthy justifies them controling gay people’s sexuality.

Priya Lynn
April 20th, 2012 | LINK

I think at the minimum I’ve said all I need to say about this topic.

Regan DuCasse
April 20th, 2012 | LINK

Okay, Priya Lynn:
on the one hand you say so what to all the other added factors why legalization is a bad thing and it’s effect on people exponential to who is directly involved.

You went WAY afield involving gays and infantilization and comparing THAT to my attitude about a person having the CHOICE to be a prostitute.

I want you to look at exactly what happened in Columbia, where it’s legal and in NV where there are areas ZONED for it.
And in NV, the violence against females and street trade isn’t all that abated.
The zone of safety of a brothel, for example, is it’s OWN zip code. What happens there STAYS THERE.
So of course, THOSE prostitutes are not affected.
Again, what about OUTSIDE of that zone?
Everywhere there is legal prostitution, nude dancers, and gambling, for example, there are designated areas.

So, the incidence of criminality doesn’t change because the DEMAND outside of those zones doesn’t change.
Just as Oxycodone and other prescription drugs are LEGAL, those that want them anyway, want to sell them and so on, work outside of the designation of legal.
It’s legal to immigrate to the US, with prescribed rules and standards for doing so.
But we’ve got a hell of a lot MORE illegal immigration than we used to. Although we’re THE most generous of countries of destination for immigrants.
And we ARE very badly affected by illegal immigration more than legal immigration.
See my point?

You don’t believe me that my sympathies don’t lie with how prostitution affects females in particular and that I prefer that the pimps and patrons take the fall for it?
YOU are judging ME on that?
Wow…
I guess coming from where you do, you have that luxury.
Well, I don’t and you know why.

Years ago, I participated in a television movie about advocates for prostitutes. The group is called “Children of the Night.”
The former prostitute who founded COTN, gave me my very good education about prostitution, legal or not. And continues to.
So if I get my cues from HER and not YOU, deal with it.

I know that PREVENTING everything negative (and you keep saying that, I don’t), about prostitution may not be TOTALLY possible.
I know a lot more about it, and sympathize with prostitutes (if not prostitution) more than you give me credit for.

You are coming from a presumption AND assumption that with the right regulation and channeling, society will be improved with legalized prostitution.
Naive at best, because of what I said about where it’s legal, there is still a lot of exponential problems that persist.

Perhaps if you had my life for a day, you might, MIGHT temper what you’re saying.
The thing about prohibitions on drugs, and prostitution and all those vice intensive behaviors and the general public is, that it would require OTHER laws and regulations to contain the problems they cause, and our society balks at that, LIKE CHILDREN.
With freedoms, comes responsibility and accountability.
There is a lot of demand for the first, but not the latter two.
Eventually, those in charge of protecting people from each other, won’t have any means of doing so, and the liability and litigation begins.
There are important things that have already broken down in the zeal to be politically correct.
Your solution isn’t too sound either.
Some of the brothels in NV closed, btw.
Their economic strains, as goes many areas of the country, made it harder for them to sustain themselves. No demand for their level of sex for pay.
The street trade increased though, for the same reason.
Economic downturn put a lot of females on that street to support themselves who might not otherwise have gone in that direction.
But that’s okay with you, even if a two tiered system erupted, regardless of selective legalization.
BTW, I have hundreds of friends who have lived in NV for decades, and I’ve gotten to know some cops there too.

The porn industry in Los Angeles might go elsewhere. Not because it’s illegal, but OSHA type regulations compels the actors to wear condoms. The high risk and incidence of HIV infections got the state involved.
And porn producers seriously balked at that line of standards.
And the actors sure don’t make as much as the producers do.
The boss and serf situation would still have to apply in a regulated sex work industry.

See, no matter how legal something is, someone will always prefer the riskier aspect (and someone else will have to pay for it down the line), but as long as it’s their CHOICE, you’re good with that, right?
Can you honestly tell me that poverty driven sex work is a GOOD thing?

There is quite a debate about all this at the NYTimes today.
And actual former sex worker, of course had a whole other perspective than people who never did it at all.
Guess which one was against it.

Let me know if you read it and what those comment threads had to say.

Andrew
April 21st, 2012 | LINK

Well, it’s awesome to know that the gay community is not monolithic in its thinking. Sorry, I’m just enjoying NOT being in the middle of a fray for a change.

Désirée
April 21st, 2012 | LINK

what I’m hearing from Regan:
“I know better” “prostitution is bad” “even if it were legal, bad things would still happen”

None of which trumps allowing consenting adults to conduct a business transaction if they so choose. You simply *cannot* offer a single compelling reason to substitute other people’s free will with your moral condemnation of prostitution. Not a single thing you have said comes anywhere close to being a reason to criminalize two willing participants from exchanging sex for money.

All the bad things you speak of happen now already. Were it legal, they would happen less. That alone is enough for any rational person to agree with legalization. That evil people exist who will hurt women has no bearing on the question of legalization. Those people exist now, and they will exist then. The difference being, in a world where it’s legal, the women have more legal recourse available to them. You also mention litigation as if that’s a bad thing. Litigation is how civilized people resolve disputes.

You can’t simply point to prostitutes who say “it’s a terrible life and I want out” as a reason to ban it. 1) of course it currently is terrible. The law thinks them criminals. 2)That one person disapproves of something does not give them the right to speak for anyone else.

Unfortunately, you are coming across to me as the worst kind of progressive liberal – the one who thinks she knows better than others what is best for them and is going to outlaw certain things “for their own good.” God save me from the people who think they know how to live my life better than I do.

Regan DuCasse
April 21st, 2012 | LINK

Alrighty, Desiree and Priya Lynn…after reflection, I see your point that I come off that way.
But it comes from a very honest, and serious place of being the one right on the front lines of what happens and engaged in helping and protecting those who suffer from it.
Not from protection THEMSELVES so much, but from those who abuse them.
See the difference?

Widespread legalization, really won’t put much of a dent in the abusive or threatening aspect so much, because of what people think of prostitutes in general.
A combination of vilification of the people they benefit from, so to speak. A moral contradiction, but then a lot of things are.
I agree about consenting adults, if that’s what they are.
At this point, that’s very difficult to distinguish. I watched some documentaries with my advocate group about prostitutes that work in brothels in NV and all their different motives for sex work.
Very eye opening, but also important for a consensus on what happens when sex work is criminalized as opposed to legalized and the kinds of demographic ATTRACTED to it.
Don’t think I didn’t do my homework, see?
And don’t think I haven’t taken advantage of getting an education from the frontlines of the issue.

I point to, for instance, the high incidence of transwomen who are sex workers. There is another advocate group in Hollywood that is trying to get transwomen from sex work, and into jobs typically they are closed off from.
There are several civil rights lawyers on the board who have personally won cases involving transgender discrimination.
But the common thread of sex work, for the same people over and over, tragically is a confluence of things that have nothing to do with criminalization OR legalization, but desperation.
I had all kinds of research to do regarding sex trafficking for school and the most affected demographic are females of color.
Also, the same demographic more discriminated against than others.

I have a VERY protective streak, not a nanny one. I understand when adults are adults, but at the same time there are more far reaching implications for some of this.
Political blackmail, for starters and other things that get corrupted from the head down.

Prostitution is legal in Columbia. And the activity took place in Columbia, but it’s cost a bunch of Secret Service Agents their jobs, and it’s fodder for President Obama’s political enemies.
And other information is coming to light about the prostitutes themselves and who owned the venue where all these people met.
Same for Elliot Spitzer, who was using a brothel. The issue wasn’t whether it was legal or about consenting adults.
Other hypocrisies will inevitably rear their heads.
There ARE other types of sex work that IS legal. Like I said, the porn industry, and all nude strip clubs.
However, and unfortunately sex work, even legal, would and DOES already engage some extreme rivalries among gangs.
The Russian and Armenian mobs have their hands in all kinds of things, not just THAT.
And what tends to happen, foreign women, desperate to come to America, are told they are going to work as office help, or domestic help.
But that’s not what happens.
Even if prostitution were legal, they wouldn’t really have the recourse you’re talking about because of the power of those who brought them here.
Foreign gangs have some considerable political clout here in America, and it shows in some cities.

So perhaps the scope of this isn’t something you’re concerned about, or perhaps thinking in terms of a much more smaller scale, like a legal brothel or not arresting prostitutes for street trade, that kind of thing.
It takes a LOT of that commodity to keep any given business of it going. Prostitutes have short shelf lives, after all.
Sure, I know that there are some people who like it, and enjoy their jobs when it’s in a protective place like a brothel and as mentioned, ‘it provides a service’.
Well, okay.
But let’s not pretend it’s GOOD business for everyone when it’s not.
I don’t know why you’d think it would be a GOOD thing, but I won’t pretend I’m certain of any answers. What I DO know, is that it provides serious social and political power to some very bad people, for now.
They are very creative about making that cash cow, MORE of one, without any regulation, taxation or scrutiny. Their commodity is a dime a dozen, and from person to person, their safety doesn’t matter.
That is what I mean by the marketplace and easily replaceable people.
I’d like to agree with you about legalization, I really would. Unfortunately, the bigger picture looks worse for it, not better.
The symptoms of chaos are already a big part of my life. And that’s already because, regardless of criminalization OR legalization, I don’t think even YOU would encourage someone to ASPIRE to it.

Ironically, I’m going to see a friend of mine tonight in a show about his life. He spent three years as a prostitute to support his kids after his Mormon community shunned him for being gay and he had no other skills at the time. He’s also HIV+.
I love him a lot, and even why he did it for his very beautiful children, broke my heart.
Just as the murders of very young transwomen who died while on the street as sex workers did too.
I just want to make things better for people to not have to do it at all (unless they REALLY, REALLY want to, and to be MUCH more protected than they are, if they do.
But that’s not how it is.
Understand now?

Jerry
April 21st, 2012 | LINK

Too bad Mr Perkins doesn’t employ anyone with enough snap in his office to realize that the morality of prostitution isn’t really the issue here. It’s the security implications of having men who are tasked with protecting the president sleeping with strangers in a foreing country. So, yea, that’s probably why the president is upset, Mr Perkins.

Regan DuCasse
April 22nd, 2012 | LINK

Good point Jerry.
One has to wonder at the lack of self restraint that just BEGS intervention.
These guys are supposed to know their jobs. But it’s a symptom of what people think they should be entitled to or get away with.

Even in ordinary things, what many people keep doing that can run the gamut from outrageously inconsiderate to dangerous. Such as people who bring their dogs into public places they aren’t supposed to. People who run stop lights and stop signs regularly, or those that just like to confound whatever every day laws because they are inconvenient.
Like driving without a license, using handicapped parking, stealing identities or not restraining children in moving cars, having sex in public.
It won’t KILL you, to NOT do those things, but it might harm or kill someone else. Let alone destroys TRUST in any part of the system.

There is a lot of anti enforcement, and “let’s just make it legal or decriminalize it, so it won’t be a problem any more” mentality, that’s the stuff of children and sociopaths, not NORMAL or even self governing adults.

Hard to understand indulging something so immature, lacking in civility or just plain insane. Frankly.
Why is the definition of disincentive, deterrence and self restraint anathema to who should be the most normal and civil of people now?

People who demand so much freedom, should first prove they’ve learned about self restraint and self governance then. That’s what parents do with their children, right?
And when such breaches of trust in that are broken, privileges are taken away.

So if grown assed people assert they can self restrain and self govern, then WHY DON’T THEY?
THAT is the point.
That line of right and wrong isn’t so bright. It’s way, WAY too thin and there won’t be much left between you and your life, wallet, and your own ability to be free.

As for prostitution. It won’t kill someone to NOT use prostitutes. And it won’t kill a female NOT to do sex work.

I’ve BEEN treated like meat, by people who don’t care that I don’t like it or deserve it. So why scold me if I think there is something wrong with someone that LIKES to be treated that way in THEIR work?

You’re all for prostitution, but I bet not if it’s right next door to you.

Let me know when you vote to have prostitutes work freely on YOUR street.

These Secret Service Agents didn’t even have the pride and honor in their station to NOT do what they did.

In some ways, I think MORE of prostitutes than the people here who want to decriminalize it.
I’m willing to go to bat for the people most vulnerable to being in it, and more supportive of the disincentives for anyone to think that it’s OK, with the naive idea that ‘as long as no one gets hurt.’
Prostitution isn’t like that, and never was.

Blake
April 23rd, 2012 | LINK

…& now he’s worried about candy: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/perkins-mike-ike-gay-sexualizing-candy

TP World is so exciting. He ought to develop some sort of VR so we can all share in the excitement. The candy’s coming the candy’s coming!! One if by land two if by sweet!

Regan DuCasse
April 23rd, 2012 | LINK

Blake, oh geez, are you KIDDING me?
I went to the article in your link.

Tony Perkins has way too much time on his hands, and peanut butter for a brain.

WMDKitty
April 25th, 2012 | LINK

Geez, Regan, when did you join the Junior Anti-Sex League?

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