Opinion: NY May Okay Prostitution, Could NJ Be Next?
In a scene from the mockumentary Spinal Tap, the phrase "best left" came up. Meaning one shouldn't go there, one shouldn't spend time on a thing. "Best left."
I believe what New York is doing is best left, although I may have only emotional reasons and not logical reasons on my side.
Former NJ Assemblywoman Joan Quigley wrote a piece for The Jersey Journal on New York's efforts to make most prostitution legal. Bills were introduced in their Senate and Assembly to decriminalize sex work. Trafficking would still be illegal, paid sex with a minor would still be illegal, but most forms of consensual sex for hire would be decriminalized even when arranged through a third party. Read more about this here.
It's hard to make a logical argument against allowing informed adults consenting to such an arrangement. If no one is holding a gun to a head why should the government care? Yet emotionally I can't help but feel there's something wrong here. Do sex workers truly embrace this life for the most part? Or are they victims of dire circumstances that leads them to take regrettable risks? I would have to think the vast majority of people who resort to sex for money live with a pain for the rest of their lives. Yet I know it's always been here, and I know no law against it will keep it from always being here. But do we embrace it? Decriminalize it? Legalize it and regulate it and even tax it? Seems wrong, but again this is an admittedly emotional point of view.
Did you know there's been a push for this here in New Jersey? New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance is a group that took on decriminalization as a mission. ACLU-NJ has even come out supporting the ideas behind decriminalization, pointing out the devastating consequences criminal records can bring with eviction and loss of child custody among them.
Could it really happen here though? I can't see it. Heck, a Democratic governor with a Democratic legislature couldn't even figure out how to get recreational marijuana legalized in New Jersey. I think the emotions on this one would run far greater.