Reid: Time Has Come To 'Outlaw Prostitution' in Nevada
LAS VEGAS -- To reverse an economic crisis and record unemployment in Nevada, Sen. Harry Reid believes it’s time to put the world’s oldest profession out of business.
In a speech to the state Legislature on Tuesday morning, the Senate Majority Leader told lawmakers that prostitution -- legal in all but four counties and Carson City -- is hindering Nevada’s economic and educational growth.
“I’ve talked to families who feel the same way,” he said. “Parents who don't want their children to look out of a school bus and see a brothel. Or to live in a state with the wrong kind of red lights.”
Reid called on legislators to “have an adult conversation about an adult subject,” indicating the state would not thrive in post-recession America until it cuts ties with laws established when the state's population was much smaller.
"When the nation thinks about Nevada, it should think about the world’s newest ideas and newest careers -- not about its oldest profession," he said.
There was mixed applause among audience members when Reid called for an end to prostitution, and silence when he delivered his final line on the subject: "If we want to attract business to Nevada that puts people back to work, the time has come for us to outlaw prostitution."
His speech immediately put the 71-year-old Democrat at odds with brothel industry leaders, many of whom were in the audience at the legislative chambers.
Among them was Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch outside Carson City, who arrived with a bevy of girls from his business. The ranch is the setting for the HBO documentary series “Cathouse.”
Nevada is the only state in the union that allows legal prostitution, and its brothels are all located in sparsely populated rural areas.
Many of those counties voted for Reid’s opponent, Sharron Angle, in November’s election. That prompted one user on FOX5’s Facebook page to accuse Reid of taking revenge on rurals who did not support him.
Reid’s speech comes the same day the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal over the ban on brothels advertising in newspapers.
The industry has been struggling recently in its fight for legitimacy. In 2009, bordellos suggested taxing the legal sex trade as a way to raise state revenue, but the bill died in committee.
(To read original article, visit this Fox 5 link.)