Partisan Prostitution Prosecution

Michael Barone has some interesting thoughts on Eliot Spitzer and his prostitution charges. Barone points out that prostitution openly exists in our society and we seem pretty selective in how we enforce the laws against it. But this raises a bigger question: Should there be laws against it?

That Spitzer is a scumbag is undeniable. He should resign if for no other reason than sheer stupidity. Prostitution is a moral scourge, and we should expect more from our elected officials. But should it be illegal? I think not.

Prostitution is exploitative, but only to those who choose to be exploited. I feel great sympathy for many of the women involved as I think most do not actually want to be prostitutes. But I don’t believe putting them is jail is going to save them. Only they can do that, through choices or faith. We can (and should) certainly try to point them in right direction, but only they can change their lives.

In the meantime, forcing them underground and under the “protection” of pimps and gangsters is not beneficial to anyone. Prostitution should be legalized, with some regulation to prevent the spread of STDs and to remove the criminal element (as much as possible).

We should certainly make moral judgments about leaders who would involve themselves in such debasing behavior, but it doesn’t follow that such behavior should be illegal.

Cross posted at Tennesseefree

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