Wednesday , October 8, 1997

Editorial pages

p. A31.

Police 'state' no solution

In his Oct. 3 column "With right laws prostitution could be gone," Mark Tonner claims I oppose criminalization on the grounds that I believe prostitution is not morally wrong. That is not the basis of my argument. Rather, it's about who controls the body.

The state should not be allowed to require that women (or men) give sex away for free.

If prostitution is morally neutral, Tonner asks, who do advocates of decriminalization want to keep children out of it? Surely the answer is obvious: We don't allow kids to do many things that adults do, like driving or drinking, or having a full-time job, so why would we facilitate their involvement in prostitution?

Tonner claims that prostitution would disappear if we were to criminalize it. Then why is the illegal sex industry south of the border so big? Apparently his response would be that the Americans don't throw enough police at it.

So, even though he believes his is the minority opinion, what he is really advocating is a police state, marching to the beat of his own moral drum. Scary!

John Lowman School of Criminology Simon Fraser University

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Created: October 13, 1997
Last modified: October 13, 1997

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