Long ago, I penned a piece about legalizing prostitution. My primary arguments ultimately revolved around personal freedom. After all, if someone is willingly paying someone for a service that is being willingly provided, the government needs to butt out of matters.
While my opinions have shifted through the years, I still believe that it’s not the government’s business to regulate sexual behavior between two consenting adults. As I said at the time, which was later quoted in one of Judge Andrew Napolitano’s books: “Selling is legal and sex is legal, so why is selling sex illegal?”
Now, the Leftists at Slate have adopted an absurd — and thoroughly Leftist — argument in favor of decriminalizing prostitution: that it would be “central” to extending transgender rights.
Writer Evan Urquhart argues that the behavior of a handful of police officers back his case:
Trans women call it walking while trans: when police officers assume that anyone who looks like a transgender woman must be engaging in sex work.
The fear and hardship that this engenders among trans women who aren’t sex workers is one of myriad reasons why the complete decriminalization of all sex work must be a central piece in the struggle for transgender human rights.
Decriminalization, as distinct from legalization via regulation, would seek to strike those laws which criminally penalize sex workers from the books.
Ugh. Now, as noted above, I don’t see the decriminalization of prostitution as necessarily a bad thing, particularly in light of the number of prostitutes that are victims of human trafficking operations here in the United States. Often, these girls and women are kidnapped or manipulated into running away with men who then put them on the streets. Prostitutes are often victims forced into committing crimes, yet once arrested, they’re simply treated as criminals.
However, this Slate writer is describing a possible issue with how police officers profile individuals, which is irrelevant to the issue of decriminalizing prostitution.
If officers are actually stopping transgendered individuals inappropriately — and much work would need to be done to answer that conclusively — that sounds more like the kind of thing that needs to be addressed with law enforcement through policy discussion.
There are a lot of reasonable arguments that can be made for the legalization or decriminalization of prostitution. But “transgender rights” is perhaps the most idiotic and baffling I’ve yet heard.