The PJ Tatler

Lonely in the Golden State? Dial 1-800-HOOKERS

Not that you can’t right this minute, but if this lawsuit succeeds, it’ll have the added advantage of being legal:

Two lawyers have filed a high-profile case that seeks to legalize prostitution in California. Lou Sirkin and Brian O’Connor of Cincinnati-based Santen & Hughes, filed the case last month in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on behalf of an organization representing prostitutes known as the Erotic Service Provider Legal, Education & Research Project. It named three current or former prostitutes and a man with a disability who wants to be able to legally hire prostitutes as other plaintiffs in the case.

Their argument centers on people’s right to do what they want as long as it’s legal. “It’s legal to have sex, so why should it be illegal to pay for it?” the argument goes. O’Connor compared it to having the freedom of the press but making it illegal to sell newspapers.

“It’s really a constitutional issue, we think,” Sirkin said. “We’re talking only about consenting adults here. Our whole theory is that any law based on morality has no place in this country. Morals are different for different people. Legislation should not be determined by morality. Because you exchange a dollar rather than dinner, why should it be made illegal?”

You knew that “morality” argument was coming, right? But that seems to me the weakest argument; right now, it’s perfectly legal in California to hire a woman for sex as long as she is a performer in a porn film; you just can’t explicitly hire her to have sex with you. Long ago, when I lived in San Francisco, there was an organization of hookers known as COYOTE: Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics. Looks like they won.