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Prostitutes are here to stay 

In the Sept. 26 New Times, Steve Kobara’s letter (“Don’t settle for empty sexual calories”) states emphatically that prostitution should not be legalized. He characterizes the four young people who expressed a contrary opinion, clearly off-the-cuff, in the “Street Talk” in a prior New Times, as “not too bright.”

Mr. Kobara goes on to shoot himself in the foot by comparing casual sex to junk food. He seems to forget that junk food, like booze, is legal, even though alcohol and junk food kill and damage way more people, families, and lives than does prostitution.

Mr. Kobara is right that some prostitutes are bullied and exploited. But so are some wives, and no one is suggesting that marriage be outlawed.

This is not to say that prostitution should be legalized here. Since it is illegal in most cities, any one city that decriminalized prostitution would probably attract a disproportionate number of prostitutes, which would result in a quick reversal of its position. This is why prostitution is legal in Nevada small towns, but not in the cities.

I was once a Seattle cop who occasionally worked on the vice squad, and as my last law school project I wrote a 40-page research paper on police, prostitution, and the law. I think the oldest profession is here to stay. Its practitioners and their customers are no more depraved than any other bunch of men and women, and have sometimes even been heroic, like the gold-camp prostitutes who risked their own lives to nurse miners through epidemics.

I’d rather have these folks around than those who claim to cherish freedom, but who seem always eager to get tough on ordinary Americans whose lifestyle doesn’t match their own. The classic movie Stagecoach contains some implied comment on this issue.

-- Dave Raleigh - San Luis Obispo

-- Dave Raleigh - San Luis Obispo

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