PEEK

Isn't It Time to Finally Legalize Prostitution?

If we're so interested in waving a moral wand over other people's sexual transgressions, then why is adultery legal?
I caught Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz on CNN last night standing in staunch defense of Eliot Spitzer. He named men such as Jefferson, Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Clinton who were great presidents despite their extramarital affairs. He went on to express his hope that Spitzer will not resign because a sexual misdemeanor does not affect the work of the politician -- it just gives the public something to boo about.

'Tis true, however, that Spitzer is in hot water for more than just having an affair but also for soliciting a prostitute. One of Dershowitz's final comments was, "These laws are never forced against ordinary people." An excellent point! Now, if the public isn't held accountable for a law on a regular basis then should it still be a law? Not only that, but is an act that involves consensual adults really a crime? Bear with me, I'm not asking why prostitution is wrong -- that I don't dispute -- I'm asking why it's illegal.

Your reaction probably goes something like this, "It should remain illegal!"

"Why?" asks the universe.

"I don't know it just should!" you respond adamantly.

If we're so interested in waving a moral wand over other people's sexual transgressions, then why is adultery legal? As it stands now adultery is, as it should be, grounds for divorce but it is not considered criminal. You cannot call the police and report your spouse for being unfaithful, unless, of course, your spouse is being unfaithful with a prostitute.

In Jesus' time adultery was the worse crime. If you'll recall, Jesus had the easy task of stopping the Pharisees from verbally ostracizing a prostitute whereas he has to stop the crowd from actually killing an adulteress. They were heated and ready to hurl their rocks in her humiliated direction when he called them out on their hypocrisy, "Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone." Many people feel strongly that adultery is wrong, but that doesn't mean we want the law involved. Prostitution, too, is a private matter and should move its way into being a strictly moral issue rather than a legal one.

One knee-jerk response to the legalization of prostitution is "Well, if it's legal then there'll be more prostitutes." As a member of a group of young professional women I can assure you that we have not once sat around the cocktail table with our frustrated fists raised in the air, angry over our would-be careers as prostitutes If only it were legal!