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How Rhode Island Mostly -- and Perhaps Inadvertently -- Decriminalized Much Off-Street Prostitution in the Late 1970s:

An interesting article from the Providence Journal. As a federal district court ruled in 1980, "[T]he amendments appear to have decriminalized the sexual act itself, even when undertaken for remuneration. Thus, it appears to the Court that § 11-34-5 now outlaws only certain preliminary or preparatory activities (securing, transporting, receiving into a house or conveyance, etc.), and then only when pecuniary gain is somehow involved.

Thanks to How Appealing for the pointer.

Tucker (mail):
"They didn't know what they were voting for."

When some future Shelley writes his future Ozymandias about the United States, that will be the last line.

(Context, to save you all the trouble: "We probably vote on 500 bills a year," Sen. John F. McBurney III, the only member of the General Assembly who served in 1980, said recently. McBurney says he can think of only one explanation for why a bill that decriminalized prostitution would win unanimous approval by the General Assembly: "They didn't know what they were voting for." )
6.1.2009 12:58pm
whit:
dershowitz commented, after the von bulow trial iirc, that rhode island was singular in it's body of weird law.
6.1.2009 1:12pm
wfjag:
Seems appropriate. US Navy schools located in Rhode Island include the United States Navy's Officer Candidate School, the Navy's JAG School, the Naval War College, and within the next year, the Navy Supply Corps School is to be moved from Athens, Ga., to Rhode Island. Sailors need an introduction to cultures other than American and the US no longer has a base at Subic Bay, PI, for that training.
6.1.2009 1:17pm
Crunchy Frog:
Sounds like most of what passes for legislation here in California.
6.1.2009 1:20pm
wht (mail):
So basically a state has had somewhat legal prostitution for 30 years and nobody really cared.

Maybe its better if they dont know what they are voting on. It seems to be it is when they take an active interest in the legislation that things go down the drain.
6.1.2009 5:08pm
Happy Endings? (mail) (www):
Check out Happy Endings? A documentary film on the recent fight to change the laws. We went inside and followed the women, and even captured footage of "Operation Rubdown".
6.1.2009 9:33pm
Bill Poser (mail) (www):
Well, with luck when they amend the law this time, as they seem to be on the verge of doing, they'll screw up again and decriminalize prostitution completely.
6.1.2009 10:40pm
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
Why in hell do we have these anti-hooker laws when most people don't want them?

These public officials who enact and enforce anti-hooker laws remind me of that line in King Lear:

"Thou rascal beadle, why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thine own back -- thou hotly lusts to use her in that kind for which thou whipst her."
6.2.2009 9:38pm

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