New Zealand legalises prostitution
New Zealand's Parliament passed a law yesterday decriminalizing prostitution despite efforts by pro-family and faith-based groups.
The Prostitution Reform Bill passed by a single vote after lawmakers were allowed a conscience vote that allowed them to choose for themselves rather than along party lines. The new law legalizes solicitation of prostitution for adults over 18. It also decriminalizes "pimping," owning a brothel, and the earning of a living off of a prostitute. Prostitutes will now be covered by employment and health laws and brothels will have to be licensed.
Critics of the law said it will be inevitably cause damage to New Zealand. "We must judge this not on whether it is good for sex workers, but whether it is good for New Zealand society," Nick Smith of the official opposition National Party told the legislature Wednesday. "Sex should not be for sale. Prostitution is nothing more than paid rape."
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26 Jun 2003