An Ontario judge has turned down a request from two religious groups and a conservative women's group to take part in a constitutional challenge of the country's prostitution laws.
Mr. Justice Ted Matlow of the Ontario Superior Court said that the groups would be liable to turn the trial into a soapbox for spiritual views, which would be out of place in a strictly legal proceeding. Judge Matlow said that the groups struck him as being unaware that the challenge "does not provide a political platform where interested persons are permitted to speak in order to advance their personal views, beliefs, policies and interests at large."
The ruling came as a blow to the Christian Legal Fellowship, REAL Women of Canada and Catholic Civil Rights League ...
CUPE has produced a thoughtful and respectful background paper on the labour rights of sex workers.
The first step is decriminalization; the activists who launched the legal challenge want to strike down the laws that prohibit sollicitation, in essence any form of communication
... for the purposes of prostitution, living off the avails of prostitution and keeping a common bawdy house. The challenge will focus on whether prostitution laws violate a constitutional guarantee to life, liberty and security of the person by exposing sex workers to danger.
From the CUPE document:
The comments that follow the G&M article offer the usual range of rational observations, relevant information and moralizing rightwing crotch-sniffing busy-body opinion.
This is why sex workers’ rights advocates call for the decriminalization of all aspects of sex work. Decriminalization means the repeal and/or the reform of laws that differentiate sex workers from other workers and that regulate the sex lives of consenting adults.
Decriminalization is not the same as legalization. Legalization means the creation of a new set of laws regulating how sex workers live and work. In legalized systems, some workers are issued licenses that permit them to work and the police mandate is “prostitution control.” Laws enforced by the police and social service agencies that prescribe health checks and the registration of health status, and determine where sex workers can and cannot live and work, violate sex workers’ Charter and labour rights and should be opposed.