Dominatrix Terri Jean Bedford was one of the three sex workers who brought the case to the Canadian Supreme Court. PHOTO: Reuters
The Canadian Supreme Court delivered a unanimous decision on Friday: all prostitution laws have been struck down, according to the Guardian. While prostitution is technically legal in Canada, restrictions forced Canadian sex workers to essentially act like they were in an illegal trade: laws disallowed having a brothel, street soliciting and living off the income from someone else’s prostitution. Canada’s Supreme Court ruled that these restrictions endangered the lives of prostitutes. The case was brought by a trio of sex workers, including Terri Jean Bedford, pictured above.
The Canadian legislature now has a year to come up with new regulations, if they choose. They can make prostitution illegal or they can keep it legal and come up with new regulations, but the old laws are on their way out.
And hey, someone believes in the rights of prostitutes. Like with the homeless, most governments, whether of a country, state or city, don’t really know what to do with prostitutes. It’s very difficult to actually eliminate prostitution (turns out people are willing to pay for sex, no matter the location or time). You can do your best to do that (like we do with marijuana) or we can try to contain its effects (like we sort of do with alcohol). The Canadian Supreme Court didn’t settle the matter, but they took a step, and that’s more than most.