Andrew McCullough's Blog

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My day at the Utah Legislature

February 15, 2011

It is illegal in Utah to offer or agree to a sex act for money. Not unusual. But today, the Utah Legislature took the first step to expand the "sex solicitation" law to also make it unlawful to do such things as expose a breast or even to touch your own buttocks, while "intending to commit" a sex act for hire. The fact that this law is totally ridiculous did not seem to occur to many on the House Judiciary Committee.

This Bill was introduced by a Democrat from Salt Lake City, who apparently was asked to do so by Salt Lake City Police. She brought with her the City Prosecutor, a Salt Lake vice officer, the Police Chief, a vice officer from Sandy, and the lobbyist for the Statewide Association of Prosecutors. The committee allowed her and her entourage to go on for over a half hour about how this Bill was necessary to fight prostitution. Under cover police officers, we are told, are asked to do things such as touch themselves or touch the girl, in an effort to find out out if he is a cop. So, now all an officer has to do is to say that she asked me to do this, OR that she acted in a sexually provocative manner, leading him to believe that she might be willing to have sex for money. WOW!

My clients are adult entertainers. They are licensed and regulated; and THEY ARE ALLOWED to strip and to touch themselves. One legislator made it very clear that he does not believe the First Amendment was ever designed to protect nudity. But, of course, the Supreme Court says it was. Now, properly licensed entertainers who follow all the rules are in danger of being treated by police as prostitutes. The Police Chief said they would only use the law against those who they had reason to believe were prostitutes. The problem is that they believe this about everybody.

I was told, when it came my time to speak, that I had two minutes. When I complained, the chair did allow me an extra minute or so. This, after all the officers and prosecutors had spoken as long as they cared to. I tried to explain the problems with this Bill, and in the end I convinced one brave committee member. Thanks you, Rep. Hutchings.

The Bill is not yet law. Hopefully, there will be another chance to slow it down. and the legislature only is in session for 3 more weeks. For those reading this who would like to be of help, consider contacting your legislator and asking him or her to vote "No" on HB 121. This Bill will go a long way towards ruining the lives of young girls who only wanted to earn some extra money, in a LEGAL, LICENSED occupation. Shame on the legislature for this.

Once again, I can't help but notice that a morality bill is introduced by a Democrat. Those who believe that Democrats are less willing to sove their morals on ohters are just wrong. And once again, I am glad that I am a member of the one party that will not push its morals on others. Get involved in the Libertarian Party. There really is no place to else to go for those who really believe in personal freedom.

I do want to say a further word about Republicans. I tend to diss them as a class for their willingness to interfere in our private lives. Rep. Hutchings is a Republican and a BYU alumnus. Ealier this week Congress renewed provisions of the Patriot Act which allow the FBI to spy on US citzens. Senator Lee and Congressman Bishop, who voted "No", are also Republicans. Thank you, gentlemen. I will try and remember that I should not condemn all members of the Party because many of them support oppression.
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