Sen. Harry Reid’s latest call to end legal prostitution in Nevada drew sharp reactions from two Nevada brothels.
Jeremy Lemur of Sheri’s Ranch in Pahrump and Dennis Hoff of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch just outside of Carson City argued legal brothels have a positive effect on their communities, not a negative impact.
Reid told the Asian Chamber of Commerce at the Gold Coast on the Las Vegas Strip he still believes what he told lawmakers in 2011 — that it’s time for Nevadans “to have an adult conversation” about ending legal prostitution because the industry hurts the state’s reputation.
Asked why lawmakers didn’t act on his advice, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported he said: “The Legislature, they’re all a bunch of cowards. They were afraid to do anything about it.”
Lemur said when brothels are legal, the incidents of rape and HIV/AIDS goes down.
“Nevada’s legal brothels are proof that the concept of regulated prostitution can work in the United States,” he said. “In these bordellos, safe consensual sex occurs between medically tested adult courtesans and the men, women and couples who partake of their erotic services.”
He said child trafficking, pimps and diseases “are nowhere to be found” and, on top of that, the prostitutes pay taxes as licensed businesswomen.
Hoff said Las Vegas, in Clark County where prostitution is illegal, “is a cesspool of sex, one of the worst sex trafficking areas in the world.”
He said the sheriff once said some 32,000 girls go to Las Vegas every year to work as prostitutes.
Brothels outside of Clark, Hoff said, “are doing things legally and safely, putting money back into the coffers of the counties.”
“Nevada is about state’s rights and Nevadans are about county rights and them making the decisions about how to govern themselves,” Hoff said. “Harry Reid needs to worry more about our economy in Nevada rather than the brothels.”
In Nevada, prostitution is outlawed in Washoe County by ordinance and in Clark by state law. But it’s legal and licensed in several counties including Storey, Lyon, Churchill, Elko, Humboldt and White Pine.