The province’s Court of Appeal legalized brothels in Ontario yesterday, sparking celebration, awkward headlines and some political opportunism from one Giorgio Mammoliti. Surprised? Neither are we. The landmark ruling is gives the go-ahead for brothels, though communicating for the purposes of prostitution will remain illegal.
The Globe and Mail does a good job of breaking down the decision:
The five-judge appellate panel said unanimously that prostitutes may set up brothels and hire staff to protect them. They said that it is senseless to have a law that compels prostitutes to work in dangerous isolation, given that prostitution itself is legal.[…] The brothel ruling takes effect in a year. However, as of April 25, prostitutes can engage bodyguards. The court remodelled the pimping provision to target only those who live off the avails of prostitution “in circumstances of exploitation.”
The ruling was a chance for Mammoliti, who brought the crazy last year with his proposal for a red-light district on Toronto Island, to once again make his case. “There are arguments that we should have it as far away as possible,” he told the Toronto Star. “Obviously the island would be one of those locations, or part of the island, because it’s less accessible.” Mammoliti’s ongoing obsession with all things scandalous—brothels, body rub parlours, parades—is nearly as twisted as his reasoning: why take a court ruling aimed at ending the isolation that surrounds sex workers and use it to ship them off to an island?