Utah defines solicitation as a person agreeing to sex in exchange for money. A new law that went into effect this month broadened the definition to include any person who indicates through lewd acts, such as exposing or touching themselves, that they intend to exchange sex for money. (LINK)
Utah has long been one of the most religious states, and this legislation illustrates its commitment to “religious values” no matter what. The first red flag — the giant red flag — is the notion that someone could be arrested for intending to exchange sex for money! Utah has effectively legislated the thought police.
Of course, supporters of the law insist that this carte blanche authority will only be used on women who really do intend to exchange sex for money:
Burbank said officers would not target anyone who is not a prostitute. Arrests will be made by undercover officers and only when it becomes obvious that a deal is being arranged, he said.
This is a fine intention, and it would be nice if officials could be trusted to wield limitless authority benevolently. Unfortunately, history has taught us otherwise, and the framers of the constitution were very careful to emphasize the need for individual protection against such tyranny.
- Escorts: Utah law makes acting sexy illegal (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Acting sexy illegal? Utah law angers escorts (msnbc.msn.com)
- Is Acting Sexy Now Illegal in Utah? (newsfeed.time.com)