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    APNewsBreak: Cosby said he got drugs to give women for sex
    Jul. 6, 2015 6:12 PM EDT

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bill Cosby admitted in 2005 that he got quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with, and that he gave the sedative to at least one woman and "other people," according to documents obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

    That woman and a second woman testified in the same case that they knowingly took quaaludes from him, according to the unsealed documents.

    The AP had gone to court to compel the release of the documents from the deposition in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed by former Temple University employee Andrea Constand — the first of a cascade of sexual abuse lawsuits against him. Cosby's lawyers had objected on the grounds that it would embarrass their client.

    Cosby settled that lawsuit under confidential terms in 2006. His lawyers in the Philadelphia case did not immediately return phone calls Monday. Constand consented to be identified but did not want to comment, her lawyer said Monday.

    Cosby, 77, has been accused by more than two dozen women of sexual misconduct, including allegations by many that he drugged and raped them in incidents dating back more than four decades. Cosby has never been criminally charged, and most of the accusations are barred by statutes of limitations.

    Cosby, giving sworn testimony in the lawsuit accusing him of sexual assaulting Constand at his home in Pennsylvania in 2005, said he got seven quaalude prescriptions in the 1970s. The lawyer for Constand asked if he had kept the sedatives through the 1990s — after they were banned — but was frustrated by objections from Cosby's lawyer.

    "When you got the quaaludes, was it in your mind that you were going to use these quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?" lawyer Dolores M. Troiani asked.

    "Yes," Cosby answered on Sept. 29, 2005.

    "Did you ever give any of these young women the quaaludes without their knowledge?"

    Cosby's lawyer again objected, leading Troiani to petition the federal judge to force Cosby to cooperate.

    Cosby later said he gave Constand three half-pills of Benadryl, although Troiani in the documents voices doubt that was the drug involved. The two other women who testified on Constand's behalf said they had knowingly been given quaaludes.

    Three of the women accusing Cosby of sexually assaulting them have a defamation lawsuit pending against him in Massachusetts. They allege that he defamed them when his agents said their accusations were untrue. Cosby is trying to get their case thrown out before discovery.

    Cosby had fought the AP's efforts to unseal the testimony, with his lawyer arguing the deposition could reveal details of Cosby's marriage, sex life and prescription drug use.

    "It would be terribly embarrassing for this material to come out," lawyer George M. Gowen III argued in June. He said the public should not have access to what Cosby was forced to say as he answered questions under oath from the accuser's lawyer nearly a decade ago.

    "Frankly ... it would embarrass him, (and) it would also prejudice him in eyes of the jury pool in Massachusetts," Gowen said.

    U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno asked last month why Cosby was fighting the release of his sworn testimony, given that the accusations in the Temple woman's lawsuit were already in the public eye.

    "Why would he be embarrassed by his own version of the facts?" Robreno said.

    Cosby resigned in December from the board of trustees at Temple, where he was the popular face of the Philadelphia school in advertisements, fundraising campaigns and commencement speeches.
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    The Washington Post
    News guide: The case that led to Cosby’s drugs-sex admission

    By Associated Press July 7 at 6:39 PM
    Bill Cosby’s admission under oath in 2005 that he obtained quaaludes to give to young women with whom he wanted to have sex came during a lawsuit brought by a former Temple University employee.

    Here’s a guide to that case and how court documents containing the admission came to be unsealed 10 years after Cosby made the statement under questioning from a lawyer for the ex-Temple employee.


    Former Temple University basketball operations director Andrea Constand contacted police in January 2005 to say she had been drugged and molested at Cosby’s home near Philadelphia a year earlier. She knew Cosby through his frequent appearances at and advocacy for his alma mater. She said the encounter occurred after she attended a dinner at his home, where she had gone to get career advice. She said Cosby gave her what she thought were herbal pills for stress but she woke up with her clothes disheveled and a memory of being molested.

    A year later, Constand and her mother wanted an apology from Cosby and wanted to know what was in the blue pills he gave her, according to the unsealed documents. Local prosecutors declined to bring charges, saying there was not enough evidence given the year it took for Constand to come forward. Constand then sued Cosby. The case was settled before trial in 2006, with both sides agreeing to a strict confidentiality clause that prevents them from discussing it. Cosby had called any sexual contact consensual, Constand’s lawyer said in the unsealed documents.



    About a dozen women came forward to support Constand’s lawsuit and agree to testify on her behalf before the lawsuit was settled. In the years since, the number continues to climb. Many of these women were in or were pursuing work in the entertainment industry and tell similar tales of being drugged and molested by Cosby. Cosby, through his agents, had at least one woman’s story spiked in a tabloid newspaper and denied others. Three of the women are now suing him for defamation in Massachusetts, saying the denials branded them liars. None of the allegations has been recent enough to be considered for possible criminal charges given various statutes of limitations.


    U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno agreed on Monday with a request by The Associated Press to unseal court documents from Constand’s civil sex-assault lawsuit. Documents that included excerpts of Cosby’s statements, given during questioning by Constand’s attorney, were temporarily sealed at the time. The AP tried and failed to get them unsealed after the case was settled in 2006. In renewing its request, the AP this year cited local court rules requiring they be unsealed unless Cosby could show just cause. Cosby’s lawyer argued the documents would cause him “terrible embarrassment” because they included references to his marriage, sex life and prescription drug use. However, the judge found it was in the public interest to compare Cosby’s testimony to the “public moralizing” he has done on issues including family life, education and crime.



    The documents unsealed Monday include only small portions of Cosby’s September 2005 deposition testimony. The deposition has never been filed in court or made public. Constand’s lawyer, Dolores M. Troiani, accused Cosby’s lawyers of interfering to the point of nearly shutting down the deposition, a session the judge this week characterized as “vigorous verbal combat.”

    The documents revealed Troiani’s attempts to question Cosby about his use of quaaludes and whether he obtained them to have sex with young women. He said he had and said he had given the drug to a 19-year-old woman in Las Vegas before they had sex. He also said he had given it to other people.
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    The Bachelorette' breaks hearts with her sex confession
    Published July 08, 2015New York Post
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    'Bachelorette' sex guilt
    Never autoplay videos
    “The Bachelorette” rattled more than just headboards on Monday night.

    After keeping several of her remaining suitors in the dark following her intimate (now infamous) romp with Nick Viall, Kaitlyn Bristowe is finally ready to kiss and tell.

    Before dishing out the final three roses on Monday night’s episode, the Canadian beauty and personal trainer Shawn got cozy in an Irish pub. As the two cuddled by the fire, Kaitlyn downs enough liquid courage to come clean to the Calvin Harris look-alike.

    “It’s hard for me to admit it, but we had sex,” a solemn Kaitlyn confesses to a stone-faced Shawn. “That night we went back to my place, I just feel like it went too far.”

    As the pair sit in silence for what may be the longest 20 seconds in reality TV history, Shawn collects himself enough to ask Kaitlyn if she regrets it. And instead of answering with a simple “yes,” the blue-eyed charmer attempts to tug — or, rather, pull — on his heartstrings by making their relationship her primary concern.

    “I felt guilt. I didn’t expect it to happen,” she explains. “When I woke up the next morning, I couldn’t stop thinking about what it might do to our relationship.”

    Needing to clear his head (and bladder), Shawn beelines for the nearest camera-free restroom to digest the information. When he finally reappears, the Connecticut-based trainer thanks Kaitlyn for her honesty and says the situation with Nick is something that he’ll have to deal with.

    But as Kaitlyn soon finds out, actions speak louder than words — in Shawn’s universe, at least. Before accepting the first of the final three roses, he pulls Ms. Bristowe aside and chastises her for sleeping with Nick after telling him he was “The One.”

    “I think I am here to explore other relationships, because at the end of this I will never explore another relationship,” Kaitlyn says. “Telling you that you were ‘The One’ halfway through this was a mistake.”


    Despite the shocking omission from the love of his life, Shawn opts to stick around for one more round — much to the dismay of his nemesis, Nick.

    Though Nick gets the last laugh after scoring the first overnight date in a non-cell-like fantasy suite, Shawn won’t go down without a fight. In fact, he crashes Nick’s hotel room and confronts the Chicago-based sales exec over his “intentions.”

    Will Nick and Shawn resolve their issues next week? Please. This is the most dramatic showdown of the season — and it’s just getting started.
  4. I like my sex discreet. ;lol
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    (CNN)"The View" co-host Whoopi Goldberg has been outspoken in her support of comedian Bill Cosby.

    On Tuesday, she said on the show that she can no longer say "innocent until proven guilty."

    "If this is to be tried in the court of public opinion, I got to say all of the information that's out there kind of points to guilt," she said during a conversation with ABC News chief legal analyst Dan Abrams.

    More than 25 women have publicly accused Cosby of raping or assaulting them over the past 40 years. The comedian has never been criminally charged and has vehemently denied wrongdoing.

    Goldberg recently said she had received threats for staunchly standing by Cosby.

    Whoopi Goldberg talks threats for supporting Bill Cosby

    On Tuesday, she invited Abrams to explain the legalities behind the accusations.

    "I always thought that rape cases were open-ended," Goldberg said. "What we have learned is, there's no recourse for these women except what they're doing."

    From TV dad to accused sexual predator

    Goldberg joined Abrams in encouraging viewers to contact their legislators to have statute of limitation laws changed for rape cases so that women who allege such instances are not held to a time frame of when they can come forward with their claims.

    What legal consequences could Bill Cosby face now?

    At the end of the interview, Goldberg had a message for Cosby, who has remained mostly silent about the accusations.

    "It looks bad, Bill," she said. "Either speak up or shut up."
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    Cosby Paid Women After Sex, Tried to Hide Payments From Wife
    NEW YORK — Jul 18, 2015, 10:26 PM ET
    Associated Press
    Bill Cosby says he paid women after having sex with them and went to great lengths to hide his behavior and the payments from his wife.

    The New York Times (<a class="postlink" href="" onclick=";return false;"></a>) reports the revelations Saturday after obtaining a copy of a transcript from a deposition Cosby gave a decade ago.

    The 78-year-old comedian was testifying under oath in a lawsuit by a former Temple University employee, Andrea Constand, who says he molested her.

    He says he offered to pay for Constand's education and had paid other women after they had sex with him.

    He also admits he funneled money to some of the women through his agent so his wife wouldn't find out.

    During the questioning, he says he was a good reader of women and called Constand a liar.
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    Teen fighting sex offender status after dating app tryst
    Madeline Buckley, The Indianapolis Star 7:43 a.m. EDT August 7, 2015

    INDIANAPOLIS — The story begins like many other accounts of modern dating.

    An Elkhart, Ind., 19-year-old met a girl on a dating app. There are dozens out there. He used one called “Hot or Not.”

    Zachery Anderson says the girl told him she was 17. The two made plans to meet, and they had sex.

    But the girl was 14. Anderson said he had no idea.

    The girl’s mother called police in December, the night of the teen's meeting with Anderson, when she grew nervous after her daughter hadn’t returned to their Niles, Mich., home on time.

    In Michigan, the age of consent is 16.

    Anderson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor sex offense, hoping the ordeal would end with a probation term, mitigated by a Michigan statute that allows leniency for some youthful offenders, his lawyer Scott Grabel said.

    “She apparently lied in an online profile, and if that isn’t suspicious all by itself, I don’t know what is.”
    Michael J. Sepic, prosecutor Berrien County (Mich.)
    The girl’s mother even asked the judge for leniency, saying her daughter admitted that she lied about her age, Grabel said.

    But when Berrien County (Mich.) District Judge Dennis Wiley handed down the sentence in April, Grabel said it was like a punch to the 19-year-old’s gut.

    Anderson would spend 75 days in jail, serve five years of probation and register as a sex offender for 25 years. He can’t continue with his computer science degree because he is not allowed to use the Internet, Grabel said.

    “He certainly understands he made some mistakes here,” Grabel said. “But all the things a normal 19-year-old can do, he can’t do.”

    Anderson’s case was first reported by the South Bend Tribune and has since captured media attention across the country.

    The case has brought the fairness of some statutory rape laws into question, particularly highlighted by the differing laws of Michigan and Indiana.

    Wiley had admonished Anderson at his original sentencing for how he met the girl on a dating app and what transpired.

    “That seems to be part of our culture now,” Wiley said, according to a transcript of that hearing. “Meet, have sex, hook up, sayonara. Totally inappropriate behavior. There is no excuse for this whatsoever.”

    Berrien County Prosecutor Michael J. Sepic said prosecutors did the right thing, and he points out that in Michigan a victim lying about his or her age is not a valid defense.

    Sepic said prosecutors carefully evaluate statutory rape allegations on a case by case basis to ensure the process is fair.

    “He certainly understands he made some mistakes here. But all the things a normal 19-year-old can do, he can’t do.”
    Scott Grabel, attorney for Zachery Anderson
    But in this case, Sepic said, a self-reported age on an online forum should be suspect.

    “She apparently lied in an online profile, and if that isn’t suspicious all by itself, I don’t know what is,” said Sepic.

    Yet in Indiana, the law allows someone accused of statutory rape to argue a victim lied about his or her age, called a mistake of age defense.

    Grabel said he wonders whether Anderson and the girl, who live about 20 miles apart, met up in Indiana rather than Michigan, would the teen’s fate be different?

    Anderson is out of jail, facing decades on the sex offender registry, forecasting years of trouble with jobs, residency and his ability to finish his chosen degree.

    “I think he’s just emotionally drained and beaten on this thing,” Grabel said.

    Grabel declined to make Anderson available for an interview while they await the judge's decision.

    But a sliver of hope still remains for Anderson.

    Grabel is asking the county to assign a new judge to resentence Anderson. The attorney argued in a hearing Wednesday that prosecutors violated the plea agreement by arguing that the Michigan law that would allow leniency shouldn’t apply in this case.

    Wiley has not yet ruled on the motion.

    Sepic said he could not comment on that issue because it is still pending.

    “Some of the consequences that occurred to the defendant are extremely unfortunate, but he made his choices,” Sepic said. “And he decided to plead guilty.”

    If Anderson wins another sentencing, Grabel said he will argue that Michigan's Holmes Youthful Training Act, known as HYTA, should apply, which would keep Anderson off a sex offender registry.

    Grabel also noted that the Michigan Supreme Court is weighing a similar case. He said he may argue that the sentencing be stayed in case the state’s statutory rape laws change.

    Grabel said 20 other states, including Indiana, have provisions that allow a defendant to launch a defense that seeks to prove a victim lied about his or her age and that the defendant reasonably believed them to be over the age of consent.

    Most provisions have some caveats, such as a clean criminal history, and a lack of coercion or force in the sex act.

    Grabel said the girl has not alleged force or coercion.

    “I do not think this is a fair result,” Grabel said.
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  11. Sex in the news is always interesting.
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    WASHINGTON -- First, DNA testing confirmed Thomas Jefferson had a sexual relationship with his slave Sally Hemings. Now it's rewriting another chapter in presidential history, this one from the Roaring '20s.

    Genetic analysis has proved that President Warren G. Harding fathered a child out of wedlock with long-rumored mistress Nan Britton, according to AncestryDNA, a division of

    Britton set off a Jazz Age scandal when she went public with her tale of forbidden love in the White House, boldly publishing her story in a 1927 best-selling memoir, "The President's Daughter." But historians long questioned her claims, and Harding defenders vilified her as a liar for nearly 90 years.

    Based on DNA from Britton's grandson and descendants of Harding, the results are 99.9 percent certain, Ancestry said. The findings were first reported Thursday by The New York Times.

    The child born of their union, Elizabeth Ann Blaesing, was the only known offspring of the 29th president. She died in 2005. Britton died in 1991.

    James Blaesing, 65, who grew up hearing the story of his grandfather, the president, from Britton, his grandmother, said he has always wanted to prove she was telling the truth. He was delighted by the DNA results.

    "You know what this is? It's a love story," he said of his grandparents. "It was true love, especially on her side, and I know he felt the same way. And he got trapped."

    The duality of Thomas Jefferson
    Harding was a U.S. senator from Ohio when the affair began. It ended with Harding's sudden death during his presidency in 1923.

    Harding's family long maintained that Britton's book was a lie or a childhood fantasy or was perhaps dreamed up by Democratic opponents of the Republican president. Some people maintained that Harding was sterile because he had mumps as a child.

    Blaesing said that if his mother and grandmother were alive today, they would be pleased.

    "My grandmother - right now she has the biggest smile on her face," he said. "She is so happy that this is out there."

    AncestryDNA spokesman Stephen Baloglu said the Harding story shows the power of DNA in rewriting history.

    "The family connection is definitive," he said. "We were happy to help the Harding family members solve this longstanding family mystery."
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    The Observer
    The other side of Lady Chatterley: a marriage torn apart by war, not sex

    It’s back. Eighty-seven years since it was first published, and more than half a century since it was the subject of an infamous obscenity trial, Lady Chatterley’s Lover is being revived in a BBC drama that is as much a reflection on today’s society as the between-the-wars Britain that obsessed DH Lawrence.

    The lavish 90-minute drama stars James Norton as Lord Clifford Chatterley and Holliday Grainger as his wife, Constance, who embarks on a torrid affair with their gamekeeper, the former miner Oliver Mellors. It was Lawrence’s graphic description of their relationship that led to the prosecution of Penguin under the Obscene Publications Act in 1960 and made famous the passionate encounters between Constance and Mellors.

    But while many previous productions have sought to paint Clifford, paralysed and impotent after being injured in the first world war, as an ogre, the writer and director Jed Mercurio has furnished him with a back story that makes the disintegration of his marriage heart-wrenching. In so doing, Mercurio brings the character of Constance to the centre of the drama, focusing on the near impossible choice she has to make between the two men, and projecting her as a modern, complex character.

    “When we meet them [the Chatterleys] at the start of the book, they are already in the middle phase of their life, we meet them effectively slowly dying in this stately home and I wanted to go back to them falling in love,” Mercurio said. “I wanted to see what they expected the future to be. I think if you just start with Sir Clifford being disabled and very bitter it makes you wonder why she married him. By seeing him as a very dashing young man and both of them having these great hopes for the future, as so many of that generation had, seeing that completely destroyed by the war felt for me like an emotional launching-off point that maybe some people don’t immediately bring to mind when they think of the book.”

    Sarah Cullen, the film’s producer, said Mercurio is making the novel relevant to today’s society while remaining faithful to its most important themes.

    “Jed’s vision for the book was to contemporise a relationship that was recognisable to an audience today, but to do that by looking at a class divide and a woman’s choice. It’s about a woman who becomes empowered. She makes a choice and we make that choice hard for her because the options are both strong.”

    Lawrence purists may blanche at Mercurio’s revisionism, but he insists he is being true to the spirit of Lawrence.

    “When I was looking at constructing scenes that told the story, some things that were just a paragraph ended up becoming full sequences in order to dramatise them and let the audience into the characters’ lives,” Mercurio said. “I wanted to go back to the book but also think about what Lawrence was trying to say, not just in that book, but what he said elsewhere, to tell a story that felt very modern in terms of the fact that, sometimes in relationships, people wrestle with their conscience, the heart fights the head and vice versa, but also putting Lady Chatterley, Constance, at the centre of it, making her a much more thinking person, much more decisive and bringing out her dilemma.”

    Norton, who recently appeared in Life in Squares, the BBC drama about the Bloomsbury Group, said he hoped the film would confront people’s preconceptions about Clifford’s character. “To change everyone’s view of him made the story so much more contemporary and relevant. I think as an actor it’s crucial to like the person you play, however weird and disturbed they are, and I deeply loved Clifford. I felt he was a tragic victim of the war and his social conditioning. I felt like he and Constance would have gone on and had a very happy relationship if he had not had the injury. I think Jed’s adaptation has made something that was black and white into something a bit more grey, very contemporary and more realistic.”

    That celebrated obscenity trial, in which the jury gave a unanimous not-guilty verdict, was credited as the start of a new, liberal era, but viewers tuning in next month for titillation may be best advised to look elsewhere. While there are a couple of mildly raunchy scenes between Mellors, played by Richard Madden, who has starred in Game of Thrones, and Grainger, who played Estella in Mike Newell’s adaptation of Dickens’s Great Expectations, Mercurio said he was at pains not to focus heavily on either the novel’s sexual content or its prodigious use of swearing.

    “It doesn’t excite me to write some swearing or sex scenes because they don’t have emotional context,” Mercurio said. “What makes an audience watch something and care about the characters is the emotional lives of the characters. Lawrence introduced those elements into his book at a time when he felt a great desire and responsibility to push the boundaries of artistic expression. I’m fortunate I’m not in that position. If I want to write those things no one is stopping me. But that wasn’t the case for Lawrence.”
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    Ex-Courser, Gamrat aide rips office hugging, 'tuck-ins'

    The romantic embraces, the office naps with tuck-ins, and frequently canceled meetings were just too much for Joshua Cline, a former staffer for state Reps. Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat, whose extramarital affair has prompted a legislative investigation and calls from many fellow lawmakers to resign.

    During a news conference Monday, Cline, who resigned in the spring, said it became obvious soon after the lawmakers took office that they had a such a personal, intimate relationship that it created a hostile work environment and made working in the office "untenable."

    "Reps. Courser and Gamrat would routinely disappear for hours at a time -- especially on Thursdays after session -- and then they would come back and ask us to get them dinner," Cline said. "I began to suspect that Rep. Courser and Gamrat were having an inappropriate physical relationship. In January, I mentioned my concerns to Courser and Gamrat at a late-night staff meeting. I suggested they should adopt and enforce professional and personal boundaries. They quickly dismissed my concerns and impressed upon me that as a mere staffer, such a suggestion was not my place."

    In audio e-mails and press conferences, Courser and Gamrat have owned up to their personal "indiscretions." But both also have said that they will not resign from the House of Representatives.

    The details of the affair got more explicit Monday with Cline's revelations. Courser often napped in Gamrat's office, Cline said. And Gamrat, R-Plainwell, would get him a pillow and blanket and tuck him in. Courser and Gamrat are both married -- he has four children and she has three.

    "They spent an inordinate amount of time going for walks with each other during the day," he added. "They frequently greeted each other with what appeared to be long, romantic, highly personal hugs and embraces."

    And the long-rumored confrontation between Courser and Gamrat, and Gamrat's husband Joe, at the Radisson Hotel in Lansing isn't an urban legend, Cline said, noting he got a phone call from Joe Gamrat on Feb. 11.

    "He told me, as a warning that 'you're going to be in for a very bad day.' He had seen Todd and Cindy stay in their legislative offices until late at night. He had also seen Cindy leave Todd's hotel room at 2 a.m.," Cline said. "Cindy arrived late that day looking disheveled. ... And (Courser) spent most of the time leaning on cabinets in Rep. Gamrat's office. He was distraught, despondent, very quiet. They spent a lot of time in their back office that day."

    Gamrat's spokesman, Justin Near, said they would not comment on Cline's press conference. Courser did not return calls for comment Monday.

    Cline quit the office in April and said the last straw was when he realized that they had cancelled or rescheduled more than half the meetings they set up. He said he brought his concerns about the relationship to members of the office of Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant. But said he "felt there was no relief forthcoming."

    Cline, a Lapeer County native, knew Courser before he became a legislator and worked on previous campaigns for the Lapeer Republican. So, he said, he was shocked to become a staffer and encounter a boss who treated his staffers with disrespect and adopted a "haughty and elitist" attitude.
  15. Love it cant wait to see what's next
  16. HollyWood
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  17. Nice topics
  18. Hope prostitution becomes legal and the gay prison years is horrible and frankly stupid
  19. Hope prostitution becomes legal and the gay prison years is horrible and frankly stupid
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    Human Trafficking Jam: Sorting Out Consensual Sex From Slavery, Coercion and Abuse
    Posted: 09/17/2015 9:40 am EDT Updated: 09/17/2015 10:59 am EDT

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    (Image credit: Wikimedia, public domain)

    On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court righted a longstanding wrong by ruling for same-sex marriage. The Obergefell v. Hodges decision includes a ringing affirmation of evolving moral views:

    The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. The generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning.
    As if in answer, on August 11 Amnesty International passed a resolution calling for the global decriminalization of sex work. Human trafficking activists howled in protest. Cindy McCain, writing as chair of the Human Trafficking Advisory Council, thundered her denunciation of Amnesty International's proposal in the Washington Post:

    Sex work and sex trafficking cannot reasonably be separated. Sex work fuels the demand for commercial sex, which is the indisputable driving force behind the sex-trafficking industry....This proposal tells women, men, and children that sex work is a safe and accepted choice.
    Nonsense. You don't have to approve of the buying and selling of sex to see the wisdom in Amnesty's proposal. I'm certain that humanists, along with everyone else who considers themselves a civilized human being, would join unanimously to oppose human trafficking, defined in federal legislation as the child sex trade, along with "peonage, slavery, involuntary servitude, or forced labor." However, the conflation of these evils with consensual commercial sex is wrong.

    It makes for strange bedfellows, to say the least. Conservatives who normally trumpet the virtues of the free market join hands with liberals who normally uphold the rights of consenting adults to denounce the decriminalization of commercial sex. Why is that?

    The answer, I suspect, lies in deep-seated moralistic feelings. How else could a blatantly illogical claim like "sex work and sex trafficking cannot reasonably be separated" not only appear on the pages of the Washington Post but also in one of the few bipartisan bills to pass Congress this year?

    That statement only makes sense if it taps into unexamined beliefs such as "no one would enter sex work unless they were coerced." As uncomfortable as it makes us, in the interests of justice we must question such assumptions.

    So, let us ask: Why should commercial sex between consenting adults be criminal? Writing in the New York Times, Rachel Moran, a former sex worker, bluntly rejects the Amnesty resolution: "Implementing this policy will simply calcify into law men's entitlement to buy sex." Moran tells a gut-wrenching story of her experience as a desperate teen sucked into prostitution: "For seven years, I was bought and sold. On the streets, that could be ten times in a night."

    As the father of two daughters, I find Moran's account heartbreaking. Beyond a doubt most women who enter into sex work are driven into it, either by desperation, coercion, or both. But that is not universally the case, and more to the point it need not be so. Moran's tale is precisely the kind that Amnesty hopes to relegate to history through decriminalization. Illegal brothels are by definition unregulated brothels. And this is not only about men paying to have sex with women.

    Enter Rentboy. On August 25, federal and city authorities teamed up to raid the offices of the online male escort service. Rentboy's CEO and six of its employees were charged with running a prostitution ring. The action left gay activists fuming, as many wondered if this is the new meaning of equality. Rentboy, after all, has been in business since 1997, and its online presence was hardly a secret.

    A gay escort tells Gawker: "The people at Rentboy weren't doing anything wrong -- they were doing something illegal... It's like that line from The Simpsons: 'Their only crime was breaking the law.'" He goes on to say that becoming a sex worker made him feel attractive, empowered and financially free. More than a decade later it remains a fulfilling part of his life.

    Obviously, male sex work bypasses a raft of feminist issues. Gender inequality simply doesn't enter into same-sex commercial arrangements. But this raises an awkward question: Can we contemplate a double standard for sex work? Should we take a libertarian stance for gays and a protectionist stand for women? Surely, that would be the most patronizing response of all.

    Social critic Yasmin Nair goes a step further. Sex work, she writes at her blog, "has been as integral to queer history as to feminism. The history of women's right to earn their living independent of patriarchal economic systems has included more than a few blowjobs and paid nights, and mainstream feminism has forgotten or willfully erased that history as not respectable enough, not feminist enough, or just too sleazy to be remembered."

    Perhaps the most important question raised by the Rentboy raid is this: Why is it legal to sell companionship but not sex?

    Instinctively, we know there's a difference. There is something special about sex. All societies regulate it. They do so in line with the moral instincts of those who wield power, often articulated by scriptures they take to be holy.

    Evolutionary insights offer a deeper understanding. Selling companionship is legal because friendship doesn't produce offspring. The motives of those who regulate sex are primarily to assure the paternity of their offspring, and secondarily to protect their social status in relation to their wives and daughters. To the extent that women have been able to influence sex codes, they also enforce obligations on men to provide for their legally recognized offspring.

    Yet, despite the universality of regulation, commercial sex arrangements continue. This is likely because monogamy runs against the reproductive instincts of men. Genes also undermine fidelity in women, but in fewer instances and in more selective ways. Yet, regardless of private behavior, it is also in everyone's interest to publicly condemn commercial sex. Hence, "slut shaming" and the paradox of the "world's oldest profession."

    Moral instincts are the wellspring of ethics, but, like sexual instincts, they don't always serve us well. It's precisely the questioning of moral instincts that has led the straight majority to at long last embrace the equal rights of lesbians and gays, and to begin a reconsideration of transgender.

    Good journalistic practice calls for full disclosure. Relax, I'm not going to recite my sexual resume. I will simply say this: I have no more interest in the services of Ashley Madison than I do in those of Rentboy, which is to say none. I do have an interest in advancing good public policy.

    The anti-trafficking bill that President Obama signed this year has precious little: "the demand for commercial sex," it says, "is a primary cause of the human rights violation of human trafficking, and the elimination of that human rights violation requires the elimination of that demand."

    For sheer futility and hypocrisy, this ranks in the pits with the "War on Drugs." We cannot eliminate the demand for commercial sex by outlawing it. If we have to wait for that demand to abate before doing something about human trafficking, the job will never be done.

    Historians debate whether or not Prohibition "worked." Some say it did, because overall alcohol consumption briefly declined after passage of the Volstead Act. (It bounced back as Al Capone and others plunged into the market.) The real lesson of Prohibition, however, is that criminalizing "vice"--the consensual private behavior of adults that we publicly disdain--not only fails to eliminate it but comes at a terrible price. It inevitably gives rise to violent, amoral criminal enterprises.

    Legalization does not mean anarchy. Liquor stores today are not run by bootleggers or gangsters, and although there's been a slight uptick in per-capita alcohol consumption recently, the long-term trend is down -- way down.

    Public education campaigns are far better public policy. While they may not eliminate undesirable behavior, they can drastically curtail it. Since the Surgeon General first warned of the hazards of tobacco, legal cigarette smoking has fallen by more than half, while illegal use of marijuana has spread to more than half of young Americans.

    Sex is special, of course. Jealousy is a powerful instinct, and so commercial sex threatens marriages and other established sexual relationships. That's deeply painful. But keeping sex work illegal only makes things worse all around. It subjects sex workers to coercion, abuse, and even slavery, and it makes the spread of sexually transmitted infections all the more likely.

    We humanists don't believe in angels, and the law certainly cannot perfect us. If we can accept ourselves as nature has fashioned us -- flawed, self-contradictory beings -- we can strive for optimal rather than utopian policies.
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  23. I love Nevada and legal brothels. It's so beneficial to creating happiness, which I feel should be the aim of life... to strive for happiness. Regulating the sex trade is going to be difficult though since as we all know, men love sex all the time no matter where they may be at the moment and the women who are unable to pass testing or work in a brothel is still going to hit the street to offer their trade, so...
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    The Bunny Ranch, a legal Nevada brothel, announced a new program to match its workers student loan payments up to the amount they make as a prostitute. Photo by Joseph Conrad/Flickr
    RENO, Nev., Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Women hoping to make short work of their student loan payments have a new option, thanks to the Bunny Ranch, one of Nevada's many legal brothels.

    Dennis Hof, owner of the Bunny Ranch, announced a new program that will match its workers' student loan payments up to the amount they make as prostitutes. Over a 60-day period, the Bunny Ranch will match the payments of women at accredited two and four-year universities, said Hof, who is a eyeing a run for U.S. Senate.

    Hof, whose brothel came into fame in the 2002 HBO documentary "Cathouse," said he devised the idea when he saw an increasing number of his prostitutes trying to pay down education debts quickly.

    "I had a University of Michigan cheerleader named Krissy Summers come to The Bunny Ranch a few years ago after she was $40,000 in debt with student loans," he said. "She paid them all off in two months. She even ended up liking the business and staying long enough to fund her graduate studies."

    Summers said with her education debt paid off she is completing her doctoral degree and working alongside Nevada brothel lobbyist George Flynt "to assist in promoting the profession that made me so successful in accomplishing my goals."

    "I look forward to obtaining my degree and helping people with their sexual issues," she said on her website. "My passion is to also help young women and underage girls that have been sex trafficked."

    About 43 million Americans owe an estimated $1.2 trillion in student loan debt. Of that, about $103 billion is in default. Many graduates owe an average of $30,000 and say they can't afford the high monthly payments. Others have opted not to pay as a form of protest.
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