The times, they are a changin’, my friends. “Sex zones” are now legal here in Taiwan.
The amendment to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), went into effect today. Here is how the story read in the Taipei Times:
Although a legal amendment allowing local governments to set up red-light districts went into effect on Sunday, as of yesterday, no local authority had expressed willingness to designate special areas for the sex trade, meaning it is [still] illegal for anyone in the country to buy or sell sex.
The purpose of this amendment was to recognize that prostitution exists and, I assume, to provide a bit or legal protection to the women and men involved in it.
Honestly, resistance to the (limited) legalization of prostitution has always baffled me. I mean, who besides nutso Christians really is against protecting the women and men involved? And, don’t get it twisted. This is exactly what we are talking about here. To believe that prostitution doesn’t exist right in your backyard, or that it can somehow be legally outlawed and enforced into oblivion is just pure lunacy.
People like sex. People need money. Simple as that.
It only makes sense that the government regulates this, just as they should bars, and casinos, and race tracks, etc. You need to have some sort of rational legal framework in which those involved can be protected or prosecuted.
You can drink at a bar, but you can’t drive home drunk. You can gamble at a casino, but you can’t count cards. You can race around in a circle, but… well, you get my point.
And don’t try to turn this all around on me like I am supporting kidnapping young girls from the countryside in Cambodia and shipping them around the world. More rational legislation and regulation of the sex trade is exactly how less and less of those horror stories will occur.
Anyway, weirdest part of this story…
Police in New Taipei City (新北市) yesterday reported the first violation of the new law, in which a man and a woman were fined NT$1,500 each for engaging in illegal sex in a backroom inside a tea shop.
What!? I mean, this seems like a story unto itself, if you ask me– just leaves me with so many questions. Like, how did the police bust these two? Was there really money involved? Was it just some boyfriend and girlfriend who got narc’d on? Who narc’d? Why was the fine so low? And are the really tea stand brothels in Taiwan???