Can’t touch this: Utah bans sexy acts
Published: Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 16:06
Utah is—without a doubt—one of the sexiest states we have in the United States. For those of you who haven't had the honor of touching Utah's great soil, try to visualize Utah's snowy mountain peaks, huge national parks and great lakes.
It's a very sexy state to be in.
And yet, despite all of this sexiness, Utah legislators would rather have their constituents keep the sex appeal all to themselves. Which is why, just last month, a new Utah law was passed banning public acts of being sexy.
Let me explain: In the 2011 legislative session, House Minority Whip Jennifer Seelig (D-Salt Lake City) sponsored a bill that would expand Utah's solicitation laws. And so, the law defining prostitution evolved from "a person agreeing to exchange sex for money" to "a person agreeing and showing — through lewd acts — that they intend to exchange sex for money."
The next question in need of an answer is: what defines a lewd act? Well, according to this anti-sexy Utah law, a lewd act would include "exposing or touching" yourself. So if you showcase any public acts of seductiveness, you could be arrested for it. Ergo, if you plan on traveling to Utah anytime soon, you better keep your hands off yourself.
Now it should be noted that as ridiculous as this law sounds, it was introduced with good intentions. Seelig's overall goal with the bill was to make it easier for police officers to arrest prostitutes. To make the cause even more noble, Seelig believes that the law will serve as a solution to eliminating underage sex trafficking. From her perspective, arresting young prostitutes is the first step to getting them off the streets. More realistically, arresting young prostitutes is the first step to getting them into a prison; beside that obvious point, it can be said that this legislation is extremely vague.
This point should not come as a surprise, especially since legislators are attempting to attach definition to an extremely subjective term. For example: I mentioned previously that I considered Utah to be a very sexy state. You probably disagree with me, but honestly it doesn't really matter. What we find personally appealing is relative to us; we as individuals define what sexy means for ourselves, and the U.S. Supreme Court agrees.
In fact, it was Justice Potter Stewart who, in an effort to define hard-core pornography and what is considered to be obscene, stated in 1964 that he would "know it when I see it." Calling it the "Casablanca Test," Stewart himself refused to set legal standards to pornography, thus implying the subjectivity that revolves around topics of a sexual nature. With that said, prostitution — even when deemed illegal — will still exist; and banning what you define to be public acts of sexiness is not going to help.
If anything, the best way to solve the problems that surface from prostitution would be to legalize it, but that's a conversation for another time. Until then, if you're planning on visiting Utah, you better leave your sex appeal at home.