US Senator Harry Reid trying to ban brothels in Nevada

Shady Lady

The Shady Lady Ranch is one of the brothels in Nevada that Harry Reid is trying to ban. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Harry Reid is a Democratic U.S. Senator from Nevada. In a statement read to the Nevada Senate and Assembly, Senator Harry Reid called to ban brothels in Nevada. The statements received a chilly reception and likely will not lead to legislative action.

Harry Reid says to ban brothels in Nevada

The Democratic Nevada Senator Harry Reid addressed a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. The speech covered a wide range of topics including job creation efforts, education reform, renewable energy and home foreclosure. At one point during the speech, however, Reid suggested that Nevada should ban brothels. Reid said that when thinking about Nevada, “it should think about the world’s newest ideas and newest careers – not about its oldest profession.”

The reality of brothels in Nevada

Nevada is the only state in the United States that has areas where prostitution is legal. Some, not all, Nevada counties do legally allow brothels. The counties that encompass the largest cities in Nevada — Reno and Las Vegas — do not allow prostitution. Many of the smaller cities in Nevada receive significant tax income from the legal sex trade. Nye County alone received $150,000 from brothel taxes to pay for veterans’ care and ambulance services. Brothel owners and legal prostitutes in Nevada supported a bill that would create additional state tax on services last year, but that bill died in committee.

Harry Reid does not have power to ban brothels in Nevada

Though Harry Reid has asked for the Nevada legislature to ban prostitution, he can do little more than ask. Prostitution has long been considered the purview of states, not the federal government. Reid is a U.S. Senator and does not have direct control over the laws in Nevada. The likelihood that the Nevada legislature will take action to ban prostitution is very low, given the amount of money that prostitution taxes bring in.


CBS News

Other recent posts by bryanh