New Utah Law Outlaws “Acting Sexy”
It is now illegal to act “too sexy” in Utah. Seriously. State lawmakers, led by House Minority Whip Jennifer Seeling– a Democrat, believe it or not, have passed a law that bans sexual gestures, including groping yourself in a sexual way, that would indicate an intent to exchange sex for money.
According to the Associated Press, the new law is intended to help law enforcement officers working undercover in prostitution stings. Salt Lake City police chief Chris Burbank, who supports the law, told the AP that it will protect officers who are asked by prostitutes to show their genitals or touch themselves in order to prove they’re not cops. Making such requests is now illegal.
“Officers were being put in a position that we’re not going to allow, so we took a different direction,” Burbank told the AP.
But opponents say the new law is so vaguely broad that police can abuse it and arrest employees of legally licensed but sexually oriented businesses such as strip clubs and escort agencies, not to mention Utahans (or visitors) who behave in a manner police deem overly amorous.
Particularly troubling is language in the new law that makes anyone exposing themselves or touching themselves in a sexual way an indication that they are offering sex.
“Most girls who touch their breasts are not telling you they’re open for sex,” attorney Andrew McCullough, who is representing two escort services that have filed a federal lawsuit to block the new law, told the AP. McCullough added that this law is “virtually identical” to another one that was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge back in 1988.
Chief Burbank told the AP that the new law will only be applied to suspected prostitutes. But in a state as notoriously conservative as Utah, where those who do not conform to the Mormonesque brand of puritanical conformity that dominates society are often scorned or worse, it will be hard for those who oppose this law to trust authorities to apply it only when constitutionally appropriate. This is a state, after all, where a gay couple was arrested in 2009 by Mormon goons on Main Street Plaza in Salt Lake City for holding hands and a kiss on the cheek! The role of the Mormon church (a laughable cult whose members believe that Jesus visited Native Americans and that magic underwear will protect them from worldly evils) in stripping civil rights from homosexuals in states far beyond Utah’s borders also speaks volumes about the hateful values of many Utahans.
Utah House Minority Whip Jennifer Seelig (a Democrat!) sponsored the bill. She claims the law is part of an effort to combat the illicit sex trade and human sex trafficking, which is a very real problem all across America. Still, it is hard not to suspect a morality motive behind this blatant intrusion on Utahans’ freedom of expression.
Tagged american prudes, andrew mccullough, chris burbank, gay couple arrested for holding hands, gay couple arrested for kissing, house minority whip jennifer seeling, human trafficking, jennifer seeling, main street plaza salt lake city, morality, mormons, prostitution, Salt Lake City, salt lake city police chief chris burbank, sex trafficking, sex trafficking in utah, Utah, utah bans acting sexy, utah legislature, utah outlaws acting sexy, utah outlaws sexy gestures, utah prostitution, utah too sexy law