I think this is a shocking story—on two levels.
One, two consenting adults get together in a room to make a transaction, and both are arrested because the state knows better than them how they should live their lives. Their mugshots end up on the website linked to above, as they are publicly humiliated for a private act that harmed nobody.
Two, part of the payment for the woman’s services was made “with a $100 Speedway gas card,” and that predictably becomes the headline for the story: “Sex for Gas.” Is that supposed to be funny?
The story says: “A local prosecutor noted that it was sad to see someone selling their body for gas, in this case about 25 gallons worth.”
Given that she chose that option over all others available to her, is it not even sadder that we condemn her to worse? It’s a disturbing story, for I do not see the difference between me and that woman, selling her services for a living, or that man, satisfying his needs peacefully without infringing anyone’s rights. Who are we to tower in judgement over them?
Some earlier pieces:
Don’t Punish Victimless Crimes (March 29, 2007)
A Choice to Sell Sex (September 11, 2007)
Laws Against Victimless Crimes Should Be Scrapped (May 4, 2008)
(Link via email from Srini Sitaraman.)