Nye County, Nevada Kills ’24-Hour Lockdown Rule’ for Brothels

Chuck Muth, registered agent and spokesperson for the Nevada Brothel Association, a coalition of legal brothel workers co-founded by sex workers Alice Little, Ruby Rae, and Moonlite Bunny Ranch owner Suzette Cole, posted news of the proposed law changes on the Association’s official website. The big news to come out of the Nye County Commission’s meeting this week was the striking of the ancient 24-hour lockdown rule from the proposed ordinance language.

Nye County is one of a handful of rural counties in Nevada where legal brothels are authorized to operate.  And for the past couple of years the Nye County Commission has been working to update its brothel ordinance to clean up some language and modernize the code.

The original update proposal announced in October included a new “lockdown” provision that would only allow a courtesan to leave the brothel for six hours every ten days.

In response to significant opposition voiced by many of the women in the industry, that proposal was killed before the language for the new ordinance was even officially introduced – a big win for the good guys.

Unfortunately, the proposed changes kept intact the existing “24-hour lockdown” rule that’s been in place for years…

“Every prostitute who is off the brothel premises in excess of twenty-four (24) hours shall be subject to all the medical testing requirements set forth in this chapter and any other applicable State laws and regulations.”

Among the many problems with the 24-hour lockdown rule, and the re-testing requirement is the fact that it is completely arbitrary and pointless.

The county’s rationale has always been STI prevention, however it is just as easy for a sex worker to hypothetically catch as STI in 23 hours and 59 minutes (or in fifteen minutes) as it is in 24 hours. Not to mention, most severe STIs won’t even show up on a test in 24 hours.

Ultimately, rules such as these (which also require the sex worker to re-test at their own expense) end up isolating sex workers from the community at large by discouraging them from visiting with friends and family. This are basic freedoms that workers in other fields of employment enjoy.

Muth continued:

The proposed 6-hour lockdown rule was bad, but the existing 24-hour rule wasn’t any better. So we set our sights on repealing this provision entirely, as well.

On Monday, Commission Chairman John Koenig reached out and requested arguments in favor of repeal – particularly in response to concerns raised regarding public health.

[A] huge shout-out to Kourtney Chase, a courtesan at the Chicken Ranch Brothel, who attended the meeting and testified.  She was a bit nervous (who wouldn’t be under the circumstances?) but did great.

Kourtney had already written a pair of absolutely wonderful columns in opposition to the proposed 6-hour lockdown rule back in October.  If you missed them, they’re well worth reading.  Click here and here.

Kourtney’s willingness to share her life story and explain how these lockdown rules hurt and stigmatize the women who work in Nevada’s legal brothels put a human face on this issue.  I can’t begin to tell you how important and persuasive “putting herself out there” was to this effort.

After Kourtney and I and a couple others finished testifying and making our case, Chairman Koenig announced a number of final changes he was proposing for the ordinance update – including completely striking the 24-hour lockdown rule.

Other commissioners recommended a few other, non-related changes, and then it was time for the vote.

In the end, the new ordinance was approved – WITH THE LOCKDOWN RULE REMOVED! – by a unanimous vote of 5-0!

Thank you to everyone who got involved and reached out to the Nye County Commission over the 6-hour rule back in October and showed up for the hearings.

Nevada Brothel Association

537060cookie-checkNye County, Nevada Kills ’24-Hour Lockdown Rule’ for Brothels

Nye County, Nevada Kills ’24-Hour Lockdown Rule’ for Brothels

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