Motel Discriminated Against Prostitute by Refusing Her Room: Tribunal

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I agree with Janelle Fawkes of the Australian Sex Worker’s Association who states that ‘Systemic Predjudice’ is most definitely at the core of all anti-discrimination cases throughout Queensland.  This huge win for GK and all sex workers, recently upheld in the Appeal by the Queensland Civil & Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) was reported in the Brisbane Times on 8th August, 2012.  Sex workers everywhere will now be able to have their Anti-Discrimination Cases heard and be taken seriously.  It is no longer acceptable behaviour to refuse a sex worker accommodation and discriminate against them just because you don’t agree with their choice of work.

In this instance, common sense finally prevailed and GK won her appeal.  This case has huge ramifications for sex workers and their client’s as well as hoteliers and moteliers who will now have to re-think their discriminatory nature and join the 21st century!.  It’s about bloody time!  What peeves me the most, is how the owners of the Drover’s Rest Motel can casually state that they have no problem with ‘prostitutes’ working for a living but object if this work is being carried out on their premises.  If they object to sex work then they must also object to all other types of work that is conducted within the confines of a hotel room.  Sales people, accountants, police, anyone who uses the phone or internet or bed to conduct their legal and lawful business. Sex work is recognised as legitimate work.

The mind boggles as to how the owners ‘discovered’ she was working in the first place.  One would like to think that Australian’s are entitled to have some sort of privacy when they pay for a room and not have their comings and goings monitored by the proverbial nosey neighbour.  Obviously not in this case, but to then go ahead and ‘ban her’ as if they have some sort of moral obligation to do so, is downright offensive!  I have a sense that the owner’s are more than a little bit Ma & Pa Kettle-like.  I think they honestly believe they have the right to discriminate on some sort of moral high ground.  I think not and so does the Tribunal.  My advice to them is that they mind their own business and behave according to the laws of this land.  God knows we don’t need more rednecks running around!

Fingers crossed that this case will pave the way for other sex worker’s who have also been discriminated against and who have been waiting in the wings to finally see if GK’s human rights are being taken seriously.  It is blatant misrepresentation when Richard Munro states that “…hotel and motel owners must retain the right to refuse guests who might disturb the amenity…”.  There are already laws in place that are based on moral attitudes and prejudices validated by the Criminal Code, Chapter 22A which is designed to cover an act of deviance rather than a business.  However, the punishment must fit the crime.  In this case, the legal sex worker GK did not break the law, however the owners Dovedeen Pty Ltd and Mrs Joan Hartley of the Drover’s Rest Motel in Moranbah, clearly did!

Sex workers have been flocking to the front lines to work alongside miners for centuries.  This is not a new concept born out of a sudden influx of immoral sinner’s.  Gold mining pioneers couldn’t wait to get to the Gold fields in the hopes of striking it rich.  If you worked hard, the rewards came.  In this case, sex workers are booking flights and looking to cash up by providing a sex service.  Let’s face it, we all have needs, wants and desires that need attending to!  They are both booming industries, full of hard working men and women with money who choose to see equally hard working sex workers for a conversation, lunch/dinner, perhaps some erotic relaxation and/or sex.

Thank you GK for finding the strength to stand up to the system and fight for our collective rights.  I can only imagine the anxiety and stress that this must be causing you, your family, your business and every aspect of your life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  You are one hell of a woman!  Jx

By Jodine
© Copyright, 2012, escortjodine.com.  All Rights Reserved


Attorney-General Backs Hotel Sex Appeal

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Yes folks!  We are witnessing first hand how discrimination is continuing to be perpetrated by political bullying agents at the highest level, as witnessed in Brisbane Times dated August 9th, 2012.  The Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has shown his true colours by publicly attempting to pervert the course  of justice by using his public powers to  “attempt to overturn” the appeal of the landmark Anti-discrimination case between the legal sex worker GK and the owners of the Drover’s Rest Motel in Moranbah.  Make no mistake about it.  We can begin to see the depth of corruption, personal bias and undue influence that is obviously still being exerted by Queensland’s politicians and power player’s.  It didn’t take long for those key players to rear their ugly head.

Sex workers have been dealing with this sort of extortion for years, especially in Queensland.  We only have to go back a couple of decades to see how far corruption can breed in politics with the likes of Sir Joe Bjielke-Petersen!  Here we go again.  Have you noticed the uncanny similarity between the last names of these two political figures?  Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen and Mr Bleijie.  Perhaps they are related?  It would certainly explain why sex workers are continuing to fight an up-hill battle, just to have their basic human rights upheld.  This political tickling is spreading like a festering disease throughout politics in Queensland despite laws to the contrary to protect and serve.

How can a significant political figure like Mr Bleijie get away with flaunting his bias political power’s publicly like this.  Surely it is common sense not to interfere.  Our Attorney-General is meant to be a respected impartial public figure.  Similarly, so are the Queensland Civil & Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) members.  Unfortunately a few bad apples have tainted this Anti-discrimination case.  Is it any wonder people are afraid to stand up for their rights when a system is is openly flawed like this?  What hope do we as citizens have?  I am embarrassed and ashamed.  How long will it be before Australians can feel truly proud that they have left their distasteful convict history behind?

There has to be a shift away from the pre-existing moralistic viewpoint, to one that supports a public health and human rights approach such as New Zealand’s.  It is apparent that there needs to be more constructive discussion and debate between sex workers, the government, lawmakers and public opinion in Australia.  This is not going to happen when we have sensationalised public Anti-discrimination cases and individual’s being put through the political ringer.  It just makes our justice system look like a Christmas dinner – full of turkey’s and really bad jokes.

The fact remains that the owners of the Drovers Rest Motel did discriminate by breaching the Anti-Discrimination Act by denying GK a room.  What right did they have to ask her to leave when she had been there 17 times during the past 2 years?  What rights do law abiding legal sex workers have, who pay their tax, keep a low profile and go about their daily business, earning a decent living.  We thought we had the Anti-discrimination law on our side that protected our right to practice ‘lawful sexual activity’.  Sex work is work after all.  I find I am holding my breath waiting for the next debacle.

Mr Bleijie says he stands on the side of business owners.  OK, so what about the rest of Australia who don’t happen to own a business?  Actually I have an ABN number and I pay tax, does this mean I am a respected business owner?  Or am I just a sex worker?  I do not think hotel and motel owners should be given more rights than they already have.  Mr Bleijie says he will change the laws to suit.  There are already adequate laws in place that protect against unruly, noisy or abusive guests.  Why didn’t the owners use this already existing defence? They couldn’t because no offence had been committed, and not in the entire 2 years that GK stayed at the motel.   It doesn’t take a genius to see that they want these additional law changes to give them more powers so they can discriminate!

Insinuating that hotel’s are at risk of becoming illegal brothel’s is ludicrous.  There are no similarities what-so-ever between the two.  The differences between a brothel manager and a motel manager are crystal clear.  Do motel owner/manager’s answer my phone, put my adds on, take care of the extra laundry without extra charge, provided security, negotiate bookings or provide my condoms?  They don’t because they are not brothel’s!

Consider that the former Attorney-General, Honourable Nicola Roxon, released a media statement on the 4th of January, 2012, reminding us that the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 is now in effect.  Human Rights will be “…bought into sharper focus in Parliament this year with all new laws to be checked to see if they stack up against human rights obligations”.  New laws must consider “… protection and promotion of human rights”.  The principles of freedom, respect, equality, dignity and a fair go, apply to everyone including sex workers.

In Queensland, it was found that sex workers who were working legally (i.e.  service providers in licensed brothels, legal sole traders) had better mental health than those in illegal settings (Seib et al 2009).  Harcourt et al (2005) suggested that decriminalization seemed to provide the best outcomes for sex workers health and welfare and that this is a desirable outcome that affects the community as a whole.  Where are human rights for sex worker’s here in this case?

I am concerned that in this day and age, Australians are being controlled by a very powerful elite who will stop at nothing short of murder, to keep their false sense of control from slipping away.  We need to stand up as a nation and right these wrongs  Nip them in the bud and say enough is enough.  The rest of the world is looking at us and I can feel their  contempt.  I want to feel proud to be an Australian.  I support human rights for all.

By Jodine
© Copyright, 2012, escortjodine.com.  All Rights Reserved

To make a donation to go toward the legal bill for GK, please contact:

Crimson Coalition

St George Bank
BSB 114879
Account 483605476

All donations will be gratefully appreciated.   Jx

Sex Worker Wins Right to Work from Motel

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Hoo rah!  Put your hands in the air, there’s a party in the club tonight!  I seem to recall I told you all so in no uncertain terms that the legal sex worker GK would win her Appeal against Dovedeen Pty Ltd and Mrs Joan Hartley of the Drover’s Rest Motel in Moranbah, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald on August 7th.  The  original  ludicrous Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) decision was successfully overturned and brought in line with existing Queensland and Federal Law and recognised global best practice.

It had to happen.  Blatant discrimination on behalf of the learned member in the initial QCAT decision was an embarrassment to QCAT and the Anti-discrimination Commission of Queensland (ADCQ) as well as to most Australian’s.  Shame on her!  The recent decision finding in favour of legal sex worker GK has shown that common sense does prevail but at what cost to GK and other sex workers who live with this kind of discrimination on a daily basis.  The case should never have gone this far.

Sex worker’s now have to wait a further 28 days for the right to appeal the appeal to expire.  How many countless other cases will never make it to the ADCQ’s attention for actual fear of the legal system that opts to make poor, corrupt decisions like the one we just witnessed.  Why would anyone want to put themselves through a process of unrelenting scrutiny at the hands of weak kneed, religious zealots, I suspect, who succumb to bullying tactics or their own bias world view in order to influence decisions at this level?

Many sex workers experience discrimination and don’t report due to barriers to access including internalised stigmatisation, fear of information being used for other purposes, fear of disclosure of personal information being provided to the perpetrator or media, lack of understanding of legislative coverage by sex workers, fear of retaliatory action by the perpetrator or others.  Perhaps we will soon see just how many pending cases have been waiting in the wings for this long awaited positive outcome that actually stands up for our human rights.

This case has become one of the most significant public landmark cases in Queensland’s anti-discrimination history.  Queensland is finally saying loud and clear that human rights violations will not be tolerated and no amount of bullying from fanatical Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) type politics will interfere with a fair and just process.  A far cry from the days of pandemic corruption Queenslander’s suffered under Joh Bjelke-Petersen.  This is a huge win for Queensland and legal sex workers Australia wide.

The Tribunal wrote an exemplary comprehensive legal explanation of their decision which systematically used appropriate law to back-up the true spirit and meaning of ‘lawful sexual activity’.  There are no obscure, grasping at straws findings here.  QCAT can feel pleased that they have successfully vindicated theselves and done so with huge integrity.  The case has now successfully been brought back into focus; it is illegal in the State of Queensland to discriminate against another person seeking accommodation just because they are a sex worker.

In fact the QCAT findings were so comprehensive that an appeal of the appeal seems highly unlikely.  However, I am well aware of the depth of ill-feeling within members of the moral police.  Sadly, I expect nothing less than more inappropriate bullying tactics and  political interference on this case.  It will be interesting to see just who these redneck players are, what power’s they think they wield and to just what lengths they are prepared to go to keep Queenslander’s in the Dark Ages.

In Queensland, sex workers have been accessing the ADCQ for over fifteen years in responding to the high levels of discrimination that are perpetrated against sex workers within the community.  Not all situations are covered by the Anti Discrimination Act but commentator’s have found that by having some degree of coverage, sex workers have a sense of justification to stand up for their rights.  However, most cases of discrimination go unreported alongside violent crimes being perpetrated against us from clients who understand their risks of being prosecuted are low.

Most cases of discrimination because of lawful sexual activities, are based on moral attitudes and predjudices which are validated by the Criminal Code, Chapter 22A which is designed to cover an act of deviance rather than a business.  With the introduction of the Prostitution Act 2000, the government recognised sex work as legitimate work but this has done little to improve the situation for sole traders.  Other forms of discrimination which have been addressed through the ADCQ have included;

  • Refusal to provide accommodation by real estates, lessors, etc
  • Eviction from rented premises both within the short and long term accommodation providers with or without refunds
  • Banking facilities such as eftpos, loans, insurance coverage not being provided
  • Insurance companies not providing coverage for life insurance or income protection.  As Workcover Qld still does not provide coverage to sex workers within brothels, these sex workers continue to be recognised as sole traders.
  • Schools refusing children of sex workers to be enrolled
  • Training providers refusing to acknowledge the skills and knowledge gained as a sex worker or refusing enrolment by ‘out’ sex workers
  • Churches and clubs refusing enrolment or membership
  • Community services refusing to provide assistance in particular homelessness services where evictions on discovery of status or activities outside of the housing provided occur regularly
  • Children’s community services disadvantaging sex workers families

I am convinced the ADCQ could provide a more comprehensive list of areas in which their legislation provides coverage.  Unfortunately it does not cover all forms of discrimination such as the predujudicial attitudes of Magistrates within the Family Law Courts within custody battles that are not covered either due to it being a federal jurisdiction.  I am ever hopeful that after this hugely important win, we might finally begin to see significant law changes emerging finally righting decades of wrongs.

But for now, I am basking in the glory that sex worker’s are finally being heard.  There is definitely a party in the house tonight!  Thank you GK for having the courage to do what many sex workers are afraid to do.  You have my continued, ongoing support.  There is no doubt that you will go down in whore-pride history!  Jx

 

Police Sting Nabs Kerb-crawlers

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I am referring to an article in the Sunday Herald Sun titled Police sting nabs kerb-crawlers written by Jon Kaila, dated December 18th, 2011.  In this article Senior Detective Daly of the Victoria Police warns our clients that they will be arrested and charged for talking to undercover policewomen, posing as sex workers on the streets of Victoria.

The sad thing about this latest ploy to isolate our most vulnerable sex workers, is that Police are now making criminals out of the “…average everyday bloke…”.  While it is not illegal in every other state in Australia to practice lawful sex work, there will always be a minority of sex workers, who through circumstances beyond their control, will find themselves in situations where sex working on the street is their only reliable source of income.  But this is not all street workers.

Consider that street sex workers only account for about 7-10% of the entire estimated sex worker population (Hubbard, 2004; Scrambler, 1997;  Weitzer, 2005).  By charging normal everyday people who choose to see them, in an attempt to drive these sex workers away, is nothing short of stupidity and an abuse of power by Police.  Sex workers are not homogeneous either, therefore there are no issues that are more important to certain sectors than others (O’Connor et al., 1996: Plumridge and Abel, 2001).  By moving them on to less visible locations, actually increases the risk of violence being perpetrated against them and forces them into the arms of street criminals (Hubbard, 2004).

While Victoria Police have admitted it is pointless targeting sex workers, they are in fact continuing to do so by targeting their clients in this way.  Here we see the average Joe Blogs being directly harmed with no regard for the impact on their families and friends, let alone the ongoing victimisation toward sex workers in general.  It is simply not good enough to make criminals out of otherwise law abiding citizens.  Compound this with other inappropriate, heavily regulated sex industry laws that do not recognise the specific needs of sex workers generally, so they can continue to practice their work safely and with dignity, and we have a recipe for disaster.  Bad Police decisions like this one, whom despite “…studying [other reputable] methods from around the world…”, still choose to fly in the face of recognised best practice models.  Developing and implementing a completely hostile strategy like ‘operation sting’, for want of a better description, is designed to burn bridges, not build them.

We are witnessing the corruption of recognised ‘best practices’ in favour of poorly researched, social experiments where everyday people and those who have the least amount of resources and ability to defend themselves, are being used as human guinea pigs, deemed worthless of consultation by the establishment.  These sex workers and their clients have not had their Human Rights considered.  Everyone has the right to choose whether or not to sell or pay for sex and live in peace, without harassment and vilification.  If society chooses to ignore the research and deny the real issues, then sex workers also have the right to provide for themselves as best they can.  Only they can determine what their immediate needs are.  Take away their only source of income and what do you think will happen?

Proven harm-minimisation models are being applied by sex worker organisations and healthcare providers throughout Australia and the world with a great deal of success, all-be-it limited considering current legal constraints for sex workers in Australia and those assisting them.  These same service providers are also funded by the Australian Government! The overall objective is to reduce the impact of the harm caused to self or other by educating those directly affected in order to raise their awareness of the alternatives that may (or may not) be available to them.  Harm-minimisation stems from the belief that people are at various stages of development and as such need to be approached and met at their level of awareness, while being given the tools, support and resources to facilitate a process whereby individuals feel empowered to make better choices for themselves and ultimately the community.

Some of these sex workers may not want a way out of the sex work industry.  Sex work might be all they have known but they will know the industry inside out and back to front.  They are well aware of the risks they are taking under current criminalised/heavily regulated legislation, continuing to provide a service to the community and do everything in their power to reduce the risks associated with providing a sex service.  However our attempts are also futile when inappropriate policies like this, leave us with little or no room to move and even less legal standing in society to fight these and other types of injustices.  Look at what is happening in the mining towns in outback Queensland at the moment.

Sex workers are being evicted and thrown out onto the street by hotelier’s who undoubtedly think that the street is where they belong.  Laws need to be made that are consistent.  It is no good to say that legal sex workers are able to practice ‘lawful sexual activity’ from their accommodation by the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland (ADCQ) and then have the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) find any weak excuse to undermine this, such as what happened in the recent QCAT decision against the legal sex worker GK, about to be appealed.  Blatant inconsistencies like this, highlight just how difficult it is for sex workers to work within these heavily regulated and meaningless laws.  Sex workers need their basic human rights protected – on and off the streets.

In conclusion, as a legal and lawful sex worker in almost every state in Australia, I need decriminalisation to occur nationally in order to improve the health and safety of sex workers, their clients and the public.  I need laws that recognise, reflect and support the nature and scope of the work we do.  I need laws that are consistent and designed to back other area’s of legislation in support of lawful sex work.  I need laws that allow sex workers to work together and support each other in order to debrief and reduce the likelihood of violent crimes being committed against them.  I need laws that do not allow sex workers to be evicted from anywhere at the whim of Police and groups of renegade hoteliers, real estate agents and landlords.  I need my human rights to be on an equal par with the rest of my community as recommended by the United Nations and demonstrated by New Zealand’s Prostitution Reform Act 2003.

When laws and policies are made without consultation with sex workers and sex worker organisations, decisions will be made, like this one, that compromise all the good work health and sex worker organisations are currently doing across the board.  Why are we continuing to ignore the issues?  How can we make effective policies and develop strategies without all the relevant information?  We can’t.   How can we continue to practice a service delivery when we are up against conflicting government policies designed to pit one against the other?  We can’t.  Australia is failing our sex workers, our clients and our community by not legislating in support of decriminalisation of the sex industry.  It is about time we did something intelligent about it.  Jx

© Copyright, 2011, escortjodine.com.  All Rights Reserved

References:

Davis, S. and Shaffer, M. (1994), Prostitution in Canada: the invisible menace or the menace of invisibility?, Vancouver, Commercial Sex Information Service, http://www.walnet.org/csis/papers/sdavis.html.

Hubbard, P. (2004), ‘Cleansing the metropolis: sex work and the politics of zero tolerance’Urban Studies, 41: 9, 1687–702

O’Connor, C., Berry, G., Rohrsheim, R. and Donovan, B. (1996), ‘Sexual health and use of condoms among local and international sex workers in Sydney’, Genitourinary Medicine, 72: 1, 47–51.

Plumridge, L. and Abel, G. (2001), ‘A “segmented” sex industry in New Zealand: sexual and personal safety of female sex workers’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 25: 1, 78–83.

 

Motels Not Happy About Hookers

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Again, another shoddy attempt at journalism.  Poorly written and bia’s.  The Morning Bulletin published an article in Rockhampton titled Motels not happy about hookers’, dated 18th November, 2011 by Kerri-Anne Mesner.  In this article I am offended by the language that has been used to refer to legal sex workers and the total lack of consultation with sex worker organisations, such as RESPECT Inc.

The derogatory word ‘prostitute’ has been used eight times, and the word ‘hooker’ twice, including in the title.  The correct title ‘legal sex workers’ has not been used at all.  There is also a lack of counter-argument from sex workers in the article.  I have no doubt in my mind that Kerri-Anne Mesner made little or no attempt to consult with sex worker organisations for comments.  If she did, I expect she would have sent an email at 4.45pm on a Friday afternoon, when most people have already left for the weekend.

It doesn’t take a genius to see the obvious bias in the article.  Unfortunately, a lot of Australians are ignorant of the arguments for or against sex workers and rely on the media for facts. Sadly, media articles like this one do more harm than good and are no more than inflammatory.  Journalists need to be educated about how to write and research their stories and at the very least, have their stories read by an editor to ensure high reporting standards are maintained.  Kerri-Anne Mesner’s article is embarrassing and insulting to the general public who are educated who can read between the lines.  I feel I have to fill in some of the gaps in order to develop the story into one worth reading.

It is important to add that the recent Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) decision ruling against the legal sex worker known as GK in favour of the owners of the Drovers Rest Motel in Moranbah, is being appealed.  It is highly likely to be overturned and bought in line with current anti-discrimination laws and modern business practice.  Unfortunately people in positions of power are also human and prone to letting their own personal bias interfere with ethical decision-making, as is evident in this particular ruling.

Following on from this, is the weak interpretation of the Liquor Licensing Act that QCAT based their decision on.  In my opinion, if it is all of a sudden found to be illegal to operate a business from your motel room, which has a mini bar, in a hotel/motel that holds a liquor license, then wouldn’t that also apply to all the other businessmen and woman who use hotels and motel’s?  Consider ‘business’ conferences conducted for all sorts of businesses across Australia where alcohol is served or available.

The assertion that lawful sex workers are now moving into unlicensed premises is a misnomer.  We have always been there.  The comment by yet another motel owner is blatant evidence that he has been practising discrimination against lawful sex workers for at least four years by ‘turfing them out’.  How has he been able to get away with this illegal behaviour?  The idea that there are also legal sex workers who are male or transgender seems to completely baffle the owners.  They  appear ignorant that the sex industry is not a woman only service provider.  I would like to know how they ‘discovered’ how much money the male sex worker was earning?  I can only assume he had been stalked.  What disgusting language to refer to a legal sex worker as a ‘male-on-male’!

Further more, I would like to know how they can tell the difference between one legal sex worker and another?  How do they know which lawful sex workers will behave questionably?  My guess is that they don’t and they have made an unlawful policy by labelling all sex workers as problematic.  All this does is create an even bigger problem by not addressing the actual behaviour, on a case-by-case basis, as you would with any other guest.  I suspect that there is an irrational fear of legal sex workers which has resulted in whorephobia.

In conclusion, although these articles frustrate and annoy me for there poor reporting, they are useful for highlighting what the actual issues are.  Gender discrimination, sex worker discrimination and sexism.  They encourage debate, and in my opinion any debate is better than complete denial of the issues.  It is clear in the article in question, that Kerri-Anne Mesner has not really thought about what the real story here is.  She has missed her opportunity to really make a journalistic impression on those of us with learned intelligence.

It is about time the media took some pride in their stories and did Australians a service instead of slapping us in the face with bigotry.  Kerri-Anne Mesner could be forgiven for taking the easy road, but in this instance the implications of her negligence on the community is too great.  It is important that Australians are educated about facts about sex work, sex workers and the law.  Only then will the general public be fully informed about the pro’s and con’s of all aspects of the sex industry.  It is simply an injustice to write about moralistic assumptions based on what a small group of hostile hoteliers are saying without hearing what key experts have to say on the real issues.

I am carefully considering making formal complaints about media articles like this that discriminate in their own words.  It is about time we take a stand and insisted that journalists are university educated and supervised before their stories can be published.  Australia needs information to be based on fact rather than speculation.  Anything less, is nothing more than bullshit.  Jx

Jx

© Copyright, 2011, escortjodine.com.  All Rights Reserved