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It used to be that inn-keepers could be fined if they were found to be profiting from immoral earnings. Now they can be fined of they don’t.

From the UK Guardian:

Australia’s hotel industry has been rocked by a court ruling that a prostitute was illegally discriminated against by a motel owner who refused to rent her a room to work from.

The judgment has stunned hoteliers, who thought they had a right to decide what sort of businesses were operating from their premises.

The woman, identified only as GK, had taken her discrimination case against the Drovers Rest motel in the coal mining town of Moranbah to the Queensland state civil and administrative tribunal after management refused to rent her a room.

The motel’s lawyer, David Edwards, said on Wednesday that the court notified him this week that it had upheld the discrimination claim. Edwards confirmed the woman was seeking damages, reported in The Australian newspaper to be 30,000 Australian dollars (£20,000).

Richard Munro, is chief executive of the Accommodation Association of Australia.

“It’s absolutely illogical,” Munro said. “If a hairdresser decided to set up shop in the motel and started inviting people in to get their hair cut, I think the motel owner would have the right to say, ‘Hang on, that’s a different business operating out of my business.'”

“If a prostitute decided to start working out of a shopping mall, the owners would have something to say about it. There is some protection for the rights of the motel owner here,” he said.

Janelle Fawkes, chief executive of the Scarlet Alliance Australian Sex Workers Association, said the ruling was a major win for the sex work industry throughout Australia.

“Accommodation discrimination is a major issue for sex workers, but it is not by any means the only form of systemic discrimination that sex workers experience,” she said.

They are not ‘sex workers.’ They are prostitutes. Prostitution is demeaning to both men and women, it is damaging to families and to society. One may not wish to judge the motives of any indivdual man or woman who offers sexual services for a price, but prostitution is still wrong.

If Queensland law demands such a ruling because prostitution is legal in Queensland, and it is forbidden to discriminate against a person engaged in a legal business, then the law needs to be changed. No one should be forced to allow prostitution to take place at their home or place of business.

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