Anti-Prostitution Campaigner to Challenge Saunas in Edinburgh

You remember back in April the minor uproar caused by someone asking why Edinburgh City Council condones prostitution in saunas? Well, the fellow has made the papers again.

City faces legal challenge over ‘brothel’ policy (Scotsman 21 July 2012)

THE Capital’s “blind eye” policy towards sex-for-sale saunas is facing a challenge in the courts.

A campaigner has pledged to appeal against every sauna licence granted by the city council.

Mike Anthony claims councillors have been breaking the law for years by approving saunas which are effectively operating as brothels.

Earlier this week, he sought an interim interdict to stop the council granting any more licences. The bid for an immediate block on council approval for the city’s saunas failed, but the civil action will continue through the courts.

Mr Anthony said he would fight individual applications for renewal of the public entertainment licences as they came up.

There are around 15 licensed saunas in the Capital. Mr Anthony has lodged objections to 13 renewal applications which are due to be considered by councillors in the next few months. If the licences are granted, he can appeal against the decision to the sheriff court.

He said: “I’m going to appeal every sauna licence. So long as there are pimps running the saunas, this is just a licence for criminality.”

The one good thing that may come out of this is a discussion about licensing brothels legally. While prostitution is legal, brothels are not. So with no street prostitution and no brothels, prostitutes and their clients face a legal maze. The optimist in me hopes that this will simplify prostitution laws and regulations – for the better. The realist in me says it would be a tough fight to get that.

Please support your local sex worker rights group! Write to Edinburgh City Council and explain that consenting adults should be free to pursue their own sexual adventures and commercial activities!

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Scotland rocks!
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