Thornhiller wins battle to legalize brothels
Terri-Jean Bedford’s landmark case to be appealed by feds, province
Terri-Jean Bedford is standing up for the rights of sex workers in Ontario
Thornhill’s dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford has won her case at the Court of Appeal for Ontario. Last month, the court upheld a decision to end the ban on brothels, a landmark ruling in her efforts to protect sex workers from unsafe conditions.
But her victory may be short-lived, as both the provincial and federal governments recently announced their plans to appeal the decision. In 2010, Supreme Court judge Susan Himel ruled that the laws against prostitution, including keeping a bawdy house and living off of the avails of prostitution, were unconstitutional.
“Basically, prostitutes can now have security, chauffeurs, accountants, landlords and so forth,” Bedford said. “It shows that we were right about the laws being unfair … we have now ensured that the debate will not be suppressed and changes will come.”
Brendan Crawley, media relations coordinator with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, said that while the Ontario Court of Appeal found Himel’s decision valid and a means of reducing social harm, he added that the provincial government has decided to join the federal government and will appeal the decision.