Unanimous Vote to Draft Advisory Brothel Ban Ballot Question - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Unanimous Vote to Draft Advisory Brothel Ban Ballot Question

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The Lyon County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to draft an advisory brothel ban ballot question. The goal is to make wording more clear to voters. 

Recently, petitioners who want to ban brothels circulated a referendum, trying to get enough signatures for the November election. However, County Manager Jeff Page says the wording is not clear to voters. He adds, the way it is written would make it difficult for any possible changes or improvements to the possible ban ordinance in the future. 

Page explains, "A 'yes' vote actually meant you were freezing the code, 'no' vote meant you were closing the brothels, so it was confusing to the public to begin with."

The brothel ban petitioners are actually in favor of the rewrite and agreed to abandon their referendum if the county can successfully draft an improved version.

Denise Berumen, who opposes brothels, says, "The whole purpose behind the referendum was to be able to bring the law before the people so they could decide." Christopher Turbeville, who also initially signed the referendum says, "The people who are affected by this industry, in this community, need to have a voice." 

It was a bittersweet outcome for the county's legal sex workers and other brothel employees. Like Alicia Little, who says she hopes the draft will not only be more clear, but also less stigmatizing.  Little says terms like 'prostitution' are loaded words, "What I'm hoping to see come June, is very favorable language that talks about us as 'sex workers' and our working location as a 'brothel.'" 

Although it's not set in stone, Page says he's confident the question will appear on the November ballot, either way, since the referendum already has such a strong show of support. 

Page will return to the board on June 7th with the drafted ballot question. The board will then consider and possibly approve it.

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