It's time for Nevada to rethink its association with the world's oldest profession, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today, arguing that the state's brothels are scaring away other potential businesses.
"Nevada needs to be known as the first place for innovation and investment - not as the last place where prostitution is still legal," Reid said in a speech to the Nevada Legislature in Carson City, the Las Vegas Sun reports. "If we want to attract business to Nevada that puts people back to work, the time has come for us to outlaw prostitution."
Nevada is the only state that allows counties to tax and regulate brothels, though prostitution is only legal in the state's rural counties.
Reid reportedly said that one businessman visiting Storey County, Nev. told the senator "he simply couldn't believe that one of the biggest businesses in the county he was considering for his new home has legal prostitution."
Prospective employers with families, Reid continued, "don't want their children to look out of a school bus and see a brothel."
While Reid is a practicing Mormon, the majority leader has shown a certain level of comfort with his home state's association with prostitution. Reid even learned how to swim as a child at a brothel, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.
Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval said it is "up to the counties" whether or not to outlaw prostitution, according to the Sun.
Brothel owner Dennis Hof, meanwhile, told reporters, "Harry Reid will have to pry the cat house keys from my cold dead hands."