"Be sustainable - Don't buy sex!" exhorts a postcard that is being distributed to guests of 160 hotels in Copenhagen during the UN Climate Summit. The proprietors of the lodging establishments received the postcards along with a letter from Lord Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard requesting they not facilitate transactions between the COP15 guests and the city's prostitutes. In response to their local representatives' attempt to thwart a potential bump in business, the Sex Workers Interest Group (SIO) has co-opted the postcards as a marketing tool by announcing that anyone who brings one to the group along with their COP15 ID badge will get to indulge in sex workers' services for free!
SIO spokesperson Susanne Møller says, "This is sheer discrimination. It is reprehensible and arbitrary that the Copenhagen politicians have chosen to use the Climate Summit as a platform for a smear campaign against sex workers. But now they have done it, we have to defend ourselves."
Bjerregaard fires back, "As mayor I have a duty over which image of Copenhagen will be shown during the summit and I think it's deplorable that you can buy a woman for sex."
I'm sure the Mayor finds a lot of things deplorable, but given that prostitution is in accordance with the law, Bjerregaard's personal ethical compass is neither here not there. She is allowing her own sensibilities to interfere with sex workers' legitimate right to make a living. She is abusing her position as a government official in order to push a moral campaign and present her preferred view of Copenhagen to the international community.
Perhaps Bjerregaard should have seen this as an opportunity to combine environmental advocacy with sex work instead of keep the two separate. One example is being provided by prostitutes in Germany. Go green and support working women. That's the kind of message that should be put on a postcard.