A state marketed as a place where people can indulge in all manner of sins is confronting its status as the only place in America where you can legally pay someone for sex. A coalition of religious groups and anti-sex trafficking activists has launched referendums to ban brothels in two of the seven Nevada counties where they're legally operating. The push to outlaw the industry dovetails with a campaign by the state's most famous pimp for a seat in the state Legislature, per the AP. Nevada, according to brothel owner Dennis Hof, was built "on gaming, liquor, girls and mining." "But there's a shift occurring," says Jason Guinasso, a Reno attorney involved with the effort to get the anti-brothel measures on the November ballot. At least one already is in place, with voters in Lyon County set to vote in November. Nye County residents may do the same.
Hof, who has half a dozen brothels operating in the two counties and starred in the HBO adult reality series Cathouse, is challenging incumbent Assembly member James Oscarson of Pahrump in a Republican primary on Tuesday. Hof said Nevadans are "rough-and-tumble, live-and-let-live," and "it's awful that people would come in and try to change that culture, that they want to inflict their moral values on the rest of us." About 20 brothels currently operate in the state, mostly in rural areas. The state doesn't publicize how many are open, and most owners keep a much lower profile than Hof, who wrote a book titled The Art of the Pimp, and has dubbed himself the "Trump of Pahrump." Hof was also in the limelight in 2015, when former NBA player Lamar Odom was found unconscious at Hof's Love Ranch brothel in Crystal, Nevada.
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