Sylvia Corbet – The News & Observer – Monday, 02 December 2013 (originally published 26 Nov)
PARIS — France’s government is pushing one of Europe’s toughest laws against prostitution and sex trafficking, and other countries are watching closely. Advocates hope that a draft French law going to parliament Wednesday will help change long-held attitudes toward the world’s oldest profession — by punishing the customer and protecting the prostitute.
The bill, however, is facing resistance in a country with a libertine reputation and a Mediterranean macho streak, and has prompted petitions defending those who buy sex. Signatories include screen icon Catherine Deneuve —who played a prostitute in the cult film “Belle de Jour” — and crooner Charles Aznavour.
Prostitution is currently legal in France, but brothels, pimping and soliciting in public are illegal . . .
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