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Three years ago, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called on the Legislature in his home state of Nevada to ban prostitution.

Nothing happened, but why?

"The Legislature, they're all a bunch of cowards," Reid, the Senate's top Democrat, said last week at an Asian Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Las Vegas. "They were afraid to do anything about it."

Reid's quote was reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Reid's call to end legalized prostitution in Nevada, as a way to attract businesses to move to the Silver State, was a tiny portion of a speech he made to the Legislature in 2011. It immediately became a talker on cable news and the Internet, but Nevada lawmakers were dealing with the state's budget woes and Reid's suggestion went away.

While Reid still believes prostitution should be illegal in Nevada, the Las Vegas Review-Journal story says the senator "is no prude." Reid made his "bunch of cowards" comment after he told a story about his mother taking in laundry from nearby brothels when he was growing up in Searchlight.

The world's oldest profession is legal in eight rural counties in Nevada — home to such brothels as the Mustang Ranch —but it's illegal in counties such as Washoe (Reno) and Clark (Las Vegas).

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