Heterosexual Massage Illegal In Denver – Until 1977

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Heterosexual Massage Illegal In Denver – Until 1977

A lot of states and cities have strange laws that remain on the books, largely unenforced. Denver is no exception. Until 1977, it was illegal to give a member of the opposite sex a massage, unless you had a doctor’s note. That’s right. Less than forty years ago, our city outlawed heterosexual massage. And Lois Mae Nelson was convicted of having administered massages to members of the opposite sex, in violation of Denver Revised Municipal Code 971.2-14

The city ordinance read as follows:

“971.2-14. UNLAWFUL TO PRACTICE MASSAGE UPON PERSONS OF THE OPPOSITE SEX. It shall be unlawful for any licensee hereunder to practice or administer massage as defined herein upon a person of the opposite sex, unless said licensee shall be in possession of a written authorization or prescription signed by a physician or an osteopath registered in the state of Colorado which shall state the date of issue, the name of the licensee, the person upon whom such massage shall be administered and the duration of the period, not to exceed ninety (90) days, for which the licensee may practice or administer massage upon the person designated. (Ord. 57, Series 1962).”

It took the Colorado Supreme Court in Denver v. Nielson, 572 P.2d 484 (Colo. 1977), to declare the ordinance unconstitutional. The Colorado Supreme Court held that: “The ordinance makes a conclusive presumption that all who massage persons of the opposite sex will engage in illicit sexual activity. Denver v. Nielson, 572 P.2d 484, 486 (1977).

Nielson was decided on December 27, 1977. I propose that December 27th be forever known as “Colorado Heterosexual Massage Day”.

Dan Vedra and Ahson Wali are consumer lawyers protecting consumer rights. If your town or city prohibits heterosexual massage, Vedra Wali LLC will stand up for your rights.

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