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D.C. LAWMAKER TAKES SHOT AT DECRIMINALIZING PROSTITUTION

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D.C. lawmaker David Grosso (I-At-Large) is trying to legalize prostitution in the nation’s capital. He introduced the Reducing Criminalization to Improve Community Health and Safety Amendment Act of 2017 last week (co-introduced by Councilmember Robert White (D-At-Large)), which David developed after working with the Sex Worker Advocates Coalition. “I believe that we as a society are coming to realize that excessive criminalization is causing more harm than good, from school discipline to drug laws to homelessness,” said David. “It is time for D.C. to reconsider the framework in which we handle commercial sex and move from one of criminalization to a focus on human rights, health and safety.” David said his bill would repeal laws that currently make it illegal to engage or solicit prostitution along with eliminating criminal penalties for engaging in sex work in the city. “By removing criminal penalties for those in the sex trade, we can bring people out of the shadows, help them live safer and healthier lives, and more easily tackle the complaints we hear from communities about trash or noise,” David said. He added, “The bill does not change any of our laws regarding coercion or exploitation, which will continue to be prohibited. Nor does it change how minors involved in sex trade are considered.” Legal prostitution in D.C. We have no doubt a lot of congressmen are waiting in anticipation to see how this develops. Maybe one day D.C. will be like Amsterdam, with its own capital red light district. We can only hope and pray.

sAMD1

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WILL HAWAII LEGALIZE PROSTITUTION? PROBABLY NOT, BUT THEY’RE THINKING ABOUT IT

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The Hawaii state legislature is considering a bill that would decriminalize prostitution and pimping. It was introduced by the speaker of the Hhouse Joseph Souki, who told the Associated Press that he takes no position on the bill, and introduced it as a favor to ransgender activist Tracy Ryan. Tracey is advocating the bill because transgender women are overrepresented in the sex trade and disproportionately affected by laws against prostitution. “I don’t like seeing people sent to jail that don’t belong there,” Tracy said. Michael Golojuch Jr., chairman of the LGBT caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, said transgender women are overrepresented because of the discrimination they face, which leads some to feel that prostitution is the only available work opportunity. Michael supports the idea of decriminalization, but neither he nor the caucus has taken an official position on the bill. “My dream job would be union organizer for consensual sex workers,” he said. “It would be great for people who want to do that work to unionize them and empower them so that they are taken care of.” But not everyone in Hawaii supports decriminalization. “By normalizing sexual exploitation and recasting it as a career choice that has no harms attached, we’re creating a setting and a system where we are OK with objectifying women, where we’re OK with buying other human beings’ bodies, and that has effects that are far-reaching in terms of how women are treated,” said Khara Jabola, chapter coordinator of Af3irm Hawaii, a feminist group. It is up to the Hawaii legislature now.

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PUBLIC MASTURBATION IN ITALY IS NOT A CRIME, BUT YOU MIGHT GET A FINE

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For all you public masturbators who are shamed in the United States (and most civilized countries around the world) and fear jail or prison time, you may want to check out Italy. Cause in Italy, public masturbation is not a crime, even if done in front of other people. That’s according to the Italian Supreme Court, La Corte di Cassazione, who recently ruled on the case of a 69-year-old man, identified as Pietro L, who was caught masturbating in the southern city of Catania, and convicted after he was seen “taking out his penis” and “practising autoeroticism” in front of students at the University of Catania campus. He was sentenced to three months jail time and fined €3,420 (or $3,844). But the supreme court said that a recent government reform meant “the act is not included in the law as a crime,” noting that the Italian parliament passed a law last year decriminalizing the offense of lurking in places frequented by girls in order to be seen masturbating. Essentially, the court eliminated the criminal penalties for obscene acts in public. Pietro L still faces of a fine between €5,000 and €30,000 (or $5,620 to $33,721), however. Since the fines are still pretty heavy, we don’t expect an influx of public masturbators to hit Italy’s shores, but there are certain to be a few for whom it’s worth the price.

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smas1

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PARIS IS STILL THE “CITY OF LOVE,” SO LONG AS YOU AREN’T PAYING FOR IT

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Prostitution is the world’s oldest profession. And women across a range of political spectrums have vastly different views about its effect on women. But France, which historically has taken a rather laissez-faire attitude toward prostitution, has in recent years taken a harsher stance, most recently putting Johns in the spotlight and leaving some confused. The French National Assembly recently banned paying for prostitutes while at the same time decriminalizing prostitution offenses for sex workers. So prostitution is technically legal, but illegal for Johns to pay for it. As one Frenchman said, “This anti-prostitution law is as if we allowed bakers to display their cakes but didn’t allow people to buy them.” That’s about right. Paying for sex now carries a fine of 1,500 euros ($1,700). Repeat offenders could face up to 3,750 euros ($4,260) in fines. It’s all part of a movement to help sex workers but still making prostitution illegal, by penalizing the demand-side, not the supply-side. Cause what’s the point of going into business if you don’t have any customers. In a way, not much has changed, cause the customers are still getting fucked.

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sPRO1

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NEW HAMPSHIRE ON THE VERGE OF LEGAL PROSTITUTION

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We love those progressive liberals and libertarians up in New England, especially upper New England states, like Vermont and New Hampshire. Vermont was the first state to start the gay marriage movement almost 15 years ago. Now New Hampshire may be starting a legalization trend of its own, legalizing (or decriminalizing) prostitution. New Hampshire representatives Elizabeth Edwards, Amanda Bouldin, and Carol McGuire introduced House Bill 1614 that seeks to decriminalize prostitution in New Hampshire. “This is groundbreaking,” said Maxine Doogan, President of the Erotic Service Providers Legal Education and Research Project. “The criminalization of prostitution is a failed policy. The ‘War on Sex’ hasn’t stopped anyone from buying or selling sex, but it has caused a lot of collateral damage, to poor women, women of color, and trans women. It’s about time that the government stopped intervening in what consenting adults do in private.” New Zealand decriminalized prostitution in 2003, so the United States is ripe for a progressive state experiment. You gotta love New Hampshire for stepping up and taking one for team USA. Maple syrup, cheese, and hookers. Sounds like a good vacation to us. Here’s to hoping to see more pictures like this one, coming out of New Hampshire. Car dogging’ it, dawg!

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