It’s easy to forget with a Presidential election as exciting as this one that there are actually many, many, many people and bills on the ballot November 4th besides Barack Obama and John McCain. One of the issues that got our attention early is Proposition K, a San Francisco proposal that would decriminalize prostitution in the city. If passed, the law would forbid local authorities from investigating, arresting or prosecuting anyone for selling sex. The ballot measure still technically would not legalize prostitution since state law still prohibits it, but Proposition K would eliminate the power of local law enforcement officials to go after prostitutes. The local Democratic Party has endorsed the measure, but the majority of actual local government officials are opposed. A similar measure in Berkeley lost in 2006 — while San Francisco is typically a liberal-leaning city, it’s pretty up in the air as to whether this Proposition will pass with voters. If it does, SF will become the first major U.S. city to decriminalize sex work. With that in mind, vote in our poll! [The Huffington Post] Keep reading »
After last week’s post about proposed legislation in San Francisco that would decriminalize prostitution and our poll that indicated that 73% of you not only supported decriminalization but legalization as well, we decided to take a more in-depth look at both. After the jump, we break down the differences and the pros and cons of both. There may be a soap box moment from yours truly as well.
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The world’s oldest profession wants to finally go legit — the Erotic Service Providers Union (ESPU) in San Francisco is trying to protect their hard working membership, the Johns, and the Janes, by asking for the decriminalization of solicitation and prostitution. The city already has a unique First Offender Prostitution Program, which allows people arrested for soliciting sex the option to pay $1000 tuition fee for a graphic sexual health class. Frankly, it also has a pretty poor success rate for scaring attendees back into thinking the best things in life are free, but the ESPU is less concerned with curbing their clients’ desires. What the union really wants is to keep its workers safe, as many sex workers don’t report assaults or rapes because they’re afraid of being penalized for breaking the law with their profession. The ESPU has a bill on the ballot this fall that would decriminalize sex work in the city. They argue that when the pros have to sneak around to handle their business, it makes them exponentially more susceptible to abuse and exploitation. [Newsweek]
So what do you all think: should sex work be decriminalized (in San Francisco or anywhere else in the U.S.)? Keep reading »