Huge leaps toward decrim...
In the biggest sex work news of the last two weeks, Rep. Ayanna Pressley called for decriminalization of sex work in a resolution titled, The People's Justice Guarantee. Resolutions are pieces of non-binding legislation which expresses a sentiment on an issue. The resolution also calls for the decriminalization of addition and migration, development of clemency boards, and ending mandatory minimums.
You can also watch Rep. Pressley's moving statement on the Trans Day of Remembrance/Resilience on the House Floor:
And over in San Francisco, newly-elected District Attorney Chesa Boudin has said he will not prosecute consensual sex work or other quality-of-life crimes like panhandling. Boudin is one of a wave of progressives seeking to show what it looks like to move towards reform while legislative decriminalization may still be a while out. Boudin will assume his new role in January.
But not everyone is as bold as Rep. Pressley or DA Boudin.
...And predictable steps backwards
UN Women, a body of the United Nations, declared itself neutral this week on the issue of sex work. But "neutral" is a misnomer here, as in 2013 the body unofficially began using the term "Sex worker" instead of "prostitute" and committed to recognizing sex work as a valid profession, and this represents a significant step backwards in their international policy. Just like white supremacy, being "neutral on the issue" means upholding a status quo of state violence.
And PayPal has made another commitment to harming the well being of sex workers by refusing to process payments with PornHub.
New Democratic primary candidate Deval Patrick (I know - there's another one) said he needed to study before taking a stance on sex work decriminalization.
A couple new laws, but the same old shit
Ohio is looking to expand third-party charges and separate out buying and selling of sex, which is currently under the same provision. The new proposed law would criminalize receiving anything from someone who received that by engaging in prostitution - so call your roommates and let them know you can't pay rent (for their own safety), I guess.
And in an expansion of existing bad law, Houston recently began individually suing street-based sex workers to try and banish them from the city. The ACLU of Texas has already filed a brief in the suit.
Continuing the Fight
A bill which sought to overturn a 1953 law criminalizing sex work in South Australia, a province of Australia, was voted down 24 to 19. While advocates are disappointed, they remain committed and will continue to push for South Australia to be the second state with full decriminalization in the country.
Make the Road New York, an immigrant rights group based in Queens, has unveiled its platform for 2020 candidates which includes the full decriminalization of sex work. Make the Road is a coalition member of DecrimNY and has been instrumental in pushing the city and state towards reform and liberation.
Finally, the holidays are hard. Clients acting weird, the mental gymnastics of who to tell what about work, and end of year bills can make the next six weeks rough. Check out this Sex Worker Self Care Kit, and don't forgot about the Sex Workers Outreach Project's hotline at 877-776-2004.
We got this.
Back to the grind.