Decriminalizing prostitution — an idea gaining momentum among some
Democrats, including at least one 2020 presidential contender — may one
day be traced back to the hookers plying their trade under the elevated
train along New York City’s Roosevelt Avenue.
That open-air market of prostitutes and johns in Queens, undeterred by the
constant threat of arrest and incarceration, has been cited by New York
state lawmakers mulling whether it’s time to wave the white flag in the
war on the world’s oldest profession.
The decriminalization debate among Democrats spilled into the 2020
presidential race last month when Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California said
she was supportive of the idea — although the legalization crowd
complained that she was still too timid.
It was less than a decade ago that the Democratic Party embraced same-sex
marriage and just three years ago that it formally adopted a platform
plank to legalize marijuana. Rep. Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona, chairman
emeritus of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said decriminalizing sex
work is on “that same trajectory.”
“At some point, it will be looked at in a different light,” Mr. Grijalva
For now, Ms. Harris appears to be leading the 2020 pack.
She told The Root last week that she would back decriminalization as long
as safeguards remain in place to protect sex workers against exploitation
by human traffickers and pimps.
“But when you are talking about consenting adults, I think that you know,
yes, we should really consider that we can’t criminalize consensual
behavior as long as no one is being harmed,” she said.
It’s a major shift from 2008 when, as San Francisco district attorney, she
called the idea ridiculous.
Legalization activists say the 2020 hopeful’s new stance appears to
embrace the Nordic model adopted in parts of Europe, which discourages
prostitution but targets those buying sex rather than those selling it.
The activists asked for a meeting with Ms. Harris to urge her to go
“It is not possible to police clients without policing people who trade
sex,” said Cecilia Gentili, a transgender advocate. “The Nordic model
constantly polices, surveils and harasses people who trade sex for
information about our clients.”
They also asked all 2020 presidential candidates to “advocate for the full
decriminalization of sex trades.” Several 2020 contenders ignored requests
for comment from The Washington Times, and other candidates have not
rushed to follow Ms. Harris’ lead.
Yet state officials in New York are ready to force the issue. Lawmakers
there announced last week that they are working on decriminalization
“The answer has always been just throw more police at them,” said New York
state Sen. Jessica Ramos, who noted the activity under the train platform
in Queens. “It hasn’t worked, and we have to start thinking outside the
box and being bold enough to demand change.”
Public opinion surveys on the subject have been sparse, though a Marist
Poll from 2016 found that 49 percent of respondents agreed that
prostitution between consenting adults should be legal while 44 percent
said it should be illegal.
Ms. Ramos said a debate over this “national crisis” is long overdue.
She challenged those who see criminalization as protecting sex workers and
said the underground market is even more dangerous.
“There are young women who have been abducted across the country for the
purpose of sex work, and there are people across the country whose only
recourse in order to provide for themselves is sex work, and we can’t keep
sweeping it under the rug, and we have to understand the bigger picture in
this industry and inch closer to ending the blackest market,” she said.
Congress, though, is going the other way.
After a lengthy Senate investigation into Backpage.com, once the country’s
largest sex marketplace, found that the site didn’t do enough to prevent
trafficking, lawmakers rushed to pass a bill dubbed FOSTA, short for the
Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act.
The law allows a 10-year sentence for anyone caught prostituting another
person online, including the online companies themselves. The law also
allows victims to sue the facilitators.
All of the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls backed the law, as did
President Trump, who signed it despite pleas from activists who warned
that it forced sex workers onto the streets and made it harder to screen
Rep. Ro Khanna of California, first vice chair of the Congressional
Progressive Caucus, said he got “beat up a little bit” for opposing the
bill, which he worried “put some of the most vulnerable people in a
Going forward, Mr. Khanna said, he hopes the issue gets more attention.
“I think it is a broader question of gender equity, and as we become more
aware of women’s rights and some of the abuse of women in more vulnerable
positions and how the criminalization of that has hurt women more than
helped that there may be a change of perspective,” Mr. Khanna said.
No collusion - Special Counsel Robert Swan Mueller III, March 2019.
Donald J. Trump, 304 electoral votes to 227, defeated compulsive liar in
denial Hillary Rodham Clinton on December 19th, 2016. The clown car
parade of the democrat party ran out of gas and got run over by a Trump
Congratulations President Trump. Thank you for cleaning up the disaster
of the Obama presidency.
Under Barack Obama's leadership, the United States of America became the
The World According To Garp. Obama sold out heterosexuals for Hollywood
queer liberal democrat donors.
President Trump has boosted the economy, reduced illegal immigration,
appointed dozens of judges and created jobs.
Senile loser and NAMBLA supporter Nancy Pelosi got "Trumped" on February
5, 2020. "President Trump, Not Guilty."