Along with all of the major victories for Democrats, two measures passed last night that will make life a little tougher on some of California’s sex workers: Prop. 35 and Measure B.
Prop. 35 is an anti-human trafficking law. Like much of the law enforcement-based approaches to ending trafficking, it doesn’t do much for victims while further criminalizing legitimate sex work.
Second, Prop. 35 would also significantly compromise the rights of adults working in the sex industry. Sex workers, who are always marginalized and silenced during discussions “sex trafficking,” oppose this initiative as it would further their marginalization and would make them even more vulnerable to violence and harassment by law enforcement. Even people who do not agree with their positions must realize that Prop. 35 covers activities that do not amount to actual “sexual slavery,” such as the distribution of obscene materials depicting minors, even when the person doing so has no actual contact with the minors. There is growing evidence worldwide that these kinds of “tough-on-crime” anti-trafficking policies end up causing more harm than good, especially hurting the people they purport to help. Any anti-trafficking policy must be informed by the lived experience of sex workers. [SJSU Justice Studies]
Measure B was the “condoms in porn” mandate that lots of adult performers opposed. Unfortunately, it passed. Now male performers in LA are required to wear a condom when shooting porn. Many think this will drive the industry out, but more importantly, it’s unfair.
On November 6, the voters of Los Angeles County are going to be asked to decide a ballot measure about the sexual rights of a small inclusive community within its borders, a community that is often misunderstood and rarely given a voice, a community that is publicly shunned but privately enjoyed, a community that has fought for its right to exist through years of struggles, court battles and legislation. Those that make up this community only want one thing: The right to choose for themselves how to live and work. [Michael Fattorosi, AdultBizLaw.com]
Hey everybody, if we can legalize pot, we can probably legalize sex work, too! Let’s get on that for next time.