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October 20, 2017

Independent: Prostitution could be legalised in California after case is allowed to go forward

A federal appeals court has opened the door to legalising prostitution in California.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco recently allowed a legal challenge to the statewide ban on prostitution to proceed. The ruling overturns a lower court’s decision to toss the case out last year.

During the Thursday hearing, conservative Judge Carlos Bea wondered aloud: “Why should it be illegal to sell something that it’s legal to give away?”

The case was originally filed in 2015 by three unidentified former sex workers, one potential client and the San Francisco-based Erotic Service Provider Legal, Educational and Research Project (ESPLERP).

The plaintiffs argue that the 145-year ban “unfairly deprives consenting adults of the right to private activity, criminalises the discussion of such activity, and unconstitutionally places prohibitions on individuals’ right to freely associate”.

Backing California’s argument are a number of anti-sex trafficking organisations that  argued in a court filing that “prostitution is inherently harmful and is integrally connected to sex trafficking, drugs, brutal physical violence, rape, and murder”. The filing warns that legalising prostitution would empower pimps and traffickers.

Lisa Thompson of the National Centre on Sexual Exploitation, which joined that filing, called prostitution a “raw manifestation of male sexual entitlement”.

“To the extent that this is permitted by law, they enshrine a right to buy human beings”, Ms Thompson argue in an interview, warning of “gender-based sexual exploitation” that would allow men to prey on women who have “acute vulnerabilities”.

Read the whole article here. 

National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Founded in 1962, National Center on Sexual Exploitation is the leading national organization opposing pornography by highlighting the links to sex trafficking, violence against women, child abuse, addiction and more. The organization changed its name from Morality In Media to the National Center on Sexual Exploitation early in 2015 to better describe the organization’s scope and mission, which is to expose the seamless connection between all forms of sexual exploitation.

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