California bill would essentially decriminalize street hookers

Posted on May 18, 2021 9:32 am

California bill would essentially decriminalize street hookers

From Greg Burt/CFC

SACRAMENTO – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and State Sen. Scott Wiener (D- San Francisco) have teamed up on a bill making its way through the legislature to decriminalize streetwalkers hanging out on street corners.

Wiener, who wants to make prostitution legal, says California police officers shouldn’t assume scantily clad women hanging out on street corners and talking to men driving by in cars are involved in prostitution.

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“Arrests… are based on an officer’s subjective perception of whether a person is ‘acting like’ they intend to engage in sex work,” Wiener said in a press release.

Senator: Protects trans people who walk and dress ‘in a certain way’

“Our laws should protect the LGBTQ community and communities of color, and not criminalize sex workers, trans people and brown and black people for quite literally walking around or dressing in a certain way.”

Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva disputes this characterization and says the “underlying root” of the “loitering with the intent to commit prostitution” law is to “target sex buyers who seek to exploit.”

In his letter of opposition to SB 357, Villanueva explained the current loitering law, approved by the California legislature in 1995, helps police “keep prostitutes from hanging around public places, business, and residential communities, which can breed crime and drug use.”

Sheriff: This will actually benefit sex buyers

Villanueva also said Wiener’s attempt to protect a “vulnerable community” from prosecution will have the “unintended consequence” of “benefit[ing] the sex buyers.”

Like Wiener, one of the bill’s sponsors, the ACLU of California, argues that loitering laws “create opportunities” for police to discriminate against racial and sexual minorities. As evidence, the ACLU wrote that black adults accounted for 56 percent of those charged with loitering for prostitution in Los Angeles between 2017 and 2019, “despite only making up 8.9 percent of the city’s population.”

While not discussing other causes or remedies for getting rid of this disparity, Wiener and the ACLU conclude getting rid of the loitering law is the only solution. But this conclusion is better understood when considering that Wiener and the ACLU have advocated for the complete legalization of prostitution.

One of the surprising supporters of SB 357 is the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, also known as CAST, which is known in California for helping women escape lives of prostitution by providing a variety of services including counseling, housing, mentoring, and legal resources.

The organization’s letter of support parroted the language used in the ACLU opposition letter, pointing towards the discriminatory way that police use the law to target minorities. CAST also said the loitering law doesn’t help trafficked women.

“Arresting sex workers or persons perceived to be sex workers creates environments where people, including survivors, will be arrested and creates barriers to accessing safe housing, legal employment, and overall quality of life,” wrote Leigh LaChappelle, CAST’s Associate Director of Survivor Advocacy.

Activist: Bill would place more victims on streets

But not all anti-trafficking organizations agree with legalizing streetwalking as a way to help those trapped in prostitution. Doug Bennett founded a Christian ministry in Bakersfield, California, called Magdalene Hope Inc. in 2009 in an effort to reach out to women working in the commercial sex industry.

“We, as an organization, who have been fighting to end sex trafficking for over 12 years in Central and Southern California, feel that repealing or amending this law will give traffickers more opportunities to place victims of sex trafficking on the street for sale,” Bennett said.

“Although not all sex workers are trafficked, our research shows that seven out of ten prostitutes are victims of sex trafficking. With more law enforcement officers being trained in identifying victims, this change to the law will eliminate the ability to ascertain whether or not an individual is on the street by choice or if someone is profiting off of them.”

A city with a tradition of sex trafficking

Senator Wiener’s district of San Francisco has a long history of prostitution and trafficking, with civic groups fighting against it over 100 years ago. Recently though, policymakers have moved towards legalizing the sex trade.

San Francisco’s current district attorney, Chesa Boudin, promised when elected in 2019 to not prosecute cases involving quality-of-life crimes. Crimes such as public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, blocking a sidewalk, etc., should not and will not be prosecuted,” he said, according to Newsweek.

Now Wiener seems to want the rest of the state to follow San Francisco’s example. The bill has already passed the Senate Public Safety Committee and is now in the Senate Appropriation Committee. A decision on whether it will move forward to the Senate floor will be made on Thursday, May 20th.

Greg Burt is Director of Capitol Engagement for the California Family Council (www.californiafamily.org). He can be reached at gregb@californiafamily.org or (949) 244-2080.

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blatherskite
blatherskite
6 months ago

Next, opium dens.

Daniel
Daniel
6 months ago

I’ve been waiting for it ever since they legalized child prostitution three years ago.

teo toon
teo toon
6 months ago

Wait.

“Arrests… are based on an officer’s subjective perception of whether a person is ‘acting like’ they intend to engage in sex work,” Wiener said in a press release.

Isn’t that called Criminal Capacity just like what the NYAG is charging Trump with?

m. fuah
m. fuah
6 months ago

anything is ok in loyuh-world

Cerano Smith
Cerano Smith
6 months ago

As Sam Kinison once said, ‘…you can be in love for a very short time…’. Marriage is a contract for services rendered on a longer time scale… Maybe. I’m no judge between what goes on between two consenting adults.

dunce
dunce
6 months ago

I knew a LA cop who was assigned to go after prostitutes in hotel bars and he said he just screwed them.

BillinCA
BillinCA
6 months ago

I have never picked up a hooker nor I am I planning to, but this is where I go against my fellow conservatives. If it’s between two consenting adults its none of our business as long as they keep the actual act out of the public view (in the sense of not doing the deed in a car in an ally). Yes, of course, go after under age or forced prostitution. But…other than that, its none of government’s business. If it’s about drugs and other crimes, fine…go after those crimes directly.

Montesquieu
Montesquieu
6 months ago
Reply to  BillinCA

Well, to my Shame, I have, and you’re a degenerate for supporting the exploitation of women.

dunce
dunce
6 months ago
Reply to  Montesquieu

I have known dozens of whores and they do not feel exploited.

BillinCA
BillinCA
6 months ago
Reply to  Montesquieu

Are you saying adult women are soo weak that they can’t make their own decisions? Who exactly is doing the degenerating? That’s like saying blacks are not smart enough to have internet access or the ability to get IDs. When it’s two consenting adults the only ones who feel degenerated are ugly @$$ man-hating stuck up women who feel they need to micro-manage other people’s business.

teo toon
teo toon
6 months ago
Reply to  BillinCA

You’re not a conservative; you’re a Libertarian.

Justanother
Justanother
6 months ago
Reply to  BillinCA

I agree with you on this. This should be legalized and then regulated so it is safe and controlled. It would take them off the streets and neighborhoods would be a lot cleaner.
Also, if you want to operate, you pay fees and taxes. The penalties for fees and taxes violations can be much harsher than the current prostitution catch and release.
The enforcement would be a lot easier too. No more expensive sting operations, just walk up and request proof of up to date license to operate.

No Name
No Name
6 months ago

Of course, because it’s a victimless crime…

Gary
Gary
6 months ago

Eureka! Crime rates down. Because nothing is a crime except not paying enough taxes on time and rolling a stop sign.

Last edited 6 months ago by Gary
Cerano Smith
Cerano Smith
6 months ago

It was once vice, now it’s virtue. God save California.

Highrise
Highrise
6 months ago

“Crimes such as public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, blocking a sidewalk, etc., should not and will not be prosecuted,” he said, according to Newsweek.

Now Wiener seems to want the rest of the state to follow San Francisco’s example. The bill has already passed the Senate Public Safety Committee and is now in the Senate Appropriation Committee. A decision on whether it will move forward to the Senate floor will be made on Thursday, May 20th.”

Wow that sounds like a great model society to live in…and we wonder why we are going down the crapper.

Kenneth Glenn Koons
Kenneth Glenn Koons
6 months ago

Ca will legalize every sin possible to WOKE the state and unravel our Const., morality, and btw our military power. On it will go as excuses are made for evil , stupidity and issues which undermine values that made the US great plus of course our energy, borders , tiers of justice: Ca. and other leftist progs will undo them too and the US will be: Venezuela.

Jimmyhat
Jimmyhat
6 months ago

Cool. Tax the Shiite out of it.

True Doo
True Doo
6 months ago

It’s not legal now?