NY Times on Prop K

In San Francisco, a Proposition Supported by Its Prostitutes
By JESSE MCKINLEY

SAN FRANCISCO — When Proposition K was added to Tuesday’s ballot, many people likely snickered at the possibility that San Francisco might take its place alongside such prostitute-friendly havens as Amsterdam and a few rural counties in nearby Nevada.

But this week, it became readily apparent that city officials are not laughing anymore about the measure, which would effectively decriminalize the world’s oldest profession in San Francisco. At a news conference on Wednesday, Mayor Gavin Newsom and other opponents seemed genuinely worried that Proposition K might pass.

“This is not cute. This is not fanciful,” Mr. Newsom said, standing in front of the pink-on-pink facade of a closed massage parlor in the Tenderloin district. “This is a big mistake.”

Supporters of the measure say it is a long-overdue correction of a criminal approach toward prostitutes, which neither rehabilitates nor helps them, and often ignores their complaints of abuse.

“Basically, if you feel that you’re a criminal, it can be used against you,” said Carol Leigh, who says she has worked as a prostitute for 35 years and now works as an advocate for those who trade sex for money. “It’s a really serious situation, and ending this criminalization is the only solution I see to protect these other women working now.”

The language in Proposition K is far-reaching. It would forbid the city police from using any resources to investigate or prosecute people who engage in prostitution. It would also bar financing for a “first offender” program for prostitutes and their clients or for mandatory “re-education programs.”

Full Story

2 Responses

  1. The opponents of this proposition K are telling lies, and scare tactics to get people to vote against it. By lying and saying that all prostitutes are forced to do it against their will. Yet they can never find anyone who was a victim of this. Where are all these victims? Why aren’t they coming out and talking and showing themselves? It’s just a made up lie. It is very difficult to force anyone to do something against their will. They would need 24 hour guards, and be watched over like being in prison, with no chance to escape. Try getting someone to do something they don’t want to do and see how successful you are – you won’t be. Since this is a victimless crime, the opponents and racial feminists need to invent a victim in order to get support. They could have chosen the johns, the hookers or the city itself. They chose the hookers to be the victims even though it’s the hookers who want to decriminalize because they realize it’s the police, justice system and the government that hurts them, not the johns. Why is it that the ONLY people who are working for this to pass are the prostitutes themselves? Why would the victims themselves want this to pass? Maybe it is because they are victims of the police and justice system who abuse them and their customers. These are the real abusers. By the way, there is a federal law that says any foreigner who was a victim of prostitution in the USA if they go to the justice department and complain and help prosecute their pimp, then they can stay in the USA, get a green card and become a US citizen. So that means these women will then be encouraged to lie about it, in order to become citizens. So if you are a woman, just lie, pick a random guy to be your pimp and you can become a US citizen, and get money from the government. Easy – isn’t it?

    Having women make good money, sometimes even more than lawyers and doctors per hour elevates women. Woman know how to handle men in the bedroom. Women get men to pay lots of money for it. This is empowering to women. There are many jobs that you may consider demeaning, such as cleaning bathrooms, or putting up with bosses that put you down. While making minimum wage. Why don’t people talk about these low paying toilet cleaning jobs? You don’t think these jobs demeans women? How many unskilled women with no work experience and not much education can make hundreds, even thousands of dollars per hour? Would you rather have these women make five dollars per hour cleaning toilets? Prostitution if done correctly elevates women especially if they work for themselves.

  2. It’s important not to try to deny that human trafficking is occuring. I just don’t think that persecuting sex workers has anything to do with fighting human trafficking and I’m convinced that there are people who are promoting the persecution of sex workers under the guise of fighting human trafficking.

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