NO On Proposition 35.
Press Release 11.08.2012 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11.8.2012
Sexual service providers abhor and resist trafficking of all kinds, and support appropriate legislation that would effectively help eliminate it – laws that do not inappropriately mis-characterizing other activities as trafficking. Simple human decency demands this; moreover, it is in sex workers’ self-interest to eliminate sex trafficking, since they are trafficking’s likeliest victims. The sexual services extended community has long provided support to trafficking victims and will continue to do so.
Sadly, Proposition 35, as written, would increase the risks to trafficked people and wrongly expand the definition of trafficking to include many entirely consensual adult sexual activities. If Proposition 35 passes, anyone receiving financial support from normal, consensual prostitution among adults could be prosecuted as a human trafficker; this includes a sex worker’s children, parents, spouse, domestic partner, roommate, landlord, or others. And if convicted they would be forced to register as a sex offender for life!
“My son, who served our country in the U.S. military and now attends college, could be
labeled a human trafficker and have to register as a sex offender if I support him with
money I earn providing erotic services.” -Maxine Doogan
Rather than working with sex worker communities to stop real human traffickers, far-left “feminist” radicals and far-right religious conservatives promote the flawed Proposition 35. They hope voters who read “trafficking” will be deceived into supporting their futile crusade against the “world’s oldest profession” by further criminalizing people connected with consensual adult prostitution.
The argument advanced by Proposition 35 proponents that California is a “high intensity area” for trafficking is unsubstantiated. And their claims that trafficking goes un-policed and unpunished is similarly false. California law enforcement is engaged in an ongoing effort to fight trafficking.
Proposition 35 would create new unfunded costs for our state, just when California’s government is in fiscal crisis and numerous cities have already filed for bankruptcy. A wealthy executive, and failed candidate for state Attorney General, supplied over 90% of Proposition 35’s campaign donations – but his money won’t be there to fund enforcement. The notion that traffickers’ fines and forfeitures will foot the bill is wishful thinking — forfeiture hasn’t paid for the “War on Drugs”, and will never adequately fund a “War on Prostitution” either.
If passed, the State will be required to defend this statute in court, as it will likely face legal challenges due to several questionable and possibly unconstitutional provisions. These include: excessive prison terms and fines, restrictions on a defendant’s right to introduce evidence, and the proposition’s principle defect, a vague and greatly overbroad definition of “human trafficking”, which mischaracterizes, for example, the “intent to distribute obscene matter”, and sex between an eighteen year old and a seventeen year old, as trafficking,
Let’s be clear: Trafficking is exploitation, and the criminalization of sex work is the condition that allows exploitation to occur. Coercion, duress, forced labor or services, and serious harm are the tools of exploitation. Let us instead address those issues directly rather than by further criminalizing adult, consensual, commercial sexual services. Trafficking victims will be better served, and trafficking sooner eliminated, if sexual service providers can work openly in conjunction with law enforcement to mitigate this problem.
Vote NO on Proposition 35
Prop 35 is the wrong set of laws on the wrong people.
The Devil Is In The Details
Proposition 35 is deeply flawed. If implemented, it will prove harmful to the victims of trafficking rather than helping them. Moreover, it expands the definition of trafficking to ensnare innocent people. Unfortunately, the devil is in the details. Follow the links below to see how Proposition 35’s language undercuts its stated intention and how it unjustly criminalizes people who are not at all involved in trafficking.No On Prop 35: Devil in the Details
No On 35 – Media, Other Voices
Many newspapers, other media outlets, research organizations and advocacy groups, including those for trafficking victims, oppose Proposition 35. Follow the links below and read their arguments both opposing Proposition 35 and advancing policies that would actually be effective in reducing trafficking and aiding its victims.
No On 35 – Media, Other Voices
Our organization’s argument against California Proposition 35 was picked by the Division of Elections to be printed in the voter information guide, hence the official opposition to this short sighted ballot measure to go before California voters on the November 6th, 2012 election.
Vote NO on Proposition 35!
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