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Press Conference Following Oral Arguments In Ninth Circuit Challenge To California’s Prostitution Law

PRESS Conference ESPLERP v Gascon October 19, 2017 PDF October 18, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 18, 2017
Contact: Maxine Doogan
(41five)-265-3302, info(AT)esplerp(DOT)org

UPDATED PRESS CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT

Press Conference Following Oral Arguments In Ninth Circuit Challenge To California’s Prostitution Law

Lawyers Representing Sex Workers Will Argue Prostitution Laws Infringe On Consenting Adults’ Constitutional Right To Private Activity

In March 2015, the Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education and Research Project (ESPLERP) filed a complaint in US District Court claiming that California’s outdated anti-prostitution statute known as California Penal Code 647(b), unfairly deprives consenting adults of the right to private activity, criminalizes the discussion of such activity, and unconstitutionally places prohibitions on individuals’ right to freely associate.

The court case, known as ESPLERP v Gascon [16-15927], will now be heard before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and formal Oral Arguments have been set for this Thursday October 19th at 9am, before Circuit Judges Callahan and Bea, and International Trade Judge Restani. Each side will be allotted 20 minutes to make its case.

Lawyers, amicus brief supporters, sex workers, allies and supporters will speak out after the conclusion of the morning’s hearing.

The named plaintiffs in the case are three women who want the right to sell sex in California, and one male who wants to pay for sex. They are referred to with initials in court documents to maintain their privacy since the social stigma associated with prostitution is so severe. “It’s almost suffering a social death to be associated with paid sex in anyway”, said Maxine Doogan, President of ESPLERP, which is also named as a plaintiff. “Our hope is to see this bad law struck down, so that consenting adults who choose to be involved in prostitution are simply treated as private citizens again, and are afforded all the privacy and constitutional rights thereof”.

The named defendants are San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, Marin County District Attorney Edward S. Berberian, Jr. and Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch, together with newly appointed California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Xavier Becerra’s office will act as the primary defending litigant.
WHAT: Press Conference following Oral Arguments before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals challenge to California prostitution laws known as ESPLERP v Gascon [16-15927].

WHO: Renowned constitutional lawyer H. Louis Sirkin, Scott Schoettes of Lambda Legal, sex workers, allies and supporters – including the Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education and Research Project (ESPLERP) board members; Maxine Doogan, Domina Elle and Claire Alwyne. Also speaking out will be Rachel West of US PROStitutes Collective and Attorney Jerry Mosley representing Children of the Night, another amicus brief supporter.

WHEN Thursday, October 19th, 2017 at the conclusion of the hearing that starts at 9am; estimated 11:30-Noon.

WHERE: On 7th at Mission Street outside the entrance to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, James R. Browning Courthouse, 95 7th St, San Francisco, CA 94103.

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