New York lawmakers introduced a bill Monday, June 10 to make changes in the direction of legalizing sex work.
What We Know…
- The bill would make New York the first state to legalize both the buying and selling of sex under certain circumstances and loosen laws about places of prostitution.
- The bill is intended to negate the disproportionate effect that laws about the New York sex trade have on immigrants, citing that nine out of ten people arrested in sex-work-related raids are immigrants.
- Additionally, LGBTQ youth trade sex at seven to eight times the rate of other New York City youth.
- The bill was written with the advocacy group DecrimNY, a coalition to decriminalize the sex trade in New York City and state. One of DecrimNY’s organizers Jessica Raven explained this legislation is about bodily autonomic and the economics of the sex trade.
- State senator Jessica Ramos and Julia Salazar sponsor the bill.
- New York state would be joining the state of Nevada with more lenient sex-trade-based laws, as Nevada has legalized prostitution in some counties.
- The bill will not change the penal code related to sex trafficking and offenses related to minors, which will remain illegal if the bill passes.
- The bill was introduced to the New York Senate and the New York State Assembly. Currently, prostitution is a misdemeanor in the state of New York, punishable by up to three months in jail and a fine of up to $500. Seeking a prostitute is also criminalized.
New York may soon lead the state in progressive legislation on sex work.