A bill in California would ban arrests of people loitering for prostitution.
Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) says arrests often depend on police officers’ perceptions and disproportionately target minorities and transgender people.
Greg Burt of California Family Council sees it as the first step toward legalized prostitution in California.
“Men who line up in poor neighbors to buy sex from young teens and young women who are on the streets, they won’t be harassed by police,” says Burt. “Sex traffickers are going to love that because their business won’t be harassed by law enforcement.”
Burt adds this will harm poor neighborhoods the most.
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“The type of prostitution where there is loitering involved, that happens in the poorest of neighborhoods,” says Burt. “Wealthy neighborhoods are not going to be experiencing people right outside their doors, selling themselves, throwing condoms all over the place, but it’s going to happen in poorer neighborhoods, where women think this is the only thing left for them to do.”
According to Burt, most of the women have “really terrible backgrounds” where they come from broken homes and foster care situations.
“Those are the kind of women that traffickers have to use because most women don’t want to do this job, because it incredibly dangerous, it is incredibly damaging,” says Burt. “We’re talking about women who stand out on the street and have sex 20 guys a night. Can you imagine what that does to somebody’s psyche?”
The bill (CA SB357) has passed both chambers of the California legislature. It now goes to Governor Gavin Newsom (D-California) who can veto it, sign it, or do nothing and allow it to become law after a period of time.
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