A group of New York state lawmakers announced they want to decriminalize sex work, according to an NBC New York report.
“The criminalization of sex work disproportionately impacts LGBTQI+ NYers, immigrants, and people of color,” wrote State Senator Brad Hoylman, chair the New York Senate Judiciary Committee and a co-sponsor of the legislation, on his Twitter account. “It perpetuates stigma, and it furthers a devastating cycle of incarceration. We need change.”
A group of New York state lawmakers on Monday announced what could be a landmark effort to roll back laws against prostitution in the country’s fourth-most heavily populated states, an effort that could lead to legalization of consensual sex work in New York, according to an NBC New York report.
“Criminalization does not address why people trade sex, because most people trade sex out of economic need: to pay bills, make rent, and put food on the table,” wrote the senators Jessica Ramos and Julia Salazar in a New York Daily News edition. “Criminalization encourages rampant abuses by law enforcement. An estimated 94 percent of people arrested for loitering for the purposes of prostitution in Brooklyn and Queens are black women.”
Two weeks ago, a Rhode Island lawmaker introduced a resolution to study decriminalizing sex work in that state, and about two months after the mayor of New Orleans, called for increased legal protection for sex workers, though stopping short of a call for full decriminalization.
“Ultimately, sex work is work”, Ramos told to The Queens Eagle newspaper. “Decriminalizing sex work will protect sex workers from exploitation, allow them to seek protection from trafficking, and will help victims of sex trafficking seek justice.”
The lawmakers are prepearing the new laws in collaboration with Decrim NY and an advocacy group whose stated purpose is to “decriminalize sex trade related offenses in New York that harm people who do sexual labor by choice, circumstance, or coercion”.