Legislation to Repeal Discriminatory Loitering Law Focusing on Sexual intercourse Workers Passes Senate

SACRAMENTO – Senator Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) Senate Bill 357, the Safer Streets for All…

SACRAMENTO – Senator Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) Senate Bill 357, the Safer Streets for All Act, handed the entire Senate by a vote of 29-9. It now heads to the Assembly for policy committee hearings. SB 357 repeals provisions of California regulation criminalizing “loitering for the intent to interact in prostitution.”

This felony provision — arrests for which are centered on an officer’s subjective perception of whether a human being is “acting like” they intend to have interaction in intercourse operate — results in the disproportionate criminalization of trans, Black and Brown ladies, and perpetuates violence towards sex workers. SB 357 does not decriminalize soliciting or partaking in sexual intercourse get the job done. Somewhat, it just eradicates an loitering offense that qualified prospects to harmful treatment method of men and women for basically “appearing” to be a sex employee.

This criminal offense is so subjective and inherently profiling that it will allow a police officer to arrest anyone purely centered on how they are dressed, no matter whether they are donning higher heels and specified varieties of make-up, how they’re donning their hair, and the like. This criminal provision is inherently discriminatory and targets individuals not for any action but simply based mostly on how they glance.

Criminalizing sex do the job does not make sexual intercourse staff or communities safer. Most felony penalties for sex personnel, loitering legislation incorporated, do nothing to halt sex crimes against sex personnel and human trafficking. Folks who engage in sexual intercourse work should have to be treated with dignity and regard.

In February, a very similar piece of laws to repeal this form of loitering ban grew to become regulation in New York. SB 357 is portion of the movement to finish discrimination versus and violence toward sexual intercourse personnel, specifically the most targeted communities — trans, Black, and Brown persons. SB 357 is co-sponsored by Beneficial Women’s Community – United states, St. James Infirmary, SWOP LA, Trans [email protected] Coalition, Asian Pacific Islander Lawful Outreach, Equality California and ACLU California.

Less than current legislation, it is a criminal offense to loiter in a general public area with the “intent” to dedicate a sexual intercourse operate-related offense. But this regulation can be broadly interpreted, and consequently enables for discriminatory software against the LGBTQ neighborhood and individuals of shade. Regulation enforcement can use a non-exhaustive listing of conditions to subjectively determine if another person “intends” to have interaction in sexual intercourse operate, which includes things these kinds of as speaking with other pedestrians, getting in an spot where sexual intercourse perform has transpired prior to, donning revealing garments, or transferring in a specific way. Simply because current regulation relating to loitering is extremely subjective and obscure, law enforcement officers disproportionately profile and concentrate on Black and Brown transgender women by halting and arresting people for discriminatory and inappropriate factors. This is how Black and Brown transgender women get arrested and cited for simply just going for walks on the street. It also provides law enforcement the skill to more effortlessly concentrate on and arrest sex staff.

People in the LGBTQ, Black, and Brown communities report higher premiums of law enforcement misconduct throughout the United States and are disproportionately impacted by law enforcement violence. Transgender folks who have finished avenue-dependent sexual intercourse do the job are additional than twice as possible to report physical assault by police officers and four periods as possible to report sexual assault by police. A Black particular person is 3.5 occasions extra most likely to be shot by police than a white person. These data are a every day reality that transgender, Black and Brown persons facial area and direct to distrust of regulation enforcement.

SB 357 will repeal a discriminatory law that makes it a crime to loiter with the intent to interact in sex get the job done, specified that it fails to avert road-based mostly sexual intercourse do the job and disproportionately success in the criminalization of transgender men and women and communities of colour.

“Sex workers are personnel, and they are worthy of respect and safety,” explained Senator Wiener. “We will have to operate toward a long term the place men and women – in particular the most marginalized – are not criminalized because of who they are and what they search like. Anti-sex workers loitering legislation are deeply pernicious, and they need to be repealed. I’m so grateful to my colleagues for comprehension why this SB 357 is so necessary.”

Information released by Senator Scott Business office