Sex is almost always on the ballot in CA, whether it's the state voting that same sex marriages are illegitimate in the eyes of the law multiple times or putting in new “sex offender” restrictions that always seem to fail victims and never increase the safety of children.
This November, the “shake n' bake” state has two major sex endorsements to consider, Measure B in Los Angeles and Prop 35 for the state.
For those living in Los Angeles County, Measure B will be a popular county vote to decide if a small body of working professionals should be mandated by law to wear condoms. If you've ever wanted to make the right sexual decisions for yourself about testing and protection and value autonomy, vote NO on Measure B in Los Angeles because it's going to be: nearly impossible to regulate, will be selectively enforced, can put performers at greater risk with underground productions, decrease adult performer acceptance, serves as nothing more than a personal message to the LA adult industry that cannot be enforced. Those concerned about HIV/AIDS should consider how many free testing clinics could have been opened with the same amount of money that has gone into this political campaign, especially when the risk demographics and statistics clearly indicate that adult performers are NOT in the highest risk demographic, are NOT the least served for their needs, and DO have a system of protection in place.
Remember: being homeless is not considered to be a risk factor for HIV in the state of CA. Ask yourself: are we misappropriating funds with a bullshit stigma? Are there people who could be legitimately served with resources, testing, condoms, and counselors?
What concerns me more is the fact that there is a statewide piece of a legislation known as Prop 35 that CAN and WILL be strongly implemented against sex workers throughout the state. It's being called a “Ban On Human Trafficking And Sex Slavery” and the “Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act” both of which sound incredibly noble. I am HUGELY opposed to human trafficking and sex slavery and sexual exploitation. It's too bad that this initiative would be used against the very same “victims” it claims to protect and its reach would include anyone that these victims supports including children, disabled partners, elderly parents, extended family, and more. Its language is over broad (it is vague and lacks helpful specificity with its implementation) and it is based on debunked junk science about trafficking.
Those involved in “rescuing, assisting, and training law enforcement” are using junk science, biased perspective, and conservative undertones of human sexual behavior as the backbone of their work.
This initiative could put an independent escort in prison for 15 years to life.
This initiative can require independent escorts and other sex workers to register as sex offenders like rapists and pedophiles.
This initiative could require that all dependents of a sex worker including children, partners, and/or parents also register as sex offenders.
This initiative is used as a way to confiscate all tools used in the commission of these crimes INCLUDING computers and can be used to force a handover of all logins, social media account information, and overall online presence. (In other words, sex is responsible cause to search someone as if they were a terrorist.)
This initiative will also be subject to selective enforcement of who we think is more sexually dangerous such as those with queer or trans* identities.
This initiative will heighten the already failing policies against sex work rather than correcting the mistakes that have been made in past legislation.
This initiative will provide additional income to law enforcement for “better sex policing,” but in a state with severe budget cuts, this can be seen as fundraising on the backs of an already marginalized population for new cars and tasers.
Here's a great link that summarizes these problems and more.
As always, I am fascinated by who is supporting this legislation. When looking at the donation records, these lines stand out to me:
- Chris Kelly, 2010 Attorney General Candidate- $1.8 Million
- Women's Foundation Of California- $7,500
- Multiple Law Enforcement Agencies and Interest Groups- $160,000+
- Groupon- $1,421.80
- Charlize Theron, star of Monster- $1,000
- Religious Interest Groups
- Los Angeles Entertainment Industry
It is already predicted that this will pass.
This legislation has already been endorsed by the republican and democratic parties in CA. It's other supporters include: Senator Barbara Boxer, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, activist Jada Pinkett Smith, Planned Parenthood, NOW, the California Labor Federation, Crime Victims United of California, Peace Officers Research Association of California, the California Fraternal Order of Police, the National Latino Peace Officers Association (State of California), the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, and the California Police Chiefs Association.
Human trafficking is something that is bigger than sex. It is the sewing done on your garments, it is in the food you eat, and it is often in the care that babies and children receive. Human trafficking will not stop if sexuality is caged. This legislation will cause more harm than good. Please vote against it. Please talk out loud about voting against it. Please write letters and emails to these supporters. Please make phone calls.
If we don't tell these organizations that this legislation will not make the ugly problems of trafficking go away, we might find ourselves in its shackles. We need sex positive companies to speak up and to get involved. This isn't a law that only hurts the ugly, scary, dangerous pimps and traffickers. These laws are used against sex workers all the time. These laws are what keep people enslaved. Sex workers need rights, no rescue.