First it was gambling, and sports betting, then marijuana.
In an apparent attempt to completely remove the concept of moral compasses, multiple lawmakers in the U.S. are looking to decriminalize yet another previously criminal act.
Could prostitution be the next to fall?
Maine and Massachusetts have introduced decriminalization bills. The Washington D.C. City Council is expected to introduce something similar this summer. Rhode Island held hearings on a proposal to study the impact of making prostitution legal. And New York may be next.
Democratic legislators are planning to propose a comprehensive bill that would eliminate penalties for both men and women who are employed in prostitution.
Not stopping there, they will also recommend removing the legal ramifications for “Johns” that pay for these services. While it is unlikely to pass anytime soon, it might continue to gain traction as the topic grows prominent supporters.
Senator Jessica Ramos (D-Queens) said:
“This is about the oldest profession, and understanding that we haven’t been able to deter or end it, in millennia. So, I think it’s time to confront reality.”
While the debate at the local and state levels continues to rage on, this has become a topic amongst several Democrats in the presidential race.
Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) became the first of the candidates to endorse some form of decriminalization saying:
“When you’re talking about consenting adults, I think that yes, we should really consider that we can’t criminalize consensual behavior as long no one is being harmed.”
Shortly after, Colorado governor and presidential hopeful, John Hickenlooper floated a similar idea.
According to the New York Times:
“Supporters of decriminalization see their efforts as part of a larger, decades-long liberalization of American mores, like lifting Sunday bans on selling alcohol and legalizing marijuana. They also frame the issue as an act of harm-reduction for prostitutes and a tacit admission that modern law enforcement and age-old moral indignation has done little to stem the practice.”
Many of the most ardent advocates are former “sex workers”. Apparently, if you call it something other than prostitution, it becomes a legitimate career choice. So, prostitutes and pimps are merely sex workers.
Prostitution is only legal in a few counties in Nevada, but even there the state has continued to pursue legislation that would criminalize prostitution.
Recently there was a protest organized in Albany, New York. The protestors advocating for decriminalization argue that it is a civil rights issue. As they put it, “body autonomy” is a constitutional right. In essence, they believe that people should be able to make ends meet by any means possible.
If they decriminalize prostitution, what does that do to the future prosecutorial capabilities regarding sex traffickers? Will that become a non-criminal activity? Is it a crime to push someone into a legal activity? It would probably depend on the definitions used.
According to Senator Harris, it only counts if no is harmed. But how do you actually prove harm? Can a defense attorney potentially argue that being a sex worker provides better opportunity, thus negating any harm that may be assumed?
Webster’s defines prostitution as:
The act of practice of engaging in promiscuous sexual relations especially for money.
Somehow, we have already gone to the level of moral decay that says men and women can engage in sexual activity and get paid for it if it is being recorded for distribution. While this is prostitution by definition, it is currently a protected form of speech and we simply call it pornography.
Why stop with sex work? Why not carry this ‘constitutional right’ to make a living by any means necessary to the current crime of murders/hit men, or as they would prefer to be called, life removal technicians?
In fact, murder is older than prostitution. So, let’s go ahead and legalize all aspects of behavior that is currently considered to be criminal. Removal of a moral compass can and will eventually lead down that road as a society.
At what point do we say enough is enough? When will we stand up as a society against normalization of criminal activities?
Beyond the moral implications at stake, what do these conversations do to the capabilities of law enforcement agencies to fight crime? How do they do that effectively when we have an entire ideology that seeks to decriminalize so many things that we all know to be immoral and illegal?
What do people who patrol our streets every day think about this conversation?
Editor Note – Our Take:
One of the byproducts of prostitution is sex trafficking… and it’s impacting families across America.
One of the things many people don’t realize is how many people are working behind-the-scenes across our country every single day to keep kids safe.
One of those groups is DeliverFund, a 501c3 that trains, equips and advises law enforcement to combat human trafficking.
In this picture, DeliverFund co-founder and Senior VP Jeremy Mahugh, Director of Operations Michael Fullilove, and Founder and Executive Director Nic McKinley survey the new location in Dallas, and are in the process of planning the layout of their new headquarters to counter human trafficking.
For years, Backpage was a haven for sex traffickers selling underage girls. But on April 6, the federal government raided its offices and indicted several of its executives on charges of laundering money and running an online brothel.
Backpage.com was found guilty of not just hosting ads for trafficked women, but actually coaching traffickers on how to creatively re-word the ads in order to keep law enforcement from picking up their trail.
Rumor has it DeliverFund played a pivotal role in taking down the company. DeliverFund has not commented on that possibility.
Now DeliverFund has taken over the 3,000 square foot space to house their International Human Trafficking Analysis Center–a central point of information coordination and dissemination for law enforcement, select nonprofits and the professionals working to end modern-day slavery.
Law Enforcement Today is proud to support DeliverFund and the work they are doing within the law enforcement community. We encourage you to support their endeavors on this takeover by donating here.
We’ve told you about DeliverFund before. This team of former Special Operations Veterans, NSA analysts, members of Delta Force, CIA, FBI and Navy SEALs has its sights set on destroying human trafficking rings. These are the men and women that are rescuing innocent victims and devastating markets on a daily basis.
Here’s the issue. Our government has agencies to combat narcotics, firearms, smuggling, and a host of major problems in our country. Yet it’s 2018 and we still don’t have a dedicated department going after sex traffickers. See the problem?
You may have seen founder and CEO Nic McKinley in Vice’s recent episode, ‘The Real Jack Ryan’. This former CIA and special operations vet brings his expertise to helping train police departments how to track and take down traffickers.
Relocating to Dallas is a key move for DeliverFund, considering the high percentage of cases they’ve dealt with in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area.
“Dallas has a great hub of people who care about doing good in the world and have the financial capacity to do it,” notes Mahugh. “There’s a large problem, but also significant capability to solve it. … Plus, we have a massive amount of law enforcement in this area who want to be part of the program, so having headquarters here lets us get many more officers trained for much less than it would cost them to get to Albuquerque for seven to 10 days. There’d be a lot more options we could provide.”
Eric Bauer, a lawyer who helped represent multiple victims against Backpage.com had this to say.
“The two major criminal industries in this country are drug trafficking and sex trafficking. For drugs, we have the DEA. For sex trafficking, we have DeliverFund.”
If you want to make a direct impact in the take down of human traffickers, you can support DeliverFund right here.