Will Prostitution Soon Be Legal in New York?
If a group of New York lawmakers gets their wish, prostitution will soon be legal across the state.
Speaking on Monday, State Senators Jessica Ramos and Julia Salazar announced they will introduce state legislation to fully decriminalize sex work.
The State Senators are working with State Senator Brad Holyman, Assemblyman Richard Gottfried and Decrim NY to decriminalize prostitution. Decrim NY aims to "Decriminalize. Decarcerate. Destigmatize," sex work, according to their website.
"Decriminalization is critical to protecting the rights and safety of people who trade sex, no matter where they are on the spectrum of choice, circumstance, and coercion," Holyman tweeted on Monday.
The lawmakers believe many turn to sex trades for economic reasons and should not be penalized.
"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. People often turn to sex work after a life event such as a major health-care bill leaves them economically vulnerable," Ramos and Salazar wrote Monday in an Op-ed in the New York Daily News.
The lawmakers say they are working with Decrim NY to introduce a bill which decriminalizes consensual sex between two adults and erases prostitution records for sex workers and sex trafficking survivors.
"We recognize the tremendous public education required to pass such a bill, but we believe New York can and should be the first to decriminalize sex work fully. We call on our colleagues to join us," Ramos and Salazar said in the Op-ed.