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posted by mrpg on Wednesday October 11, @12:40AM   Printer-friendly
from the swipe-card-here dept.

A Washington, D.C. city councilmember has introduced a bill that would decriminalize prostitution:

D.C. Councilmember David Grosso is behind a bill that would decriminalize prostitution, arguing it's in keeping with his advocacy for human rights and marginalized communities. "We basically criminalize too many activities," Grosso argued in a recent news conference. "It is time for the District of Columbia to reconsider the framework in which we handle commercial sex work, and move from one of criminalization to a focus on human rights, health and safety."

Grosso says he worked with the Sex Worker Advocates Coalition, and followed recommendations from a variety of human rights organizations from around the world as he drafted the bill. "The bill is quite simple, really," argues Grosso. "It repeals a number of laws or parts of laws that criminalize adults for exchanging consensual sex for money or other things of value." "By removing criminal penalties for those in the sex trade, we can bring people out of the shadows, help them lead safer and healthier lives, and more easily tackle the complaints we hear from communities about trash or other nuisances."

If passed, D.C. would become the only city in the U.S. to decriminalize prostitution:

While prostitution has been legal in some parts of Nevada in the form of brothels for more than a century, what's often called "the world's oldest profession" remains criminalized in the rest of the United States. An effort to decriminalize prostitution via referendum in San Francisco failed in 2008, after heavy criticism from city officials at the time. Kamala Harris, then the city's district attorney and now a rising star senator, said the measure "would put a welcome mat out for pimps and prostitutes to come on into San Francisco."

But in the near decade since then, there's been a shift in perspective alongside a growing international movement further popularizing the policy change that sheds stigma in favor of pragmatism. The idea is that if sex workers don't fear arrest, they'll be able to access healthcare and other services. One 2014 study from The Lancet found that decriminalizing sex work could "have the largest effect on the course of the H.I.V. epidemic."

Reducing Criminalization to Improve Community Health & Safety Amendment Act of 2017

Also at Reason. Grosso press release at Scribd. HIPS.


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by arcz on Wednesday October 11, @12:43AM (16 children)

    by arcz (4501) on Wednesday October 11, @12:43AM (#580187) Journal

    Smart decision, but smart doesn't win votes. I wonder what will happen here. Maybe the folks in D.C. are smarter than the average person, so we'll have to wait and see.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday October 11, @01:02AM (7 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @01:02AM (#580196)

      Smart decision, but smart doesn't win votes.

      You think so?

      Here's the sale pitch: "With the extra budget from a now-legal industry, we won't need to raise the local council taxes in the next 5 years".

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday October 11, @02:09AM (6 children)

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @02:09AM (#580234) Journal

        There are taxes to be had from prostitutes - but the savings in harassing them will be tremendous as well. Maybe they can send half of the vice squads to traffic? Not to mention that real crime should see a bit of a drop. As things stand, prostitutes and other crime go together. It's like they're all cloistered together in the worst parts of whichever town you live in. Even if prostitution never becomes "respectable", at least they can move to somewhat better neighborhoods, and avoid the worst of the riffraff.

        I wonder just how many prostitutes have been murdered in this country, and they are just written off as "another dead whore". I don't think that solving the murder of a prostitute is a high priority case in most places.

        --
        #Hillarygropedme
        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Wednesday October 11, @03:01AM (4 children)

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @03:01AM (#580249)

          You never ceased to amaze me, Runaway.
          In the same post you manage to side with the prostitutes (at least have some sympathies for them as victims of murder) and shoot your disdain for " the worst of the riffraff".

          This in the conditions in which both of the categories should have absolutely little impact on your living on your farmlet and you know nothing about their everyday life. Is it not enough that "you've got yours"? Could have the common sense to stop passing your opinions in terms of value judgements?

          You know your opinion posted on S/N will be inconsequential for the categories of people you despise, what's the point of unloading your frustration on the rest of the people here?

          Is it any wonder that doing so you fall so easily pray to the tactics of those happy to see the American society as deeply divided as possible instead of considering what can be done - grass-roots even, politicians are not your friends - to make the life of all of you a bit better?

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday October 11, @05:04AM (1 child)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @05:04AM (#580295) Journal

            Could have the common sense to stop passing your opinions in terms of value judgements?

            Well, perhaps you could explain the reasoning behind your post? It sure looks like an opinion passed as a value judgment to me. Not that concerned about the potential hypocrisy, but why should we care?

            • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday October 11, @05:38AM

              by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @05:38AM (#580302)

              Not that concerned about the potential hypocrisy, but why should we care?

              To answer bluntly to your "why should I care" question: you absolutely shouldn't, but I cannot stop you from doing it anyway.

              In details: this post was marked as OT and set in small typeface because it's the only way I could find to send Runaway sort of a personal message.
              Yes, I know, anything here is 'in public', I'm not asking you to refrain from commenting, I'm just making you aware.

              I'll be extremely happy if you would ignore my post; this would be like having the decency to look elsewhere when an act meant to be private cannot be performed in any way else but in public.

              It sure looks like an opinion passed as a value judgment to me.

              I don't have a problem with people, I may have issue with their behaviour.
              So, if it is value judgement, it will be a value judgement towards a behavior.
              As such, the pseudo-personal message to Runaway was meant as an observation from outside him, in regards with his S/N observable behaviour. This together with what I think is one of the effects of that behaviour, one he may not be quite happy with (blame people, you'll get division lines. Have issues with behaviours, you may find ways to solve them and have a better life).

          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday October 11, @01:32PM (1 child)

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @01:32PM (#580450) Journal

            All I see is c0lo making some wind. The post, and it's subsequent explanation are without meaning, and irrelevant to my own post. FFS, I distinguished between prostitution and real crimes. Victimless crimes, vs muggers, robbers, rapists, etc.

            BTW - I haven't lived my life on this little bit of acreage. My wife has spent most of her life here, but not me. What, you thought I was just a simple farm boy? Come on, c0lo, try to keep up.

            --
            #Hillarygropedme
            • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday October 11, @09:07PM

              by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @09:07PM (#580794)

              The post, and it's subsequent explanation are without meaning, and irrelevant to my own post.

              If course it was irrelevant to your post, I admitted by marking it OT

              FFS, I distinguished between prostitution and real crimes. Victimless crimes, vs muggers, robbers, rapists, etc.

              A note to myself: Runaway may be occasionally calling those with violent tendencies with the milder appellate of riffraff (the lowest of the low, in the underclass).
              Next time I'll ask, just to make sure I get what the meaning the way he intended.

              What, you thought I was just a simple farm boy?

              Nope, I actually thought that you bought that property as a quiet place to retire from the previous stressful life.
              (does it make any difference, though, on the effects the riffraff in Washington DC or San Francisco have on your life?)
              (does it make any difference on the fact that judging people creates division and consumes the oxygen in useless fights between "us and them"?)
              (if you ask yourself these questions, that would be enough for me, I expect no answers)

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @03:14AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @03:14AM (#580256)

          The best part of making prostitution legal is that it moves it from the underground economy to the main economy. This means that disputes can be settled by calling the police and courts, instead of having to resort to violence and organized protectionism.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday October 11, @01:19AM

      Maybe the folks in D.C. are smarter than the average person...

      I think we all know by now that's not the case.

      --
      Save Ferris!
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:20AM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:20AM (#580202)

      Did I hear a collective sigh of relief from lobbyists and politicians?

      • (Score: 5, Touché) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday October 11, @01:25AM (5 children)

        I don't know that the politicians will appreciate the competition. They've had a fucking the people for cash monopoly in DC for a long time now.

        --
        Save Ferris!
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @03:05AM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @03:05AM (#580250)

          There's a huge difference between fucking someone and fucking someone over.

        • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday October 11, @10:26AM (1 child)

          by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @10:26AM (#580374) Journal

          Yeah those whores charged me billions of dollars, and the sex sucked.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday October 11, @06:40PM

            by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday October 11, @06:40PM (#580674)

            If only the sex sucked ... all I saw for my dollars was others getting blown.

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:12AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @01:12AM (#580198)

    Good just so long as DC doesn’t jump on the latest feminazi fad (Sweden’s anti-male policy) and criminalize the customer (i.e., the man).
    No criminals at all is best.

  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday October 11, @01:36AM (5 children)

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Wednesday October 11, @01:36AM (#580211) Journal

    I see that dept you added, TMB.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday October 11, @02:29AM (18 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @02:29AM (#580239) Journal

    Prostitution is called "the world's oldest profession" for a reason. It's always been around. In some societies, top prostitutes have been respected - and maybe even some who didn't rank among the most classy. Basically, there are no "victims" of a trade, unless one or the other is coerced. It's a straight up business deal most of the time, and no one is harmed. Most of the time, no one but the participants even know about it, unless government spends tons of resources to keep tabs on who is with whom.

    None of that makes prostitution "right", but there are far greater wrongs that need to be addressed. For instance, why is the police chief so very preoccupied with hookers, when there are a dozen unsolved murders for his cops to occupy themselves with? The prosecutor can't advance his career without putting a few women in prison for a victimless crime?

    Maybe in a perfect world, there would be no prositution. Maybe. But, we don't live in a perfect world, do we?

    Meanwhile, America's prostitution hub runs round the clock, pretty much in full view of the world. Chicks run off to Hollyweird all the time. If she puts out for the right guy, her career is made - she can make millions, or hundreds of millions by knowing which guys she needs to screw, and which she can shoot down. If we can make celebrities out of these prostitutes, why in hell are we persecuting lesser known prostitutes? We feel the need to punish them for lack of success?

    --
    #Hillarygropedme
    • (Score: 5, Touché) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday October 11, @02:35AM (10 children)

      Maybe in a perfect world, there would be no prositution.

      Doesn't sound very perfect to me...

      --
      Save Ferris!
      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday October 11, @03:22AM (9 children)

        by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @03:22AM (#580262) Homepage

        I think it would depend a lot on what the alternative was, and what your personal morality is. If you're more conservative about such things, you might prefer "you can only bang your spouse" to prostitution. If you're more liberal, you might prefer "free sex for everybody" to prostitution.

        It's worth noting that of those two alternatives I mentioned above, "free sex for everybody" is the only one that's ever actually happened. Specifically, on Tahiti, which is why it was such a popular port back in the day.

        --
        If you act on pie in the sky, you're likely to get pie in the face.
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday October 11, @10:56AM (8 children)

          I'm a "mind your own business" libertarian, a capitalist, and have a healthy sex drive. I fully approve of every aspect of legalized prostitution. I'd go as far as to say sucking cock is damned patriotic compared to sucking the government tit.

          --
          Save Ferris!
          • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday October 11, @01:26PM (7 children)

            by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @01:26PM (#580445) Homepage

            In that case, I have to ask why you'd prefer a world in which you have to pay for sex to a world in which you get it for free.

            --
            If you act on pie in the sky, you're likely to get pie in the face.
            • (Score: 3, Informative) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday October 11, @02:37PM (6 children)

              Sex is never free. You always pay, one way or another. With legalized prostitution the cost would be refreshingly up front and honest.

              --
              Save Ferris!
              • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday October 11, @02:55PM (1 child)

                by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @02:55PM (#580492) Homepage

                It sounds like you need to get out more.

                I'm not talking about dating someone, or even picking them up after a couple of drinks. I'm talking about societies in which it actually works more along the lines of "I'm a woman, you're a man, let's do this. ... OK, that was fun, goodbye!" Societies that work that way tend to have economies of the form sometimes called "primitive communism" where most resources are shared among a few dozen people, so they don't have much by way of private property and no concept at all of individual inheritance, which makes things like child support a non-issue.

                --
                If you act on pie in the sky, you're likely to get pie in the face.
              • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Wednesday October 11, @06:41PM (3 children)

                by NotSanguine (285) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @06:41PM (#580679) Homepage Journal

                Sex is never free. You always pay, one way or another. With legalized prostitution the cost would be refreshingly up front and honest.

                I have to disagree with you there, Buzzard. I have, in my younger days, patronized prostitutes and yes, I did pay. I stopped doing so because I realized I wanted to have sexual interactions with people who wanted *me* and not my money. I'd point out that since then, I've had plenty of sex and more than a few relationships.

                I've also had these things called "romantic relationships" and "hookups" and a variety of things in between. Yes, I put my energy and time into those relationships, but it's not a quid pro quo, rather it's a mutually satisfying situation where all involved are happy to be there and happy to participate -- because they want to, not for some real or perceived material benefit.

                I've found that I want to be around (and in some cases, have sex with) those who want to be around me -- and not all of those.

                For me and my partners, sex isn't a transaction. It's an expression of affection, lust, friendship and sometimes even love.

                The idea that *all* romantic or sexual interactions boil down to some sort of material transaction is cynical in the extreme. Do you have any genuine friendships, or is everyone else just a means to getting what you want?

                Do you consider *every* MOTAS [urbandictionary.com] to be interested only in how they can materially benefit from their interactions with you? If so, that may well be why you don't have interactions with those who aren't interested in that.

                --
                No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
                • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday October 11, @07:33PM (2 children)

                  Yes, I put my energy and time into those relationships...

                  That's essentially what I was saying, yes. Given that the value of your time and energy fluctuate wildly depending on what's going on in your life, a prostitute is at times the cheapest option all around.

                  --
                  Save Ferris!
                  • (Score: 2) by NotSanguine on Wednesday October 11, @11:26PM (1 child)

                    by NotSanguine (285) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @11:26PM (#580845) Homepage Journal

                    Yes, I put my energy and time into those relationships...

                    That's essentially what I was saying, yes. Given that the value of your time and energy fluctuate wildly depending on what's going on in your life, a prostitute is at times the cheapest option all around.

                    Given that sex with a prostitute is essentially masturbation with assistance, I again disagree. That's why I don't frequent prostitutes or hop in the sack with any willing woman. I can do it myself more quickly, cheaply and easily.

                    Once again, Heinlein has it pegged:

                    Masturbation is cheap, clean, convenient, and free of any possibility of wrongdoing —and you don't have to go home in the cold. But it's lonely.

                    For my part, sex with a prostitute isn't any less lonely than doing it myself.

                    --
                    No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Arik on Wednesday October 11, @03:07AM (6 children)

      by Arik (4543) on Wednesday October 11, @03:07AM (#580253)
      There is a real infectious disease risk, one that condoms can reduce but not eliminate, and that alone is enough to make it a magnet for authoritarians, they always want to either forbid it or regulate it as close to nonexistence as possible, it's instinctual for them. And every human society ever has had rules about sexual conduct. This is how communities define themselves and maintain themselves, after all. To the person who conflates the state with the community or society (basically anyone that's not fundamentally libertarian in outlook) it makes perfect sense for the state to continue to set and enforce the sexual rules of the game just as the priests have done for millenia, and it seems like insanity for it to do otherwise.

      I'm not saying I agree that any of this justifies the law - quite the contrary, I'm clearly an advocate for eliminating all these laws. But I can see where those who oppose me are coming from, at least.
      --
      "Unix? These savages aren't even circumcised!"
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @09:39AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @09:39AM (#580365)

        Funny how under republican kill planned parenthood we are only seeing spikes in stds.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by termigator on Thursday October 12, @05:09PM (4 children)

        by termigator (4271) on Thursday October 12, @05:09PM (#581219)

        Logic does not follow reality. IIRC, where prostitution is legal, there is less incidents of disease since workers have better access to healthcare and sanitation practices.

        Laws against sexual activities amongst consenting adults is more about power and control then any perceived health concerns.

        • (Score: 2) by Arik on Thursday October 12, @06:00PM (2 children)

          by Arik (4543) on Thursday October 12, @06:00PM (#581249)
          That's basically true, but it's an oversimplification, and details matter. This is one reason the argument is not persuasive to that mindset.

          If you're comparing a high traffic - red light type area where prostitution is going on illegally with the same area after normalization then yes, you've probably improved the situation in the short term there. But the next town over where it's never been tolerated may suddenly discover it's spread to their neighborhood, and it's legal, they can't do anything about it, and maybe you've marginally improved the situation in the red light district but you've endangered the safety of these folks that used to be sheltered from such things *and would prefer to remain so.* From their point of view it's not an improvement, it looks more like an attack.

          "Laws against sexual activities amongst consenting adults is more about power and control then any perceived health concerns."

          I think it's more subtle than that. It's about specific tendencies in thinking, involving power and control yes, but the tendency itself has everything to do with health concerns, in an evolutionary sense. In other words, these people are not *consciously* exaggerating health concerns, they're simply predisposed to be focused on that risk, to fear it and to avoid it, to a substantially greater degree than others. (Sure, individual politicians might consciously do this to pander to this audience, but that doesn't mean the audience isn't for real.)
          --
          "Unix? These savages aren't even circumcised!"
          • (Score: 2) by termigator on Thursday October 12, @08:59PM (1 child)

            by termigator (4271) on Thursday October 12, @08:59PM (#581341)

            I think this audience you talk about is extremely small. Anything deal with sexuality activity tends to get framed in arguments of morality and religious doctrine vs public health. If it was a purely a public health argument, then a rational, scientific debate can be had. But I have yet to see that, likely because any public health-based debate would favor legalization.

            The arguments against legalized prostitution are the similar to the arguments against legalizing drugs. Treating non-violent, consenting attacks as criminal leads to real crime and violence. The so-called "War on Drugs" and Prohibition clearly show criminalizing such behavior is an overall detriment to society.

            As aside, I have always found it amusing that folks can get paid to have sex as long as you record and sell it. But if you do not record and sell it, it is considered criminal.

            • (Score: 2) by Arik on Thursday October 12, @10:00PM

              by Arik (4543) on Thursday October 12, @10:00PM (#581379)
              "I think this audience you talk about is extremely small."

              "Extremely small" isn't a number so it's hard to falsify, but I think you live in a bubble. Studies that have looked at people with common conditions such as OCD and Agoraphobia find at least half of people so identified exhibit extremely heightened disgust responses. Extrapolated that means more than a million just from the OCD bucket alone, just in the USA. If we extrapolate that to the whole bundle of recognized phobias, we're looking at an additional 10 million people, give or take.

              And that's just the most extreme cases, so extreme as to be disfunctional. Roughly half of people are above average on this scale (by definition) and it correlates quite well with politics. The further towards one end of the scale (disgust) someone is, the more likely they are to be associated with a generally right wing party (in the US, the 'publicans) and vice-versa.

              And again, this has nothing to do with intelligence, or information. It has to do with values and instinctive reactions. Someone who is very high on the disgust scale doesn't care that it's relatively unlikely you'll give her a disease - she's going to be fighting mad that you imposed ANY risk of it on her whatsoever. If anything about you sets off her disgust-o-meter she just doesn't want you anywhere near her, and she's going to feel threatened, attacked, if you force your way into her bubble.

              Now, morally speaking, I haven't changed my mind at all. The principle is clear and valid. The state should have absolutely no authority to prohibit honest and consensual exchanges, the law is fundamentally illegitimate at that level.

              But as I've grown older and more experienced I've come to understand why going straight from A to Z is sometimes truly not possible. To give you a hypothetical, let's say you're the last Senator to vote on the bill to decriminalize prostitution, nationwide. The vote is tied and you have the deciding vote. (This is in the future and the rules have changed so this is possible.) The question is simple, do you vote yes or no?

              Would it change your mind if you were visited by a time-traveller who showed you the consequences of your actions; if you realized that voting no would result in a timeline where it took another 40 years for this to happen, but there was no major dislocation of society, while voting yes would result in a chain of reactions culminating in a civil war, won by a new Hitler, whose brutal and efficient version of civilization lasted for nearly a century before being defeated in yet another bloody war, with a total loss of lives numbering billions?

              Would that make you hesitate at all?
              --
              "Unix? These savages aren't even circumcised!"
        • (Score: 1) by Arik on Friday October 13, @04:56AM

          by Arik (4543) on Friday October 13, @04:56AM (#581570)
          Ah here we go, it's been a few years it took me a bit to find this again: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0062275
          --
          "Unix? These savages aren't even circumcised!"
  • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by jmorris on Wednesday October 11, @03:08AM (2 children)

    by jmorris (4844) Subscriber Badge <jmorrisNO@SPAMbeau.org> on Wednesday October 11, @03:08AM (#580254)

    Seriously, how fudged up does DC have to get before Congress retakes the reins? They ignore SCOTUS multiple times on 2nd amendment, elect a crackhead for mayor, legalize dope and now whores? The only reason the still aren't number one in murder is so many others have upped their game, not that DC is all that much better. It really looks like they are trying to make DC the poster child for failed 3rd world shithole cities.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @09:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @09:44PM (#580809)

      Not surprising, but not a single bit of factually correct info in your post. They never ignored SCOTUS. They passed a gun law that got challenged and deemed unconstitutional by SCOTUS. They then passed a different gun control law addressing what they thought would make it constitutional. Just like every damn SCOTUS outcome. How many times have Red State anti-abortion laws have "ignored SCOTUS" as you say? How many Red States "ignored SCOTUS" with voter suppression laws? Or gerrymandering laws? They come back again and again and again having tweaked their laws ("ok, so we're not oppressing the blacks this time. Gays, maybe, but not the blacks. Will that do?").

      Your view of the murder rates is so 1980's. I know you regularly parrot what Trump/Sessions claim, but not only is murder way down, you have to look pretty low to find DC [fivethirtyeight.com]. Just saying it doesn't make it so, which some day you parrot heads will have to realize (you'll see the light again when you are a minority party and can go back to your safe "just say no" place of "governance").

      The problem is a-holes like you who won't let DC govern themselves. Home rule is BS when every shithead Republican in Congress from the fly-over states comes down and overrules democratically passed ballot initiatives and tells them, for instance, what kind of marijuana laws they can have. Or look at Puerto Rico. Congress fucks them over regularly. They've lived under that BS Jones Act for 100 years, people like Thurmon go out of their way to screw them over [politifact.com], then they get to listen to all the finger-wagging lectures from the same a-holes telling them that not only are they in a financial mess, that they've gone out of their way to make it twice as hard to get out of that mess.

    • (Score: 1) by Tara Li on Thursday October 12, @08:46PM

      by Tara Li (6248) on Thursday October 12, @08:46PM (#581338)
      The problem is that DC should never have had "residents". Anyone working there should be required to maintain residency somewhere else - even if that's Maryland or Virginia. All of the calls for DC to be a state are ignoring why it was created as "the District of Columbia" and not the "State of Columbia" in the first place. It should not have senators, it should not have representatives, it should have employees signed on by Congress to perform basic necessary operations, but no - it doesn't need a "mayor" that is "voted for" by the residents - there should be NO residents. In fact, any current residents should be grandfathered in, any newborn get residency outside of DC, any residential zoned property gets zoned out as it gets sold or transferred by inheritance - pay some kind of BS FMV for the inheritance, but get those residences out of there!
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Thexalon on Wednesday October 11, @03:16AM (3 children)

    by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @03:16AM (#580259) Homepage

    The prostitutes working Capitol Hill would have a couple of good side businesses available to them:
    1. Blackmail.
    2. Spying.

    This is nothing new, of course - sex workers who have powerful clients always have those businesses going for them. As far as the blackmail side of things goes, that's why the powerful pay premium prices for "discretion".

    --
    If you act on pie in the sky, you're likely to get pie in the face.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @04:17AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @04:17AM (#580286)

      Blackmail

      Why? It's all legal, right?

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday October 11, @04:57AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @04:57AM (#580293) Journal
        Depends on whether your boss knows - several classes of people may have things to hide such as those with a security clearance or elected officials and their minions.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bob_super on Wednesday October 11, @06:48PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday October 11, @06:48PM (#580684)

        > Why? It's all legal, right?

        It's also legal for a congressman to ask his mistress to have an abortion.
        Whether your behavior fits your public persona is where blackmail comes into play.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by NotSanguine on Wednesday October 11, @03:43AM (3 children)

    by NotSanguine (285) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @03:43AM (#580267) Homepage Journal

    To legalize prostitution. The most important, in my view is to protect the prostitutes from exploitation, abuse and coercion.

    Legalized prostitution could do away with abusive pimps (think W2/1099 employment status, single proprietorships, LLCs and public corporations, OSHA, child labor laws, health insurance, etc., etc., etc.) and give prostitutes the ability to report assaults, robberies and rapes to the police.

    When there are legal means to provide a product (think drugs) or service (e.g. prostitution), the black market will suffer and the violence and lawlessness associated with that black market can be reduced.

    To those who would say, "dope and hookers are societal evils and we need to crack down hard on that stuff," I'd ask you to take a look around and see how well that's (not) working. If you find those things to be unwholesome, unpleasant or wrong, then don't do them. No one is forcing you to smoke crack or pay for a blowjob.

    I don't do hard drugs, nor do I patronize prostitutes. However, I only have a say about that for myself. What others do is up to them, and it's not for me to prescribe (or proscribe) correct behavior. It ain't any of your business what others do, as long as it doesn't impinge on your rights and/or property.

    As Heinlein, quite correctly, pointed out [goodreads.com]:

    The correct way to punctuate a sentence that states: "Of course it is none of my business, but -- " is to place a period after the word "but." Don't use excessive force in supplying such a moron with a period. Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about.

    You can forbid the use of drugs, or ball-point pens for that matter, on your property. But if it doesn't happen on your property and you want to tell others what they should and shouldn't do, then you're just a busybody in desperate need of a period.

    --
    No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical. --Niels Bohr
    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday October 11, @04:20AM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @04:20AM (#580289)

      But if it doesn't happen on your property and you want to tell others what they should and shouldn't do, then you're just a busybody in desperate need of a period.

      Desperate need for a period...
      Mmmm... is that like a person in a perpetual state of PMS?

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by maxwell demon on Wednesday October 11, @06:00AM (1 child)

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @06:00AM (#580311) Journal

      You can forbid the use of drugs, or ball-point pens for that matter, on your property.

      Well, some politicians consider the country as their property …

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 2) by rylyeh on Wednesday October 11, @06:27AM

        by rylyeh (6726) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{moc.liamg} {ta} {htadak}> on Wednesday October 11, @06:27AM (#580316)

        Prohibiting prostitution is like prohibiting alcohol.

        --
        “Don’t move,” he cautioned, “for in these rays we are able to be seen as well as to see.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by RedBear on Wednesday October 11, @08:30AM (2 children)

    by RedBear (1734) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @08:30AM (#580343)

    I have to say I'm so traumatized by watching America march backwards over the last year that I initially misread the title as "D.C. Bill Would Criminalize Sex Work". It was very disheartening for a moment.

    Watch out, if we decriminalize sex work we might reduce sex work related crime, exploitation and abuse, reduce the spread of disease by enabling sex workers to get easier access to protection and testing and medical treatment, and bring in billions in tax revenues. And then we might go on to do other crazy crap like decriminalizing, regulating and taxing all controlled substances which could take the wind out of the sails of the drug gangs that are behind the majority of gun homicides and other organized crime.

    It'll never happen. It makes too much sense.

    --
    ¯\_ʕ◔.◔ʔ_/¯ LOL. I dunno. I'm just a bear.
    ... Peace out. Got bear stuff to do. 彡ʕ⌐■.■ʔ
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday October 11, @10:49AM (1 child)

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday October 11, @10:49AM (#580379) Journal

      A few hundred years ago prostitution in Germany was controlled by the Catholic Church. They viewed it as a public health measure for pretty much the same reasons as this bill proposes. Also they thought it would reduce other crime by giving men a sanctioned outlet for their passions.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @04:39PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 11, @04:39PM (#580561)

        Now they only sanction pedophiles' passions.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by chewbacon on Wednesday October 11, @01:23PM (1 child)

    by chewbacon (1032) on Wednesday October 11, @01:23PM (#580441)

    Sex may not cost money, but it's NEVER free.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @03:33PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 12, @03:33PM (#581167)

      I know right? Either I have yo Aldo pleasure the woman or I don't get more sex!?!? Wtf amirite??? /s for people like jmorris and tmb

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by richtopia on Wednesday October 11, @04:07PM

    by richtopia (3160) on Wednesday October 11, @04:07PM (#580539) Homepage Journal

    We saw an article on the accidental decriminalization of prostitution in Rhode Island recently:

    https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=17/08/09/0025214 [soylentnews.org]

    The article is a good read. For the most part it was positive, with reports of rape down, sex workers were able to call the cops for their own safety, and even evidence of human trafficking suggested it was reduced. Bonus for Rhode Island was the sex tourism industry that sprung up and brought in money.

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