US: Bills to Decriminalize Prostitution Are Introduced. Is New York Ready? - - PressFrom - US
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USBills to Decriminalize Prostitution Are Introduced. Is New York Ready?

06:56  12 june  2019
06:56  12 june  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

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Oakland becomes 2nd US city to legalize magic mushrooms SAN FRANCISCO — Oakland on Tuesday became the second U.S. city to decriminalize magic mushrooms after a string of speakers testified that psychedelics helped them overcome depression, drug addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The City Council voted unanimously to decriminalize the adult use and possession of magic mushrooms and other entheogenic, or psychoactive, plants and fungi.

Decriminalization bills have been introduced in Maine and Massachusetts; a The New York legislation appears unlikely to pass in the coming months, but the idea of decriminalization has already amassed a growing coterie of prominent supporters, suggesting that it might continue to gain traction.

People arrested for prostitution are then diverted to the Human Trafficking Intervention Courts (HTICs), which Brad Hoylman and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, are working with Decrim NY to introduce a bill to rewrite the state’s penal code to decriminalize the sex trades in New York State.

Bills to Decriminalize Prostitution Are Introduced. Is New York Ready?© Shannon Straney for The New York Times Decrim NY, a coalition behind decriminalizing prostitution in New York, has worked for months to persuade lawmakers to support their efforts.

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New York took a significant step toward expanding the national conversation about sex and crime when a collection of lawmakers on Monday introduced bills to decriminalize prostitution.

Described as the first decriminalization bills ever in the state, and the most comprehensive decriminalization effort ever initiated in the United States, the bills expand upon recent attempts in several other states and the District of Columbia.

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Decrim NY rally. Photo: Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images. In a historic first, New York could become the first state to fully decriminalize sex work. Since February, a sex worker–led coalition of 30-plus organizations known as Decrim NY have been working toward this goal

A widespread bill aiming to decriminalize sex work was introduced to the New York State Assembly on Monday. The Stop Violence in the Sex Trades Act, sponsored by Democratic Sens. The bill would repeal penalties for buying and selling sex, while updating other state laws concerning prostitution .

If passed, the bills would allow paid sex between consenting adults — decriminalizing both the buying and the selling of sex, as well as promotion of prostitution — while maintaining prohibitions on trafficking, coercion and sexual abuse of minors.

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There is no assurance that the measures will pass anytime soon; the legislative session is scheduled to end next Wednesday, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has not endorsed the effort.

The legislation introduced in Albany makes clear that the sponsors view centuries of criminalizing prostitution as failed public policy that has done far more harm than good, driving it “into the shadows in an underground illegal environment where sex workers face increased violence, abuse and exploitation, and are more vulnerable to trafficking.” The bills would also allow for those convicted of prostitution-related offenses to potentially vacate such convictions.

New York Lawmakers Introduce First Statewide Bill To Decriminalize Sex Work

New York Lawmakers Introduce First Statewide Bill To Decriminalize Sex Work Lawmakers in New York introduced a first-of-its-kind bill to decriminalize sex work throughout the state on Monday. The Stop Violence in the Sex Trades Act is a legislative package that “decriminalizes and decarcerates” the sex trade in New York, according to a press release from organizers at the Decrim NY coalition. If passed, it would be the first measure in the country to legalize prostitution statewide. “Sex work is work and should not be criminalized by the state,” state Sen. Julia Salazar (D) said at a Monday press conference. “Our current policies only empower traffickers and others who benefit from keeping sex work in the shadows,” Salazar added.

Lawmakers have introduced legislation that would decriminalize sex work in the state. ALBANY – A group of Democratic lawmakers in Albany want to decriminalize prostitution . A new bill introduced Monday would change the state's penal code to effectively allow consenting adults to engage in sex

The New Republic reported on a bill that was drafted by a group of advocates and set to be introduced in the state Legislature, one that would remove criminal penalties for While New York could be the first to fully decriminalize prostitution , other areas are now considering the same step.

Such arguments echo those made by some of those who have worked in the sex trade, several of whom expressed satisfaction that their concerns were finally being heard by state politicians.

“I’ve been waiting for this day for 30 years,” said Cecilia Gentili, a transgender woman who did sex work and is now a member of Decrim NY, the coalition behind the decriminalization push in New York.

“We are trying to change the lives of many New Yorkers who have historically been criminalized for using their bodies to survive. And it’s time we change that.”

In some ways, the push to decriminalize came about as a result of last fall’s Democratic wins in the State Legislature. The bill’s two sponsors in the State Senate were both newly elected in November: Senator Jessica Ramos, a Democrat from Queens, and Senator Julia Salazar, a Brooklyn Democrat, whose campaign for office last year included an endorsement of decriminalization.

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New York state Sen. Jessica Ramos, D-Queens, speaks at a rally of current and former sex workers in Albany in May. (David Klepper | AP Photo). The bill 's sponsor in the Assembly, Manhattan Democrat Richard Gottfried, said outlawing prostitution has only forced sex workers into the shadows, where

Bills to decriminalize prostitution have been introduced in Maine and Washington, and Rhode Island and New York are preparing to address decriminalization legislation soon, according to The New York Times. “This is about the oldest profession, and understanding that we haven’t been able

Ms. Salazar said she had been impressed by how rapidly decriminalization has become more mainstream to discuss, both nationally and in New York, where Democrats unseated eight Republican incumbents in the Senate in November.

“It’s only been in the last several months that this issue got more attention and has gained more popular support,” Ms. Salazar said, adding, however, that “it took years of sex workers fighting, having to face stigma, discrimination and abuse in trying to advocate for their rights.”

The idea has long had a prominent supporter in the Assembly in Albany, where the health committee chairman, Richard N. Gottfried, argued that “trying to stop sex work between consenting adults should not be the business of the criminal justice system.”

“It has not worked in a couple of thousand years,” he said. “And requiring sex workers to work in an underground, illegal environment, promotes abuse and exploitation.”

Prostitution is legal only in a few counties in Nevada, and few supporters believe any state will soon fully decriminalize prostitution.

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Virginia AG calls for state to legalize marijuana Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is calling for the legalization of marijuana. Herring said Saturday that Virginia should start decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana and eventually legalize the drug. 

New York on Monday introduced a bill to decriminalise sex work. The first of its kind proposed legislation in the country brought in by Democratic lawmakers makes it legal to engage in consensual sex for money. Nevada is currently the only state in the United States where prostitution is legal.

In New York , prostitution is treated as a misdemeanor punishable by up to three months in jail and a fine of up to 0. Those found guilty of soliciting New York 's decriminalization bill — a version of which was also introduced in the state Assembly — is broad, and it's unclear what kind of support it

Opponents of the decriminalization movement say that efforts such as the one being undertaken in New York are misguided, arguing that full decriminalization will create a demand that encourages underground sex trafficking.

Sonia Ossorio, president of the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women, said the decriminalization effort, if successful, would effectively set up a new industry and give legitimacy to existing brothels and pimps.

“Pimps would now just be promoters,” she said, adding “you can’t protect the exploited by protecting the exploiters.” Like some other opponents of full legalization, Ms. Ossorio said she supports a form of partial decriminalization known as the “Nordic model,” which emphasizes the prosecution of people who buy sex, but not the prostitutes themselves.

“It is the wise policy solution,” said Dorchen A. Leidholdt, the director of Sanctuary for Families legal center and a chairwoman of the New York State Anti-Trafficking Coalition, saying such modified plan would “shrink demand, shrink the market and shrink the industry.”

Full decriminalization, however, would be a “public-policy disaster for New York” that would “increase the size of this predatory industry,” Ms. Leidholdt said.

“And prostitution is always predatory,” she added.

Mr. Cuomo’s record on liberalizing once-forbidden activities is somewhat uneven: He has recently backed legalizing marijuana, for example, not long after calling it a “gateway drug.” He expanded gambling in the state, but has balked at backing mobile sports betting.

And on Tuesday, he said he had not read the decriminalization bill and had no opinion on it yet. “This is going to be a controversial issue,” said Mr. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat.

But for activists like Ms. Gentili, after years of waiting to have their issue taken seriously, now is the time to demand action from their lawmakers.

“Are we really progressive or are we not?” asked Ms. Gentili. “I guess we are about to find out.”

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