Two New York women legislators have introduced in the local Congress a decriminalization bill of sex trade between adults, either for the payment of consensual encounters between couples, audiovisual content or the promotion of erotic and sexual services.
With the preliminary project, the Big Apple congressmen are trying to formalize and give controllable channels to an activity that develops without any kind of problems and which focuses on the prostitution decriminalization, a commercial exchange that enjoys a splendid health in spite of “its persecution”.
The report of this event has been taken by The New York Times, a newspaper that considered the subject interesting, because it has followed the legislative efforts which have been attempted nationwide about the subject, and it highlights that Albany has the best chance at present of being approved.
In all the states of the Union, prostitution is only legal in a few Nevada counties, but the New York initiative adds to the one promoted by other legislators in states such as Maine, Massachusetts and Washington City.
One of the interesting aspects of the hypothetical approval of the legal remedy is that it would be retroactive and would allow persons who have been convicted of prostitution to have their sentences revoked.
However, the Big Apple newspaper states that its “prompt” approval “seems unlikely” since the New York Legislature ends its current legislative term on Wednesday and state Governor Andrew Cuomo has not supported the initiative.
Cuomo, in fact, said this Tuesday that he does not have a formed opinion on the matter since he has not read the drafts. “This is going to be a controversial issue,” the Democrat added.
Latina legislators Jessica Ramos, of Queens, and Julia Salazar (Brooklyn) are the promoters of the initiative in the state Senate.
Richard N. Gottfried, chairman of the Health Committee in the Lower House, told the New York newspaper that “trying to stop sex work between consenting adults should not be the business of the criminal justice system.”
“It hasn’t worked in 2,000 years. And requiring sex workers to work in a clandestine and illegal environment promotes abuse and exploitation,” he added.
Various organizations under the umbrella of the Decrim NY coalition have been pioneers in advocating for decriminalization.
One of its members, former sex worker Cecilia Gentili, said she has waited for this moment for 30 years.
“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 to change that” Gentili said.
Opponents of the measure, however, argue that it will only turn pimps into promoters.
“You can’t protect the exploited by protecting the exploiters,” said Sonia Ossorio, president of the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women who advocates decriminalizing sex worker activity, but emphasizes the prosecution of people who buy sex.
Translated by: José Espinoza