Hawaii, New Hampshire mull bills decriminalizing sex work

by jovan1984

Honolulu — Hawaii is one of two states pushing a for a bill that would decriminalize sex work.

House Bill 1533 would repeal any and all harmful bans on prostitution (sex work), and would preempt any municipal ordinance that bans sex work.

However, it is a double edged sword: if passed, HB 1533 would also remove Hawaii as one of the only states that bans cops from having sex with sex workers for any reason. The current anti-sex work law is one of the numerous provisions in the 50 states’ laws that criminalizes what would otherwise be considered as consensual sex under the rubric of “Offenses Against the Morals”.

Tracy Ryan, a transgender woman and a sex work activist, said in the (Honolulu) Star-Advertiser she has been pushing for a bill to decriminalize sex work in the Youngest State and its 49 older counterparts because transgender women are the emerging face of sex work and are thus disproportionately affected by the laws criminalizing sex work.

“I don’t like seeing people sent to jail that don’t belong there,” Ms. Ryan told the Star-Advertiser.

Meanwhile, 5,050 miles away in Concord, N.H., a bipartisan group of four women representatives, including Amanda Bouldin, hope to have a hearing on a bill to decriminalize sex work. That bill, which was revived under chief sponsor Carol McGuire (R-Epsom), never had a hearing in last year’s session.

If the decriminalization bill does have a hearing this week or the next, it would happen in the aftermath of such a poisonous debate of a poisonous bill now on John Sununu’s desk that would allow for hardcore criminals to carry guns with no permits legally.

Text of the House Bill 287 states that the committee would study reports about sex work and human trafficking by Amnesty International, the World Health Organization, the International Labour Organization, the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women, the Global Network of Sex Work Projects, the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, Human Rights Watch, the Open Society Foundation and Anti-Slavery International. The bill notes the committee would also study “positive and negative changes to laws” in the states of Nevada and Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

There are no states in the US where sex work is legal under official statute at the moment. While sex work is a criminal offense under Nevada state statute, the state allows for all municipalities to legalize sex work. All except three municipalities in Nevada have legalized sex work. Only Las Vegas, Reno, and the state capital of Carson City have a prohibition on sex work in the state.

Conversely, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations banned sex work under official state law in 2009. However, every municipality in that state had criminalized sex work under their respective ordinances long before 2009.

Additionally, the nations of Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom would be studied to know how sex work laws are in those three countries.

“I learned enough to be convinced that considering prostitution a crime is a large part of the reason it leads to abuse of women,” said Rep. McGuire. “Since it’s the ‘oldest profession,’ I don’t believe we’ll eliminate it, and therefore ought to make it safe for the people involved.”

To no one’s surprise, the crooked and corrupt rescue industry is so opposed to decriminalization, they already have come up with white hot lies and frivolous petitions to speak out against the common-sense measures in both states.

In fact, the opposition’s lies have spread like the black plague. So much so, Ms. Ryan took to Facebook recently to call out the lying liars in the rescue industry.

Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Las Vegas Sun