De-Criminalization of Sex Work

Proposal to Amend the Green Party of the United States’ Platform Regarding the De-Criminalization of Sex Work

Table of Contents

1. State Parties and Caucuses
State Parties
Caucuses
2. Approval Process & Date of Approval
3. Author & Designated Point Person
4. Chapter and Subsections Addressed by Proposal
5. Current Platform Language
Platform Subsection II-A-1, Paragraphs n-s
6. Proposed Revised & New Platform Language
Platform Subsection II-A-1, Paragraphs n-p
Platform Subsection II-H-3, Paragraph J (all new language)
7. Commentary & Explanation of Changes
Commentary on Existing Platform Language
A. The Green Party’s Obligation to Human Rights
B. The Green Party’s Position on Labor
C. The Political Cost of Anti-Sex Work Language
Individual Explanations of Proposed Changes
II-A-1-n: Removal of sex worker-exclusionary language
II-A-1-o: Inclusion of sexual slavery with other forms of trafficking
II-A-1-p: Removal of the call for a “Swedish model” of criminalization
II-A-1-q: Eliminated; replaced by language in Paragraph O and II-H-3
II-A-1-r: Eliminated as obsolete
II.A.1.s: Reworded to address violence against women as an issue beyond sex trafficking and sex work
Proposed New Subsection II-H-3-j: Endorsement of “New Zealand Model” decriminalization
Appendix I: Smart Text Markup (Old Language with Visible Revisions)
Proposed Changes: Platform Subsection II-A-1, Paragraphs n-s
Proposed Addition: Platform Subsection II-H-3, Paragraph J
Appendix II: Further Reading
Long Form Decriminalization Papers
Criticism of the Green Party’s Anti-Sex Work Stance
Criticisms of the “Nordic Model” of Criminalization

1. State Parties and Caucuses

This proposal to amend the GPUS Platform is submitted by the following states and caucuses, with a contact point person listed for each:

State Parties
Alabama Green Party – chair@alabamagreenparty.com
Colorado Green Party – sean.m.friend@gmail.com
Illinois Green Party – secretary@ilgp.org
Green Party of New Jersey – gpnjchair@gmail.com
North Carolina Green Party – secretary@ncgreenparty.org
Green Party of Utah – brendan_s_phillips@yahoo.com

Caucuses
Lavender Greens – LavenderGreens@gp.org
Young Greens – gpusyouth@gmail.com

2. Approval Process & Date of Approval

Alabama Green Party: Approved by unanimous vote of the State Steering Committee, June 8, 2017

Colorado Green Party: Approved by consensus of the COGP State Council, May 19, 2017

Illinois Green Party: Approved for circulation for co-sponsors and for submission to GPUS by consensus by the ILGP Executive Committee, following open discussion and approval by consensus by the ILGP Platform Committee, March 19, 2017.

Green Party of New Jersey: Approved by online vote with 72-hour window, with vote closing May 30, 2017.

North Carolina Green Party: Approvaed by 30-day open polling, with quorum met, following a 10-day open discussion period, May 6, 2017.

Green Party of Utah: Approved unanimously by the GPUT Steering Committee, May 28, 2017.

Black Caucus: Approved via caucus’s online polling tool, May 22, 2017.

Lavender Greens: Approved by caucus internal vote, May 23, 2017

Young Greens: Approved by caucus internal vote, May 23, 2017

3. Author & Designated Point Person

Authorship: This amendment proposal is the work of a volunteer working group of activists, sex workers, and Green Party members organized by the Illinois Green Party.

Point Person: The contact person designated by the Illinois Green Party for the GPUS Platform Committee submission process is ILGP Secretary Geoffrey Cubbage, secretary@ilgp.org.

4. Chapter and Subsections Addressed by Proposal

This proposal modifies language contained in GPUS Platform Chapter II, Section A, Subsection 1, paragraphs n-s (subheader “Violence & Oppression” under the “Women’s Rights” header).

Additionally, the proposal inserts a new paragraph j to Chapter II, Section H, Subsection 3 (“Criminal Justice Reform”).

The primary effects of the revisions are to:

  • eliminate derogatory language throughout
  • focus the language of Chapter II, Section A, Subsection 1 on trafficking, violence in domestic settings, and other violence against women, as the section header suggests, rather than its current focus on sex work
  • remove the conflation of voluntary sex work with sex trafficking
  • remove the party’s endorsement of the “Swedish model” of sex work criminalization from II-A-1
  • add an endorsement of decriminalization to II-H-3, citing the 2003 New Zealand model that has been endorsed by Amnesty International, World AIDS Campaign, and most sex-worker advocacy groups

5. Current Platform Language

Platform Subsection II-A-1, Paragraphs n-s

n. Violence against women is increasing nationwide. We must address the root cause of all violence even as we specifically address violence to women. We support stronger legislation, programs and enforcement. We also call for new dialog and re-thinking that can lead to better language, ideas and solutions. We urge that the term “domestic violence” be replaced by the term “violence,” because “domestic violence” is not perceived as real violence, which leads to it not being treated legally and practically for the violence that it is. We urge that the term “sex work” not be used in relation to prostitution. With the increasing conflation of trafficking (the violent and illegal trafficking in women and girls for forced sex) with prostitution, it is impossible to know which is which, and what violence the term “sex work” is masking. No source in existence knows which forms of prostitution comprise forced sex and which comprise free will or choice prostitution. Forced sex is rape, and it is a crime. An increasing number of experts think the percentage of choice prostitution is very small, leaving the larger number of women exposed to serious and often fatal violence. Much of what is commonly called prostitution is actually sex trafficking by definition. The Green Party calls for a safer world for women and girls.

o. The Green Party has zero tolerance for the illegal international trafficking in humans. Of the millions of humans trafficked worldwide, the large majority are women and children who are bought and sold as slaves. They are kept captive and in debt-bondage that can never be paid off. Most are sold over and over again for forced sex prostitution. Forced sex is rape and a serious crime. Some are forced to labor in agriculture, sweat shops, hotels, restaurants, domestic service and other forms of servitude. According to Human Rights Watch, in all cases coercive tactics — including deception, fraud, intimidation, isolation, threat and use of physical force, or debt bondage — are used to control women. Estimates of human trafficking in the U.S. vary greatly from 18,000 to 50,000 to over 100,000 with a worldwide estimate of 12.5 million, mostly women and children.

p. The Green Party calls for new U.S. legislation relating to prostitution modeled on the Swedish law passed in 1999, now adopted by other countries and being considered by more, that has drastically reduced human trafficking and prostitution in Sweden. That law criminalizes the purchase of services from prostitutes, pimps and brothel keepers instead of criminalizing the prostitutes. The Green Party urges the U.S. to open dialogs and visit with Sweden as a step toward introducing legislation in the U.S. Congress to address the exploitation, violence and harm to women through prostitution.

q. The Green Party supports all efforts to eradicate this extreme abuse of human rights, including but not limited to enforcement of existing laws and passage of tough new ones, punishing traffickers, aiding victims, increasing public awareness, reforming immigration laws, supporting existing programs and creating new ones.

r. We support the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report as an important document to begin to combat this abuse. We support and urge enforcement of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (HR 3244) signed into law on October 28, 2000. This Act authorizes funding for the prevention of trade in human beings and for protecting victims. It gives the State Department a historic opportunity to create an office with the exclusive responsibility of ending traffic in humans and protecting the victims of this worldwide trade. We urge committed political support to achieve the cooperation of all different levels of government.

s. The Green Party urges a more thorough dialog and understanding of violence against women and girls, including from prostitution and trafficking, that causes health and injury damage that seriously degrades their lives, even to death or premature death including from HIV, syphilis and many other diseases, as well as causing severe economic hardships. We call for solutions to this enormous problem that can result in awareness and the introduction of legislation in the U.S. Congress to address it.

6. Proposed Revised & New Platform Language

Platform Subsection II-A-1, Paragraphs n-p

n. Violence against women is increasing nationwide. We must address the root cause of all violence even as we specifically address violence to women. We support stronger legislation, programs and enforcement. We also call for new dialog and re-thinking that can lead to better language, ideas and solutions. We urge that the term “domestic violence” be replaced by the term “violence,” because “domestic violence” is not perceived as real violence, which leads to it not being treated legally and practically for the violence that it is.

o. The Green Party has zero tolerance for the illegal international trafficking in humans. Of the millions of humans trafficked worldwide, the large majority are women and children who are bought and sold as slaves. They are kept captive and in debt-bondage that can never be paid off. Trafficked slaves are forced to labor in agriculture, sweat shops, hotels, restaurants, domestic service, sexual service, and other forms of servitude.

p. The Green Party urges a more thorough dialog and understanding of violence against women and girls, including from violence currently characterized as “domestic” and from trafficking. We recognize and oppose the patriarchal structures of oppression that inflict economic hardship, injury and other health issues, and even death upon women worldwide and in the United States, and we call for legislative action in the states and at the federal level to combat violence against women.

Platform Subsection II-H-3, Paragraph J (all new language)

j. The Green Party calls for the decriminalization of voluntary sex work under state and federal laws in the United States. Criminalization, including “Nordic model” laws that penalize purchasers rather than purveyors, force the sex industry underground, enabling the exploitation of sex workers by clients, traffickers, and law enforcement alike. Decriminalization is the model recommended by Amnesty International and a wide range of sex worker advocacy groups, and in New Zealand (where decriminalization was enacted in 2003) has led to increased health and safety among sex workers and their clients. It is the position of the Green Party that sex work should be treated under existing labor laws, including the right of sex workers to unionize.

7. Commentary & Explanation of Changes

Commentary on Existing Platform Language

In its current form, the majority of the platform text contained under the “Violence and Oppression” section of the “Women’s Rights” topic focuses on the party’s support for the criminalization of sex work. Other forms of violence or oppression are mentioned in much less detail. Despite its header, the section is largely an anti-sex work section, with a few sentences of broader anti-trafficking language in one of the paragraphs.

It is the opinion of the authors of this document that the party’s current stance on sex work as presented in II.A.1.n-s is morally indefensible, ideologically incoherent, and politically damaging.  The submitted revisions represent an effort to eliminate derogatory language, move the Green Party’s stated policy prescriptions away from carceral state solutions and more in line with the current thought of human rights groups such as Amnesty International, and ensure that Subsection II.A.1 of the party platform condemns violence against women without condemning or negating the existence of individual sex workers, voluntary or otherwise.

Discussion of sex work in the GPUS platform under these revisions would be removed from the Women’s Rights subsection, and moved instead to Subsection II-3-H, the “Criminal Justice Reform” section of our platform.

Broadly speaking, the revisions seek to address three issues:

A. The Green Party’s Obligation to Human Rights

Sex workers exist. They are human beings who live in our society. Their rights to health, safety, self-determination, and bodily autonomy should not be subject to debate or sacrifice to abstract principles. That is the fundamental principle underlying the revisions in this document.

Criminalization of sex work—the policy explicitly espoused by the GPUS Platform in its current form—empowers the state, in the name of sexual morality, to destroy livelihoods, incarcerate individuals, deport non-citizens, and force sex workers into an underground economy where they are more vulnerable to both state and non-state violence, resulting in harms ranging from poverty and unreliable income to physical abuse, rape, and death.

Even if we were to accept the eradication of sex work as a social goal worth endorsing (a controversial proposition in its own right), the acceptance of sex workers’ incarceration, suffering, and death as a necessary cost of that goal is repugnant.

Nor is there any evidence to suggest that existing or harsher policies of criminalization would have the effect of eradicating sex work—sex work, both voluntary and involuntary, continues to exist in all countries where it is criminalized, including the United States, and there is no evidence to suggest that a policy of criminalization has ever successfully eradicated sex work in any society in human history.

As a policy in the contemporary United States, the criminalization of sex work actively harms human beings for no demonstrable gain beyond the moral satisfaction of people who do not have to suffer those harms. By supporting it, the Green Party is stating in no uncertain terms that it values the moral purity of opposing sexual labor more than the health, livelihoods, and actual lives of sex workers.

B. The Green Party’s Position on Labor

If the Green Party purports to stand in solidarity with all workers who exchange their time, labor, and skills for income, then the Green Party cannot exclude workers from that solidarity on the basis of their particular form of labor.

In a capitalist economy, and particularly in a country with scant social services, most citizens must exchange labor for capital as a matter of survival. Sexual labor is one of many possible forms of that exchange, and should be treated in solidarity with the rest.

The notion that a sex worker is inherently degraded by performing labor which they may or may not enjoy, but a worker in a call center or a coal mine or an accounts office is not, derives from patriarchal notions of purity and sexual immorality, not from any labor-centered principles. Standing in solidarity with sex workers is an issue of necessary moral consistency for any party that claims to represent the working class.

The Green Party platform calls for or indirectly supports the elimination of any number of industries (fossil fuels, military, etc.), but it does not call for the criminalization and punishment of individual workers in those industries—except, currently, sex workers. The inconsistency is glaring and damaging.

C. The Political Cost of Anti-Sex Work Language

The Green Party platform’s aggressive opposition to sex work and use of derogatory language towards sex workers has not gone unnoticed within feminist and activist communities.

A casual Google search for “Green Party sex work” will find a long list of articles castigating the party for its outdated, offensive, and exclusionary language. Many members of the Illinois Green Party have encountered criticism of the language in II.A.1 in their personal conversations within progressive, politically active communities as well. Voters who feel ostracized from both mainstream parties and who might otherwise find a home in the Green Party are being turned away by the extremity of our stated position on sex work.

The framing of sex work and human trafficking as violence against women further harms the party by negating the lived experience of non-binary, LGBTQ, and male sex workers and trafficking victims, who currently do not merit even the acknowledgement that condemnation would require. Even if the party were to stand by its radically anti-sex work position, it would still face the political costs of rejecting the intersectionality of the issue.

Bluntly, the Green Party of the United States cannot afford to exclude sex workers and all their allies if it wishes to succeed as a party that speaks for oppressed people and communities. By deliberately and explicitly denying the humanity of a group that is not only oppressed by its current criminalization, but also disproportionately made up of LGBTQ and minority individuals, the party is undermining its claim to be a platform and a voice for those that need one most.

The revisions in this amendment are designed to eliminate the GPUS Platform’s current inconsistencies on sex work as a moral, labor, and political issue. It is imperative that we vote to approve the amendment.


Individual Explanations of Proposed Changes

II-A-1-n: Removal of sex worker-exclusionary language

The revised language of II-A-1-n retains the party’s existing statement on the use of “domestic violence,” but eliminates all references to sex work.

The current language of II.A.1.n explicitly relegates all sex workers to the status of victims, and implies that voluntary sex workers are “masking” the harms of trafficking as an inherent consequence of their existence.

This exclusionary language ostracizes voluntary sex workers and their allies from the party, and places the Green Party largely in line with the reactionary religious right wing of American politics on the issue of sex work.

Further, the language frames sex work as an issue of violence against women specifically, excluding non-binary, LGBTQ, and male sex workers from our platform entirely.

If the Green Party is to present itself as a modern, progressive party, it must recognize voluntary sex workers’ right to bodily autonomy. To simply state that “no source in existence knows which forms of prostitution comprise forced sex and which comprise free will or choice prostitution,” as our Platform currently does, erases the actual, lived choices and self-awareness of every sex worker in the country.

II-A-1-o: Inclusion of sexual slavery with other forms of trafficking

As currently worded, II.A.1.o implies that the majority of worldwide slavery is sexual, with other trafficked slave labor treated as a separate and lesser concern.

This is factually dubious (most estimates put the number of non-sexual forced laborers far higher than the number of forced sexual laborers), and also helps perpetuate the patriarchal conception that sexual labor is inherently different from and more degrading than other forms of labor.

Retaining the platform’s strong stance against trafficking and forced labor, but including sexual service as one item in a list of forms that such labor can take, clarifies the party’s moral stance and removes the common “dog whistle” (familiar to sex workers and their allies) of claiming to oppose trafficking as a way to condemn all sexual labor.

Since the platform itself as currently written acknowledges that accurate statistics are difficult to establish (in part a consequence of criminalization, which discourages reporting even by voluntary sex workers, who would be effectively confessing a crime), the use of numerical statistics has also been removed from the description of trafficking. There is no reason for the party to be using numbers it acknowledges as largely meaningless to support its stated positions.

II-A-1-p: Removal of the call for a “Swedish model” of criminalization

The existing Paragraph P, which endorses the “Swedish model” of sex work criminalization, is struck from the platform by this amendment.

The “Swedish model” or “Nordic model” refers to a criminalization of sex work that imposes criminal penalties for the purchase of sexual services, but not the sale. It does little to improve the precariousness of life for sex workers, who must still hide their work and meet clients in secret to keep their livelihoods. Sex workers under the Nordic model have no safe access to police protection or other state services, since the state will investigate and arrest their clients, and the absence of criminal penalties for the worker does not prevent against eviction, deportation, or workplace discrimination and firing.

Anti-brothel language contained in the Nordic model laws further prevents sex workers from living together, renting shared workspaces, or even networking to help one another evaluate clients. Sex workers who work in mutual solidarity have been convicted of “trafficking” the friends and co-workers whose safety they were working to ensure in countries with Nordic model laws.

Simply put, the Nordic model is not about protecting sex workers, but rather about attempting to eliminate sex work on the basis that it is an inherent moral or civil ill. Amnesty International rejected the Nordic model in its 2016 report on sex work, calling instead for the New Zealand model of decriminalization as the best practice for legislating sexual labor.

A political party that prioritizes human rights and the health and safety of individuals should call for decriminalization and the treatment of sex work under existing labor laws, not for the economic and physical punishment of sex workers in an attempt to eradicate their profession. The Nordic model is the latter, and is widely rejected by sex workers’ advocacy groups and non-profits that work directly with sex workers.

II-A-1-q: Eliminated; replaced by language in Paragraph O and II-H-3

The existing Paragraph Q is struck from the platform by this amendment.

Trafficking, including sexual trafficking, is addressed by Paragraph O of the amended subsection. The call for solutions including law enforcement (carceral state) is here removed. Discussion of sex work’s legal status is instead addressed in the “Criminal Justice Reform” section of the platform.

II-A-1-r: Eliminated as obsolete

The existing Paragraph R is struck from the platform by this amendment.

Subsection II.A.1.r deals with legislation that passed in 2000, was amended, lapsed, and most recently was combined with the Violence Against Women Act and passed in that form. The resources and office for which the platform currently urges support exist, and are operational.

II.A.1.s: Reworded to address violence against women as an issue beyond sex trafficking and sex work

This amendment modifies the language in Paragraph S, striking some sentences and adding others.

The focus of the current item II.A.1.s on prostitution and trafficking undermines the pretense that the paragraphs of Subsection II.A.1 devoted to “Violence and Oppression” address violence against women in general, and makes it clear that the language is primarily and purposefully anti-sex work rather than anti-violence.

Removing the derogatory term “prostitution,” inserting a reference to the change in language surrounding “domestic violence” as presented in II.A.1.n, and eliminating the scare-and-shame inclusion of STIs as a primary form of violence against women brings II.A.1.s more in line with a stance against violence, rather than a stance against sex work and sexual trafficking.

The final sentence of II.A.1.s has been reworded to make it clear that much of the legislative burden will be at the state level, and to explicitly name “violence against women” as the central issue, rather than the vague (and perhaps deliberately open to misinterpretation) phrasing “this enormous problem” currently used in the platform.

Proposed New Subsection II-H-3-j: Endorsement of “New Zealand Model” decriminalization

This proposal adds a new paragraph to the end of Subsection II-H-3, “Criminal Justice Reform.” The paragraph endorses a decriminalization approach to sex work, and includes a call for the right to organize for sex workers.

A decriminalized, unionized sex industry is the current recommendation of most humans rights organizations worldwide, including Amnesty International and the World AIDS Campaign. This addition brings the Green Party in line with the best practices to actually reduce harms associated with sex work, and moves discussion of sex work as an issue to a more appropriate section of the platform.

Appendix I: Smart Text Markup
(Old Language with Visible Revisions)

In the following subsection, “Current Platform Language with Proposed Revisions,” the existing platform text is in black. Words to be removed are struck through, while new language has been inserted in red.

Some revisions call for the elimination of platform subsections. Note that this will require altering the Subsection item letters in the revised document. For purposes of this proposal, however, the existing letters have been retained.

Proposed Changes: Platform Subsection II-A-1, Paragraphs n-s

n. Violence against women is increasing nationwide. We must address the root cause of all violence even as we specifically address violence to women. We support stronger legislation, programs and enforcement. We also call for new dialog and re-thinking that can lead to better language, ideas and solutions. We urge that the term “domestic violence” be replaced by the term “violence,” because “domestic violence” is not perceived as real violence, which leads to it not being treated legally and practically for the violence that it is. We urge that the term “sex work” not be used in relation to prostitution. With the increasing conflation of trafficking (the violent and illegal trafficking in women and girls for forced sex) with prostitution, it is impossible to know which is which, and what violence the term “sex work” is masking. No source in existence knows which forms of prostitution comprise forced sex and which comprise free will or choice prostitution. Forced sex is rape, and it is a crime. An increasing number of experts think the percentage of choice prostitution is very small, leaving the larger number of women exposed to serious and often fatal violence. Much of what is commonly called prostitution is actually sex trafficking by definition. The Green Party calls for a safer world for women and girls.

o. The Green Party has zero tolerance for the illegal international trafficking in humans. Of the millions of humans trafficked worldwide, the large majority are women and children who are bought and sold as slaves. They are kept captive and in debt-bondage that can never be paid off. Most are sold over and over again for forced sex prostitution. Forced sex is rape and a serious crime. Some Trafficked slaves are forced to labor in agriculture, sweat shops, hotels, restaurants, domestic service, sexual service, and other forms of servitude. According to Human Rights Watch, in all cases coercive tactics — including deception, fraud, intimidation, isolation, threat and use of physical force, or debt bondage — are used to control women. Estimates of human trafficking in the U.S. vary greatly from 18,000 to 50,000 to over 100,000 with a worldwide estimate of 12.5 million, mostly women and children.

p. The Green Party calls for new U.S. legislation relating to prostitution modeled on the Swedish law passed in 1999, now adopted by other countries and being considered by more, that has drastically reduced human trafficking and prostitution in Sweden. That law criminalizes the purchase of services from prostitutes, pimps and brothel keepers instead of criminalizing the prostitutes. The Green Party urges the U.S. to open dialogs and visit with Sweden as a step toward introducing legislation in the U.S. Congress to address the exploitation, violence and harm to women through prostitution.

q. The Green Party supports all efforts to eradicate this extreme abuse of human rights, including but not limited to enforcement of existing laws and passage of tough new ones, punishing traffickers, aiding victims, increasing public awareness, reforming immigration laws, supporting existing programs and creating new ones.

r. We support the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report as an important document to begin to combat this abuse. We support and urge enforcement of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (HR 3244) signed into law on October 28, 2000. This Act authorizes funding for the prevention of trade in human beings and for protecting victims. It gives the State Department a historic opportunity to create an office with the exclusive responsibility of ending traffic in humans and protecting the victims of this worldwide trade. We urge committed political support to achieve the cooperation of all different levels of government.

s. The Green Party urges a more thorough dialog and understanding of violence against women and girls, including from prostitution violence currently characterized as “domestic” and from trafficking. , that causes health and injury damage that seriously degrades their lives, even to death or premature death including from HIV, syphilis and many other diseases, as well as causing severe economic hardships. We recognize and oppose the patriarchal structures of oppression that inflict economic hardship, injury and other health issues, and even death upon women worldwide and in the United States, and we call for legislative action in the states and at the federal level to combat violence against women. We call for solutions to this enormous problem that can result in awareness and the introduction of legislation in the U.S. Congress to address it.

Proposed Addition: Platform Subsection II-H-3, Paragraph J

j. The Green Party calls for the decriminalization of voluntary sex work under state laws in the United States. Criminalization, including “Nordic model” laws that penalize purchasers rather than purveyors, force the sex industry underground, enabling the exploitation of sex workers by clients, traffickers, and law enforcement alike. Decriminalization is the model recommended by Amnesty International and a wide range of sex worker advocacy groups, and in New Zealand (where decriminalization was enacted in 2003) has led to increased health and safety among sex workers and their clients. It is the position of the Green Party that sex work should be treated under existing labor laws, including the right of sex workers to unionize.

Appendix II: Further Reading

Long Form Decriminalization Papers

Amnesty International Policy on State Obligations to Respect, Protect, and Fulfil the Human Rights of Sex Workers

Sex Work and the Law: The Case for Decriminalization (World AIDS Campaign)

Criticism of the Green Party’s Anti-Sex Work Stance

The Green Party’s Troubling Stance on Sex Work

The Green Party’s Problem with Sex Workers, and Why It Needs to Matter

Why Sex Workers Shouldn’t Vote Green

The Green Party Is Failing Sex Workers

Criticisms of the “Nordic Model” of Criminalization

Myths, Truths & Why We Oppose the Nordic Model (Sex Workers Outreach Project)

What the Swedish Model Gets Wrong About Prostitution

The Paternalistic Fallacy of the “Nordic Model” of Prostitution

END PROPOSAL

34 thoughts on “De-Criminalization of Sex Work”

  1. Excellent improvement. I was alarmed to come across the “Nordic Model” when perusing the platform. Criminalizing consenting behavior between adults is a violation of basic liberties and leads to great harm.

    In reality, sex work provides an important social safety valve and deserves not only decriminalization but more respect than it gets. It should be regulated for public health purposes, and ideally training would be available to those, of any sex, who freely choose to go into it.

  2. The Platform Committee as improperly retitled this proposal to read “Criminalization of Sex Work,” which makes it sound as if the intent of the amendment is to criminalize sex work. The opposite is the case. The PlatCom should please retitled this amendment “Decriminalization of Sex Work.”

    Thank you.

    Michael Trudeau
    Delegate
    North Carolina GP

  3. “p. The Green Party urges a more thorough dialog and understanding of violence against women and girls, including from violence currently characterized as “domestic” and from trafficking.”

    This is not grammatically correct. “From” appears twice but has no verb attached. Would the meaning be the same if these two words were removed? What exactly is meant here? Is there a word missing?

    1. That seems like an easy fix, and one I think everyone would be comfortable with.

      I’d be happy to introduce that one as a proposed friendly amendment to the co-sponsors, and I don’t imagine anyone will have concerns.

  4. The first problem arises from the titling of the amendment. The amendment itself is an amendment of an existing section of Chapter II. Social Justice, Section A. Civil Right and Equal Rights. Since in the formatting of a Platform amendment we are used to having an amendment named by the proponent, we have little idea of where to find who titled the amendment. Since the amendment as titled on this site incorrectly, whoever made the error might take the liberty of correcting it.
    The advantage of the work done by the proponent focusing on a subject rather than on the current structure is that it should remove or alter text through out the Platform wherever statements occur that contradict the intention; Decriminalization of Sex Workers.

    Another problem may arise from the differences in indication of Paragraphs. Thus anyone attempting solutions is stymied by the inconsistencies in self presentation in the GPUS Platform on its website.
    Thus, locating references by lower case letters and numbers is made impossible even when using an officially approved document. E.g. the reference to II.A.1.s turns out to be the second paragraph of a subsection titled simply; Violence and Oppression.

  5. I apologize for sending this commentary to the NC list instead of this site. Here it is, in response to something Elie Yarden said.

    Elie,

    To address your comment, “You speak of treating human beings as commodities. What is a commodity?
    It is not wholly necessary to go to Marx to understand the distinction between
    “labor” and “work” as technical terms involved with relations of production.
    A sex-worker in the market is a person offering their labor at the going price.
    Not themselves.”

    In prostitution the sale of access to one’s body is not the same as laboring.

    Please see this portion of the article I’ve referenced in another email, by Finn Mackay, from Feminist Current, “Arguing Against the Industry of Prostitution: Beyond the abolitionist vs sex work binary”:
    http://www.feministcurrent.com/2013/06/24/arguing-against-the-industry-of-prostitution-beyond-the-abolitionist-versus-sex-worker-binary/

    What is wrong with defining prostitution as work like any other?

    Abolitionist feminists view the industry of prostitution as a cause and consequence of inequality, not as work like any other[9]. There is of course, the familiar anti-capitalist argument that all of us are coerced to work, regardless of what job we are in. This argument asks what choice or consent any of us can really have or give, in a world blighted by inequality, by sexism, racism and homophobia. Ours is a world scarred by the masculinisation of wealth and power, where all too often women and children pay the highest price. In such a world there is certainly a question over the extent of our agency, when the vast majority of us have to work for a living at best and survival at worst, whether we like it or not.

    Some sex industry lobby groups that subscribe to this valid anti-capitalist stance then use this argument to classify prostitution therefore as work like any other. They argue that all workers sell their labour, whether they are journalists, waiters, academics or prostitutes. To argue in this way removes any gendered analysis from debate about prostitution; which is wrong, because prostitution is markedly gendered. The vast majority of those in prostitution are women, and the vast majority of punters are men. This, and other signs of the symptoms of structural inequalities, cannot be overlooked.

    What is the difference between selling one’s labour to earn money or being in prostitution to earn money?

    It is worth exploring further this common refrain that prostitution is work like any other. Feminist arguments against the industry of prostitution hold that there is a difference between selling one’s labour, and selling access to one’s body. Survivors of prostitution often say the same[10]. A builder or plumber labours with his or her body, she sells her labour which is a product of her physicality, including her mind. A journalist or academic labours with their body too, thinking, writing, delivering lectures, travelling to conferences etc. But this is not the same as selling access to one’s body. Goods are produced by labourers through the labouring of their body – their body is not the good itself. Some would then point to dancers, or artists who use their own bodies in their art. But the same argument can apply, as dancers produce dance, and artists produce art with their bodies – their body is not the good in itself.

    The boundaries of the body are enshrined in law, our bodily integrity is universally understood; everywhere but in debates about prostitution it seems. Most of us would understand that there is a difference between being punched in the face and being raped. Our law treats these two violent assaults differently, because the latter is understood to have breached bodily integrity, it is a violation of bodily boundaries. This is partly why labouring with one’s body and making one’s body into a good itself, are two very different things. To put it bluntly, being a builder does not involve making one’s body sexually available to one’s employers; the same is true of journalists, academics, waiters etc.

    Are Feminists saying that people in prostitution don’t work?

    No. Feminists are not saying that earning a living through prostitution does not involve labour of the body and mind, it certainly does. It is probably one of the most difficult ways to earn a living – and many people struggle to even earn a living in this ‘industry’, many experience it as merely survival[11]. But debate around prostitution cannot and should not be shut down by turning to the refrain that all work is like prostitution – because it patently is not; and the great majority of people understand this. I remember one survivor summarising this argument well, when she was asked if prostitution wasn’t just a job like any other that nobody particularly likes but does for the money, as with cleaning. She replied that perhaps prostitution was a little like cleaning – if all cleaners were forced to do their cleaning work with only their tongues[12].

    LuAnne Kozma

    Michigan delegate

  6. I would like to make the argument that from prostitution (consensual sex for money) to escorting to marriage, these relationships are formed materially in relation to current social and economic structures: capitalism, compulsory monogamy and patriarchy.

    Marriage, for example, is a financial and sexual arrangement. When based on love/convenience and consensual by the two individuals being married, marriage is a commitment to a life long monogamous relationship with one person (in the traditional sense.) Ideally, the two people match on an emotional, sexual and intellectual level. Though this is not always the case, which is why we see many people seeking passion/sex outside of their marriage. Likely the two married people also align on a socioeconomic level, as one’s lived experiences prior to their engagement would have made it more likely for them to meet.

    We see that divorce is ever growing and people are waiting longer and longer to marry. Now, that’s not to say that this is a bad thing, but it is a real challenge on the idea of monogamy. (We could argue that people were having just as many extra-marital affairs before, but access to divorce or economic independence for women was harder to come by, and therefore, made divorce a risky financial decision.)

    I would argue that marriage is another form of commodified love, just as prostitution and escorting…it doesn’t take too many leaps to go from marriage to an “arrangement,” if you will. There are financial and sexual commitments that all parties make. In a cis-heterosexual marriages, usually the man makes more money and the woman preforms more emotional and reproductive labor (cleaning around the house, etc.). This is also changing. Women are beginning to make more than men…hence the average age of getting married is going up, divorces are higher and there are more unmarried people. (There are likely other factors here, I don’t have sources on hand…)

    How to we compare marriage to Sugar Daddy/sugar baby arrangements, escorting services and prostitution? (in using these terms I am in no way talking about trafficking, I am referring to consensual companionship and/or sex for money.) There is certainly a greater commitment involved with marriage, but at the root, both are agreements between two (or more, discounting marriage) consenting individuals.

    It seems that, when looking at these cases, the woman has the most power when the exchange is pure and simple: sex alone. I could be wrong, but when we strip away the emotional elements, she is able to “sell” or “provide” a service to her clients. But what about those who are looking for more…

    Escorting comes with an emotional element, yet sex is still seen as a guaranteed part of the agreement. The jump from prostitution (consensual sex for money) to escorting also seems to have correlations with one’s education, socioeconomic class, race, health and appearance. However, escorting is just as illegal as prostitution (consensual sex for money).

    Looking at these different forms of arrangements, how does this, and the legality ascribed to them, reflect on how our society feels about consent? We are now living in the #MeToo era where men are loosing their jobs, acting gigs, etc. because of sexual misconduct. However, we are just at the tip of the iceberg of this issue. From personal experience, if I am in public for a day I experience some form of sexual harassment 3-6 times a day (if I’m paying attention and taking note…it’s so normalized that I hardly notice the more subtle forms.)

    How do we move from sex being an aim in itself…seeking desired titillations of the flesh – men approaching women, any woman, for who she is in the particular doesn’t matter as much as the possible sexual satisfaction he can gain through her…from prostitution to marriage, this is a factor that is involved. Within marriage it is less likely, but attraction in some form or another at the onset of the relationship almost always come into play, and if the sexual satisfaction isn’t there, either or both parties may look elsewhere without letting their spouse know.

    It’s only been since 1993(?) that marital rape has been made illegal. And obviously legality is only one small part of the equation, for how someone is able to seek protection and support when them are harmed is another story.

    Society at large doesn’t necessarily fight against the lack on consent in relationships, but will fight against consensual relationships when money is exchanged. Why is this?

    **Please note that when I use “men” and “women,” I am referring to cis-gendered heterosexual people. I myself am not queer or well educated on queer politics, so am unable to respond from a gender-queer perspective.*

  7. Prostitution is in fact inherently paedophilic: it is based on the paternalistic eroticisation of dominance and submission. To eroticise the submission and infantilization of women is, by extension, to sexualise children. This is why so many women enter prostitution at such a young age, and why, in 2010, the police identified at least thirteen girls between twelve and fifteen years old being prostituted in downtown Auckland – in the course of only six weeks, on one main street. It is why in 2017, an Auckland couple were charged with child sex trafficking; and why researcher Natalie Thorburn has exposed widespread child prostitution in New Zealand. This is the nature of demand, and the nature of the industry. Yet NZPC and sympathisers continue to undermine these important connections, though they do so only by remaining wilfully blind to a mountain of testimony and to the lives of women like Ngatai Manning, and Jade.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1803/S00035/we-need-to-change-our-laws-on-prostitution.htm

    While the Ohio Green Party agrees with the stated goals of the propose changes to our national Party’s platform on prostitution and sex workers, we do not believe that the proposed changes will lead to a better outcome for sex workers.

    Simple decriminalization will simply lead to the capitalist exploitation of sex workers, pitting small, independent prostitutes against big business. We have seen something similar here in Ohio with the “decriminalization” of marijuana. Small, independent growers lobbied for years for decriminalization with the Ohio Green Party’s full support. They believed that what would happen is that they would simply take their illegal businesses growing and selling pot and turn them into legal businesses. Instead, big business, through control of our corrupt legislators, created legal “pot cartels,” giving the exclusive right to grow pot to a few, politically connected corporations, and actually increasing the penalties on small, independent growers and distributors.

    Right now, in many parts of the world, prostitution is legal and much of it is controlled by multi-national corporations like Marriot and Sudexo. Simply relying on existing labor law in the US to protect sex workers, as this proposal states, would guarantee their exploitation. Our hotel industry already exploits many of its workers, often paying subminium wage without benefits. If all we do is legalize prostitution, we would be setting up a situation where sex workers would be paid minimum wage, without medical or vacation benefits, and have no control over their schedules or choice of clients.

    In 2016, the national Green Party adopted a platform position of being “anti-capitalist.” This proposal simply feeds sex workers into the maw of capitalism. New proposals and positions should not conflict with existing ones. If we are to legalize prostitution, let us advocate legalization in a form that actualy folllows a model that does not conflict with our ten Key Values.

    One of those values is Locally Based Economics. Another is Feminism. If we legalize sex work, it should be in a way that follows these values. The Illinois model would allow multi-national corporations to exploit sex workers. Instead, we should promote a model where sex work remains a local, independent business. This could be done by retaining the current platform language advocating the Swedish model, making the exploitation of sex workers illegal while legalizing sex work itself. The argument made in the proposal that this has led to the prosecution of groups of sex workers living together can be solved by specifically encouraging sex workers to form local, employee-owned cooperatives.

    The arguments made in support of the Illinois Green Party’s proposal are persuasive, but many are suspect. The deliberate confusion of the “Swedish model” with the “Nordic Model” raises one red flag. The often heard, “You’ll never be a real party unless…” argument raises another.

    If we are to be a Party which actually governs in America, and it’s clear that we must, if America is to be saved from collapse, we must learn to carefully weigh the effects of our actions. The effects of this proposed change would be far reaching, and over all, negative.

    It must also be acknowledged that sex work is a uniquely dirty, dangerous, and demanding profession that does have some negative effects on our society. Sex workers face the hazards of disease, unwanted pregnancy, and physical trauma in the daily course of their business. Seeing sex work promoted and expanded through the use of advertising is not a desirable outcome. Seeing sex work franchises at job fairs, recruiting workers alongside legal firms or plumbing businesses would not be a good thing. Many marriages and long term relationships have been broken up because one partner hires sex workers. To think this would stop once sex work is legal is unrealistic. We can advocate for the legalization of sex work, and still oppose its promotion and expansion.

    It is also unrealistic to believe that this change in our platform will win us significant numbers of votes. Hypocritical as it may be, main stream America is firmly opposed to legalizing prostitution. We are not afraid to take positions opposed to the mainstream, as we did with the legalization of gay marriage, on social justice grounds. However, we must do so with the full realization and acceptance that this will cost us votes until societal attitudes change, not by fooling ourselves into thinking this will increase our Party’s popularity.

    The Ohio Green Party agrees that there needs to be changes in this section of the platform, but those changes need to be more carefully considered and done with more input from sex workers themselves, in a way that doesn’t conflict with our other Values

    1. Hi Philena. Thanks for your comment. I have to disagree with connecting pedophelia and sex work. Pedophiles are adults who are sexual attracted exclusively to children. There is no research evidence that sex workers are pedophiles in any larger numbers than any other part of the population. There are sex workers of all sexual orientations and gender identities and the range of fantasies of their clients is equally diverse. Those who seek the services of sex workers are as diverse a group as the persons who do sex work. Warmly, Stuart Chen-Hayes, PA delegate

      1. She did not say that those who are in prostitution are pedophiles or are into pedophilia.

        She said: “Prostitution is in fact inherently paedophilic: it is based on the paternalistic eroticisation of dominance and submission. To eroticise the submission and infantilization of women is, by extension, to sexualise children. This is why so many women enter prostitution at such a young age.”

        1. In my view, we should not be taking a position on “the paternalistic eroticisation of dominance and submission”.

          That is a distraction from what this is actually about: the decriminalization and regulation of sex work.

          The nature of why someone might want to seek out a sex worker, is irrelevant to whether or not the act itself should be legalized. Internal motives have very little to do with the act itself.

          Think of it like this: Person A might want to use a drug as a painkiller. Person B might want to use it to escape their situation. The reason they want to use the substance, should not, as per our platform, have any impact on whether or not the drug (or all drugs) should be decriminalized.

  8. I’m a new delegate and new member of the platform committee from PA and a professor of counselor education at CUNY Lehman College in the Bronx and a former sexuality counselor. I am gay and White; my family is mixed-race, dual-national, multilingual and three of us are queer. I have worked in both USA and Taiwan on sexuality/gender issues and am also aware of Taiwan’s history of at one time legalizing sex work and then becoming more repressive toward sex workers. I am thrilled to see GPUS make these much-needed changes to update our position on affirming sex workers and challenging trafficking. I have worked closely with a number of sex workers affiliated with RedUmbrella in NYC and others of diverse ethnic, racial, gender identity/expression, social class, religious, and sexual orientation identities). I would encourage folks to use the term interpersonal violence rather than the dated domestic violence. I would encourage use of violence against women/girls and LGBTIQA persons throughout to show connections between sexism, heterosexism and genderism/attacks on trans and nonbinary persons. Many sex workers are trans/nonbinary/queer as they have few other options to make a living in a classist/racist/oppressive world. The more we can add inclusive language here, the more powerful the plank will be and the more folks will be attracted to Green Party as an alternative to the corporatist duopoly parties. I welcome your feedback on my feedback.

  9. Alison,
    I’d like to comment on your definition of prostitution as “consensual sex for money.” The sex for money part is partly right (it’s also for goods instead of money), but the consensual part is not correct.

    The issue of consent is an ethical consideration that most Green Party discussants are avoiding.

    This is a great article in the AMA’s Journal of Ethics, “Should U.S. Physicians Support the Decriminalization of Commercial Sex?”
    http://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/2017/01/sect1-1701.html

    I strongly recommend everyone read it. It’s not long or hard to understand.
    Some excerpts:

    Fundamental Ethical Problems in Commercial Sex Policy Decision Making
    Commercial sex policy decision making must address a number of ethical problems. Here, we discuss three: understanding of consent, financial inducements, and vulnerability.

    Defining sexual consent in commercial contexts. One pressing problem is that there are no trustworthy estimates of the percentage of sellers who sell sex willingly in the US or any nation. A seller may be doing so with (a) consent; (b) financially induced consent; (c) nonconsent because of force, fraud, or coercion by a third party (i.e., being trafficked); or (d) as a minor child, which in the US is automatically considered trafficking victimization [25]. There are numerous reasons why it’s virtually impossible to estimate the percentage of sellers who fall into each of these categories, a barrier that limits evidence-based decision making [26-28]. Moreover, the assumption that sellers can be classified under one of these four categories is predicated on the idea that a person either consents or does not consent to being a seller. A more nuanced perspective on the concept of consent as it applies to commercial sex is that people might consent to a particular paid sexual encounter but not consent to specific sex acts that are forced upon them during that encounter. Whether people who engage sexually should be regarded as consenting or nonconsenting is important because opinions about decriminalization assume that most paid sexual encounters are entirely consensual from start to finish.

    Understanding financial inducements. Amnesty International considers people “who live on the outskirts of society who are forced into sex work” to be consenting sellers because “it may be their only way to earn a living” [29]. The idea that financial inducements are inherently coercive, and thus exploitative, has been a central consideration in the debate about whether people should be permitted to sell their own organs [30]. Commercial sex has been referred to as “renting an organ” [31], which raises an ethical question: For those living in poverty, are financial inducements to permit someone to have sexual access to their body inherently coercive, given that the sexual contact would be unwanted in the absence of payment and that they will receive no other benefit from the transaction? According to Amnesty International, poverty does not necessarily undermine a person’s capacity to consent, which is a position at odds with the Belmont Report, which states that undue influence “occurs through an offer of an excessive, unwanted, inappropriate or improper reward or other overture in order to obtain compliance” [32].

    Vulnerability. A related ethical problem is that there has been no consideration of the capacity of people who are cognitively or psychiatrically impaired, or intoxicated, to consent to paid sex. In medicine, it is accepted that there is heterogeneity in the capacity of people with psychiatric and cognitive disorders to consent to medical treatment or research [33, 34], and special protections are put in place to safeguard them. People with psychiatric and cognitive disorders also sell sex [35] and might even be overrepresented among sellers [36]. Some sellers also drink and use drugs and therefore might be impaired when negotiating paid sexual encounters. In fact, one strategy that traffickers use to subdue their captives is to force alcohol and other drugs on them [37]. Many US states now recognize that people’s sexual decision making can be impaired due to intoxication and that sex with a person too intoxicated to consent constitutes rape [38, 39]. Ethicists are needed, then, to help explore the question of whether it is possible for intoxicated people, or people with severe psychiatric and cognitive disorders, to consent to sell sex.

    1. LuAnne,

      The AMA article has this as it’s conclusion:

      Although paternalistic approaches in matters of public health are always controversial, it has been argued that “too little state intervention in the cause of improving population health can violate individuals’ rights, just as too much can” [70]. On the question of decriminalizing the form of commercial sex known as prostitution in the US, the potential harms to individuals and the public must be considered as carefully as the benefits of the expansion of individuals’ rights. The commercial sex criminalization and legalization models seem largely inconsistent with the principles of beneficence, nonmaleficence, and autonomy, because these policies disempower and burden sellers. Moreover, support for decriminalization could be inconsistent with the principle of nonmaleficence if it encourages trafficking and puts vulnerable people at increased risk for harm. The Nordic model, though imperfect, offers the advantage of eliminating punishments for sellers while potentially preventing the expansion of the commercial sex market and limiting the number of people trafficked. If new commercial sex policies of any type are enacted in US states, rigorous evaluation of their impact will be critically important and should be the basis for future decision making.

  10. I stand in support of this set of amendments to the GPUS Platform. Currently, the Green Party of of New Jersey, a co-sponsor, is drafting our own platform based on the GPUS template. Therefore, we would like to incorporate these changes when we approve our platform in April 2018. Please keep us informed of any changes or corrections. Thank you.

  11. There seems to be little doubt that sex-work is a form of labor. It may even seem a highly romanticized one. It is inevitably a women’s issue. And this may have something to do with the status established by civil law founded on the proper distribution of women — however high their class status — and cruel regulation of their behavior. Roman law, the basis of western European law is derived from patriarchy.

    I am aware that proposal is indifferent to gender, and refers equally to male sex-work but this does not take into account the oppression felt by women. Perhaps a restriction that prohibited procurement by men would help.

    It may also be the case that many people benefit from the availability of treatment by sex-workers in ways that have not been studied,

    In no case should the solicitation of pay for sexual entertainment be treated as an opportunity for further incarceration of subaltern groups.

    Elie Yarden
    Platform Committee

  12. I request an amendment clarifying that we oppose FOSTA-SESTA. Even something as simple as:

    Furthermore, the party supports the repeal of FOTSA-SESTA.

  13. I think that the proposed changes to sections n through s should be acceptable to most of us. They are at worst innocuous, and they do include improvements in language etc. There are a couple of minor points I’d want to change but they aren’t very important.

    The controversy is about things that are said in the explanations, and to some extent in section j.

    The party is not fully agreed that prostitution is merely like other work and should be encouraged. Some of us think there is nothing at all wrong with it, and accomplished prostitutes should be wealthy and respected citizens, on a par with dentists and opticians.

    Some of us think that prostitution is bad for society and should be discouraged, that we should look for effective ways to keep it from happening.

    Unless support for one of these positions heavily outnumbers support for the other, the Green Party should take no stand for one or the other. The existing language takes a stand that prostitution should be discouraged, and it’s right to remove that. But we should be cautious about taking the opposite stand.

    I think we are agreed that prostitutes should not be punished. If they are independent business-people doing the work they want, they should not be punished. If they are innocent victims they should not be punished. So we have that consensus.

    I know we are agreed that no one should be forced into prostitution by threats or violence etc. More consensus.

    I suspect we are agreed that corporations should not control big industries where prostitutes are the product for rent.

    So I propose an alternate form for section j, that sounds less like advocacy in favor of prostitution, and which favors decentralization, local economy, etc. Here is a third draft:

    j. The Green Party calls for the decriminalization of sex work under state and federal laws in the United States. Criminalization forces the sex industry underground, enabling the exploitation of sex workers by clients, traffickers, and law enforcement alike. Decriminalization is the model recommended by Amnesty International, and in New Zealand (where decriminalization was enacted in 2003) it has led to increased health and safety among sex workers and their clients.

    It is the position of the Green Party that no one should be forced into sex work to satisfy their basic needs for food, shelter, etc. Our economic policies are consistent with preventing that.

    It is the position of the Green Party that limited-liability corporations should not be allowed to buy or sell sexual services.

  14. I largely agree with this amendment, except the compulsion to eliminate “prostitution” in our language.

    Prostitution is defined as “the business or practice of engaging in sexual activity in exchange for payment.”

    Instead of shying away from the term as a taboo, we should challenge the notion that it is one at all. As is stated in the amendment, it should be a perfectly valid position to hold, and the workers should be treated well, just like the ideal of any other field.

  15. Trying to garner support for shifting purposes by using the voting list instead of the platform amendment (six-week) discussion site ends up as defeating the purposes of amending the Platform of the GPUS. I am therefore copying my most recent observations from last night. Quoting; “It is somewhat unfortunate that a proposal to cease the criminalization and police harrasment of sex-workers, should so stigmatize their choice of profession as to say that no third party may profit from thie labor. But how is this to be prevented. It seems to me, given the health benefits of sexual gratification, that services providing home care for the elderly would make reasonable employers. certainly not more exploitative than they are already. But certainly a spouse, children, or an aging parent might profit [benefit] from the earnings of a devoted sex-worker. ”
    “As for the generality of private enterprise, most cities will have regulations that specify the
    appropriate conditions and licensing requirements for all sorts of businesses. Thus, hours of operation, hygiene, licensing, if any, and other applicable regulations will vary according to local and
    state jurisdictions.”
    “Generally, platform proposals that overreach, trying to justify too much, are likely to be found lacking, and ideologically flawed.”

    I remain unclear about just what is ready to be sent to the SC, even though I agree that it might be a good idea to get this out of the way as quickly as possible

  16. This is excellent and I whole-heartedly support it, especially in light of recent federal laws making sex work more criminalized and dangerous.

  17. I support legalizing prostitution. It’s the world’s oldest profession, right? Why do we constantly condemn it?!

  18. wonderful post, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector do not notice this. You must continue your writing. I’m sure, you’ve a great readers’ base already!

  19. No person selling their own sexual services, which may include nothing other than loving caresses, has committed an action worthy of police or governmental attention, hostile interference, or in general. the singling out of women and children for protection. Human sexual behavior is an individual or social affair, and need not conform to established regulation. The commercialization and bureaucratization of health care is far more dangerous to general well-being than the activity of people who need or want payment for sex, or gratify the need of their queer clients.

  20. Fundamentally this is a wedge issue. It could have been designed to hurt us.

    Is it most important to work to prevent people from being forced into prostitution? Both through violence and by economic necessity?

    Or is it most important to help women who want to do sex work?

    I look at the Ten Key Values.

    Respect for Diversity tells me not to oppose prostitution unless it is bad for society in the long run. We should let people do whatever they want unless there’s good reason otherwise. (We should let everybody do whatever they want with their own nuclear reactors unless we have reason to think they might have damaging accidents….)

    Future Focus and Ecological Wisdom say to pay attention to the big picture and find out whether there are bad consequences. But they don’t tell us whether there are bad consequences.

    Decentralization and Grassroots Democracy say to let local governments decide unless we have good reason for central government to decide.

    Decentralization and Community-based Economics say to keep big business out of it.

    That’s as far as I get.

    So I say, when Greens are running the government, we should attempt the following policies:

    1. Make it illegal on the national level for corporations to hire sex workers or sell sex work. (And if corporations are not involved there is no need for sex workers’ unions.) Keep it to small business and co-ops.

    2. On a national level, coordinate efforts to oppose trafficking. Since traffickers can be highly mobile, we need to track them wherever they go.

    3. On a national level, work to provide for everyone’s basic needs so that no one will be forced into sex work by economic necessity.

    4. Repeal all national laws that criminalize sex work.

    5. Allow local communities to regulate or criminalize sex work if they democratically choose to do so.

    6. Study the effects of voluntary entirely-legal sex work in the places that choose to have it. Over a period of years or decades, try to determine what effect it has on society so that we can eventually decide whether it should be encouraged or discouraged.

    About the current amendment — to me it looks better than the old version because the old way has too much emphasis on disapproval for prostitution when we are not agreed that we should oppose it. The new version looks to me like it has a little too much approval for prostitution when we are not agreed that we should approve of it. Particularly in the supporting language. But it doesn’t go nearly as far in that direction as the old version goes the other way.

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