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New Case Seeks to Legalize Prostitution in California
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A new lawsuit seeks to decriminalize prostitution in California.

Summary: An advocacy group has filed a lawsuit in California that would decriminalize prostitution in the state.

According to ABC News, a lawsuit filed last month will attempt to decriminalize prostitution in the state of California. The lawsuit argues that the criminalization of prostitution infringes on citizens’ constitutional rights to equal protection under the law, as well as free speech. According to the suit, criminally penalizing sex workers deprives them of their right to participate in a private, consensual activity.


An Illinois attorney lost her license when it was discovered she engaged in prostitution.

The lawsuit reads, “The rights of adults to engage in consensual, private activity (even for compensation) is a fundamental liberty interest.” In neighboring Nevada, where prostitution is legal in certain counties, the state is able to tax the industry and conduct health testing of sex workers, according to

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Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education and Research Project, an advocacy group that is based in San Francisco, filed the lawsuit. Three other women also joined the suit, arguing that they wish to work as prostitutes in California. A disabled man who would like to legally pay for sex is also named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

In 2013, a former federal prosecutor was arrested for drug trafficking, prostitution, and murder.

Last year, the group raised $30,000 to hire an attorney to file the suit. The group is seeking another $30,000 to pay for the lawsuit as it progresses.

A Zumba instructor who worked in a conservative town in Maine was accused of prostitution in 2012.

Gill Sperlein is the attorney for the plaintiffs. He said that legalizing the world’s oldest profession will also increase safety for sex workers. He explained, “Social science clearly demonstrates that the criminalization of prostitution puts sex workers at risk of abuse because it discourages them from reaching out to law enforcement.”



Prostitution has been illegal in California since 1961.

Source: ABC News

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