Back in June, Councilman Grosso re-presented a bill that would decriminalize prostitution. It’s called the Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019.
A Reddit user who recently discovered the bill has a lot of question about who it protects, who in government supports it and what the unintended side-effects might be.
From early 2017 to August of this year, there have been 166 prostitution-related arrests by D.C. police. Of those, 144 were for sexual solicitation and three were for sex trafficking of children.
It’s a highly polarizing topic so feel free to send us your thoughts using the #TheQandA. While you’re doing that let’s get back to answering our Reddit user’s questions.
Chapter one: Question 1
Our #TheQandA team met up with D.C. Councilman At Large, David Grosso, who sponsored the bill.
Chapter two: Answer 1
"We have introduced legislation that will decriminalized consensual sex between two adults for an exchange of money," Grosso told our team. "There is nothing in the bill that permit trafficking or coercion of any sort." The councilman went on to explain that "traditionally, pimping is somebody forcing somebody else to engage in sex work and that is still going to be remain very illegal in the District of Columbia."
So the answer is: No. Pimping would not be decriminalized under the proposed bill.
Chapter three: Question 2
With sex work and brothels legalized in Nevada, will D.C. be next?
Chapter four: Answer 2
Councilman Grosso doesn’t believe that “all of a sudden, people are going to be able to set up a brothel or make some big red light district in the District of Columbia." Instead, Grosso told our team that "these transactions will go back to how they were when prostitution sites like backdoor.com were legal. Sex workers would bring clients to their homes or hotel rooms." He believes that would be better and safer for the sex worker.
Chapter five: Question 3
Getting tax dollar revenue from marijuana made it very appealing in Colorado. Will sex work follow suit?
Chapter six: Answer
"No -- that’s not where we’re going, the Councilman clarified. "That’s not where the sex worker community wants to go. They have said that very clearly. What they want to do is be left alone to be able to engage in this profession without being afraid that they’re going to be arrested for it."