Does DC sex worker decriminalization proposal also make pimping legal?
A Reddit user who recently discovered the Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019 questions who the bill would truly protect if passed.
Author: Ariane Datil
Published: 8:22 PM EDT October 4, 2019
Updated: 8:22 PM EDT October 4, 2019
Q-AND-A 6 Articles

WASHINGTON — 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.

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Does DC sex worker decriminalization proposal also make pimping legal?

Q-AND-A
Chapter 1

Question 1

Would the sex worker decriminalization act also decriminalize pimping?

Our #TheQandA team met up with D.C. Councilman At Large, David Grosso, who sponsored the bill. 

Chapter 2

Answer 1

No, pimping would not be decriminalized under the proposed bill.

"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. 

RELATED: DC sex workers say decriminalization bill will keep them safe. A sex trafficking survivor says it could endanger children

RELATED: Advocates introduce bill aiming to decriminalize sex work in DC

Chapter 3

Question 2

Would it be legal to use residential homes as brothels?Subtitle here

With sex work and brothels legalized in Nevada, will D.C. be next? 

Chapter 4

Answer 2

That is not the goal of the bill.

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 5

Question 3

Will DC tax sex work?

Getting tax dollar revenue from marijuana made it very appealing in Colorado. Will sex work follow suit? 

Chapter 6

Answer

No, sex work will not be taxed in DC

"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."

 

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