Could Prostitution Be Next to Be Decriminalized?
A demonstrator marched in front of a rally outside City Hall in Manhattan by those opposed to the decriminalization of prostitution.
ALBANY — Marijuana has gone mainstream, casino gambling is everywhere and sports wagering is spreading. Could prostitution be next?
Lawmakers across the country are beginning to reconsider how to handle prostitution, as calls for decriminalization are slowly gaining momentum.
Decriminalization bills have been introduced in Maine and Massachusetts; a similar bill is expected to be introduced to the City Council in Washington D.C. in June; and lawmakers in Rhode Island held hearings in April on a proposal to study the impact of decriminalizing prostitution.
New York may be next: Some Democratic lawmakers are about to propose a comprehensive decriminalization bill that would eliminate penalties for both women and men engaged in prostitution, as well as the johns whom they service.
“This is about the oldest profession, and understanding that we haven’t been able to deter or end it, in millennia,” said Senator Jessica Ramos, a Democrat from Queens who is one of the plan’s backers. “So I think it’s time to confront reality.”
The New York legislation appears unlikely to pass in the coming months, but the idea of