D.C. Bill to Decriminalize Prostitution Put on Hold After Lengthy Hearing Where Survivors of Sex Trade Expressed Their Opposition

A bill aimed at legalizing prostitution in the District of Columbia will not move forward, following a lengthy hearing that included expressed opposition from survivors of the sex trade.

Known as the “Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019,” the bill would have removed various criminal penalties from the so-called sex work industry, notably prostitution.

However, The Washington Post reported Sunday that the D.C. Council has opted to bury the bill for the time being, in response to opinions expressed at a lengthy hearing and thousands of emails sent to lawmakers.

Council member David Grosso, who wrote the legislation reportedly with assistance from local prostitutes, explained that he “always knew this would be an uphill battle.”

“I think it could happen in the future,” said Grosso, as reported by Washington Post. “I think we should bring it to the ballot box.”

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, which had campaigned against the proposed legislation, celebrated the decision of the Council to not move the bill forward.

“DC should shrink the sex trade not legitimize it,” stated NCOSE President Patrick Trueman in an email sent out to supporters on Monday.

“Full decriminalization would endanger D.C.’s most vulnerable citizens while turning the city into a magnet for sex tourism and sex trafficking.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski