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Sex workers win appeal to allow a legal case to proceed that challenges California's ban of prostitution

Link Here 23rd October 2017
California state sealA federal appeals court has opened the door to legalising prostitution in California. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco recently allowed a legal challenge to the statewide ban on prostitution to proceed.

During the hearing, conservative Judge Carlos Bea wondered aloud: Why should it be illegal to sell something that it's legal to give away?

The case was originally filed in 2015 by three unidentified former sex workers, one potential client and the San Francisco-based Erotic Service Provider Legal, Educational and Research Project (ESPLERP).

The plaintiffs argue that the 145-year ban unfairly deprives consenting adults of the right to private activity, criminalises the discussion of such activity, and unconstitutionally places prohibitions on individuals' right to freely associate.

Louis Sirkin, an attorney for the plaintiffs, cited a Supreme Court decision that struck down gay sex bans as evidence for their case. The 2003 ruling, in Lawrence vs. Texas, found that consensual sexual conduct was part of the personal and private life of the individual, and protected by the due process liberty right.


 Update: Small ads adapt...

Oklahoma police note that after the closure of the adult services section of, the sex worker adverts have simply moved elsewhere

Link Here 1st February 2017  full story: Adult Services Ads in the US...US politicians target small ads for sex workers
jenks police, a classified advertising website, has censored its adult advertising section after being threatened by the authorities.

But the action has had little effect on the posting of similar sex-related advertisements in other subsections of the site, Jenks police say.

Jason Weis, a Jenks Police Department officer said many of the advertisements that transitioned to other sections of the website were duplicates of what one would have found in the adult advertising section. He said:

It took no longer than 30 minutes to an hour for it to go to the women-seeking-men (dating) page.

Sgt. Todd Evans said he noticed the same trend after the adult section shut down. He's heard the same from police in Oklahoma City. He said:

What we anticipate right now is with Backpage shutting down its adult services, that doesn't mean all these people are just going to give up and go away. They're just going to find a different place to go.

Evans said he still sees prostitution ads on the website, albeit fewer -- though he said there are still plenty.


 Update: Escorted off site...

Sex worker small ads on are censored by the US authorities via a campaign of persecution and harassment

Link Here 10th January 2017  full story: Advertising for Adult Services...US censors advertising for adult sex services
backpage censored, one of the world's largest classified ad websites and a frequent target in the political battle against sex work, closed its adult ads section Monday in the United States after becoming the victim of a government witch hunt.

The move came shortly after the release of a U.S. Senate report that accused Backpage of hiding criminal activity by deleting terms from ads that indicated prostitution.

The abrupt closure came on the eve of the scheduled testimony of Backpage's founders, Michael Lacey and James Larkin, and the site's CEO, Carl Ferrer, before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs' subcommittee on investigations.

To keep problematic ads online, the company edited them. One moderator said he removed material that was obviously indicative of prostitution but the post remained published. According to the Senate report, the moderator testified under oath: [M]y responsibility was to make the ads OK to run live on the site, because having to get rid of the ad altogether was bad for business.

By late Monday, visitors to Backpage saw censored tags in red font under the adult section's menu of escorts, body rubs and strippers. Other sections remained operative, including for cars, real estate and childcare. Backpage said:

Like the decision by Craigslist to remove its adult category in 2010, this announcement is the culmination of years of effort by government at various levels to exert pressure on and to make it too costly to continue.


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