PRESS ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Press Advisory Ninth Circuit Oral Argument October 19, 2017 Date for Oral Arguments Set Before the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Constitutional Challenge to California’s Prostitution Law
Contact: Maxine Doogan
Date for Oral Arguments Set Before the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Constitutional Challenge to California’s Prostitution Law
Sex workers argue prostitution laws infringe on adults’ constitutional right to private consensual activity Over two years ago, in March 2015, the Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education and Research Project (ESPLERP) filed a complaint in US District Court claiming that California’s outdated anti-prostitution statute known as 647(b) of the California Penal Code, unfairly deprives adults the right to private consensual activity, criminalizes the discussion of such activity, and unconstitutionally places prohibitions on individuals’ right to freely associate.
The court case known as ESPLERP v Gascon is now on appeal at the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Oral Arguments have been set for Thursday October 19th at 9am. The case is supported by amicus briefs from over thirty civil rights and LGBTQ organizations, including the ACLU, the First Amendment Lawyers Association, the Free Speech Coalition, Transgender Law Center, and the Woodhull Freedom Foundation. Each side will be allotted 20 minutes to make its case. The named defendants are San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, Marin County District Attorney Edward S. Berberian, Jr. and Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch, together with Kamala Harris, then Attorney General of the State of California, all in their official capacities. Kamala Harris is now a US Senator, and it is unknown if the new Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, will continue to act in the same official capacity. The court case has been primarily funded by small individual donations from supporters and allies through crowdfunding sites such as Crowdrise – for example https://www.crowdrise.com/litigate-to-emancipate/fundraiser/.
WHAT: Oral Arguments before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals challenge to California prostitution laws.
WHO: Sex workers, allies and supporters – including the Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education and Research Project (ESPLERP).
WHEN: Thurs, October 19th, 2017 9 A
WHERE: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Room 307, James R. Browning Courthouse, 95 7th St, San Francisco, CA 94103. ##
Reader Comment: The constitution says that everyone must have equal protection under the law. This is again within the 14th Amendment. It literally says that a state is forbidden to “deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Argue the equal protection clause
Since it’s accepted law that people can be solicited and can offer to have commercial sex in videos, why should a law be allowed to stand if it restricts people from having commercial sex in private?
Bring on the porn industry
In making this point, it would be helpful to team up with the porn industry. They should be made aware of the potential for the laws that forbid private commercial sex to be applied to their industry. The only difference is that the private sex industry can’t afford the lobbyists.
If the porn industry wants to insure their ability to work openly into the future, they need to get behind the private sex industry.
If they don’t help in this, and this case fails, morality proponents will have a tool to say that since commercial sex is illegal if it’s done in private, publicly available commercial sex should also be criminalized.
The lesson to be learned here is from prohibition
Morality advocates managed to stop open sales of alcohol for a time. Why can’t it happen that a similar movement could come along and force the prohibition of video porn?
The porn industry should be aware of the vested interest they have in this court case. If this case fails, the moralists will be one step closer to closing down all porn studios.
If the moralists have their way, the only people who might be legally able to act in porn videos will be volunteer consenting adults: commercial sex could be outlawed to the point where it becomes illegal to pay someone to have sex in any setting. The Second Amendment, which is at the heart of the porn industry, doesn’t necessarily authorize payments to people in exchange for performing sex acts. It only allows for the publishing of the video product. Therefore it’s necessary to decriminalize all payments for sex… Otherwise porn could be in trouble down the road.
Thanks to Stan at Wikidelphia for the mindful and informative comments.