March 23, 2019

Will New York Decriminalize Sex Work?

“TEARS WELLED UP in the eyes of many of the 150-plus people gathered in New York City’s Foley Square on Monday afternoon. Not all the tears came because of the frigid winds of the “bomb cyclone” blowing through the region. Instead, standing before the crowd, Cecilia Gentili almost began to cry because of the strides taken for the cause she was there to promote. “It feels surreal to be here, talking about this. It’s very emotional for me as a former sex worker,” said Gentili, an advocate for sex workers’ and transgender rights. “We will decriminalize sex work. We’re doing it.”

Behind Gentili stood more than 30 supporters of sex workers’ rights, holding protest signs bearing slogans like “Sex work is work” and “Arrests only save police budgets.” The rally and press conference marked the launch of the DecrimNY campaign that has a coalition of over 20 organizations pushing for the full decriminalization of sex work, the decarceration of sex workers, and the destigmatization of that most censured industry. The launch also celebrated the coming introduction in the New York State House and Senate of what DecrimNY described as “the most comprehensive state-level decriminalization bill in the country.

“This is one of the most taboo conversations for us to be having as a society,” New York state Sen. Jessica Ramos told the Foley Square rally. “And we are not going to stop.” Ramos will be introducing the decriminalization bill this spring alongside newly elected democratic socialist Sen. Julia Salazar, Sen. Brad Hoylman, and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, all Democrats.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"Historic buildings and structures dating from the Byzantine era to the 20th century have been subjected to disastrous restorations in recent years here, prompting public outcry and fostering a cynical attitude toward planned projects."

"Fox News, normally the object of presidential praise on Twitter, was subjected to an unusual tweet-lashing over the weekend when the president went after three of its anchors."

"Opinion: I am not willing to cast a ballot for this current crop of scandal-mongers, gossips and PR-obsessed dilettantes who are tearing the country apart - don't we deserve better?"

"Listening to The Joe Rogan Experience is sort of like crashing an intense, intimate dinner party in which the only courses are whiskey and weed."

"At the Jewish Museum in London called “Jews, Money, Myth.” The show explores the ways in which Jews have been associated with money over the past 2,000 years."

"Footage of last week’s massacre in New Zealand, which the shooter streamed in real time via Facebook Live, quickly proliferated. The original 17-minute webcast was viewed fewer than 200 times and wasn’t immediately reported, Facebook says."

"When I hear that Jews are too powerful, my response is, we are not powerful enough. When I hear that AIPAC is too influential a lobby, I say it must become even more influential."

"Lost in migration: When Walter Benjamin fled France in 1940, he took a heavy black suitcase. Did it contain a typescript? Where is it now?"

"Someday my daughter will be asked if she wants to have a bat mitzvah. I’m inclined to let her make up her own mind... It's a lot of work to learn Hebrew, memorize parts of the Torah and prepare for a pressure-packed performance at such a young age."

"Tablet's Unorthodox Podcast: Gail Simmons, Shalom Auslander, Jill Kargman, Gil Hovav, and more on the Jewish foods that mean the most to them."

""Hitting someone is a foundational moral violation," Yale University Psychologist Paul Bloom wrote in a comment to the paper. "Indeed, these sorts of physical infractions are found to be morally wrong by the youngest babies we can test."

" Ilhan Omar in particular has garnered attention for tweets widely viewed by the Jewish community as trafficking in anti-Semitic tropes. The result has been the most media coverage of anti-Semitism in a decade..."