A California law decriminalizing loitering went into effect in January. When Governor Gavin Newsom signed it last year, neither its supporters nor its opponents attempted to hide what it was really about: prostitution.
Police previously could stop and question people they suspected of soliciting. This led to, advocates agreed, discrimination against so-called “transgendered adults.” What wasn’t said out loud is that transgendered adults apparently present themselves in ways that lead them to be confused for prostitutes.
According to a recent story in the Times of San Diego, the new law has led to an explosion in prostitution and sex trafficking in California. After all, the law says that police cannot try to identify prostitutes. It does not say that customers and traffickers can’t.
Often, laws that are put forward as “safety” measures for the LGBT community endanger other people. It’s what happens when up is down, wrong is right, and all kinds of other really important words are redefined.
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