CYBERSPACE—With 20 Democratic 2020 presidential candidates taking the stage over two nights of presidential debates on Tuesday and Wednesday, not a single one mentioned, or was asked about the one issue that would set them apart from the rest of the field, according to an op-ed published Wednesday by Forbes.com and titled, “POTUS Candidates Would Be Fools Not to Talk About Sex Work.” That issue is, as the title implies, the decriminalization of sex work.
“One topic that could set presidential hopefuls apart—but about which most of them have demurred, more or less—is sex work, and the ever-present sex industry,” wrote Forbes.com columnist Janet Burns. “It’s one of several key topics that may help, in a sea of candidates, to keep the savvier ones afloat. And at this point, any of the candidates could still sink or swim.”
Though no one on stage at Detroit’s historic Fox Theatre last night, or on Tuesday, discussed sex work-related topics of any kind, in fact (as AVN.com has documented) six Democratic candidates—including three of the top tier candidates in terms of polling—have already stated their support for sex work decriminalization, albeit with a certain degree of equivocation.
While an initially reluctant Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders became the last of the six to state his support for decriminalizing sex work, he has admitted that he is unclear on the difefrence between sex “work” and sex “trafficking”—but he is too “busy running around the country” to study the difference.
California Senator Kamala Harris, that state’s former attorney general, has also stated her support for sex work decriminalization—but has come under fire from sex worker advocacy groups anyway, who say that her current support for decriminalization contradicts her record as a prosecutor and attorney general which they say was often hostile toward sex work—citing her lawsuits against the now-defunct online sex ad site Backpage.com, which she made part of her campaign for California Senator in 2016.
Like Sanders, as well as Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and New Jersey Senator Corey Booker—both of whom have also now stated support for sex work decriminalization—Harris in the senate voted in favor of the FOSTA/SESTA law which is supposedly designed to curb online sex trafficking, but according to sex workers themselves, as well as some early statistical data, has made sex worker job conditions more dangerous, and actually led to a spike in sex trafficking.
Hawaii congressional rep Tulsi Gabbard also voted in favor of FOSTA/SESTA, but says she supports sex work decriminalization. Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel was the sixth candidate to favor sex work decriminalization, but the 89-year-old perhaps best known for entering the then-classified “Pentagon Papers” into the Congressional Record in 1971, is expected to drop out of the presidential race sometime next week.
Photo From CNN YouTube Screen Capture
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