On Tuesday, California legislators heard from a diverse range of voices about human trafficking and prostitution in America. The proceedings before the Assembly Public Safety Committee provided a rare chance for people with divergent viewpoints on sex work, sex trafficking, and criminal justice to come together and have their say. And then something even more rare happened: some California politicians even seemed to come away with new perspective. Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D-20th District) said committee members learned yesterday that prostitution “can be voluntary” or it “can be trafficking, and we have to distinguish between the two if we are going to help the victims.”
Fox News Sacramento reported on the hearing with the headline “Some Suggest Legalizing Prostitution Would Put an End to Sex Trafficking,” noting the “odd mix of legislators, policy wonks, (and) sex workers” in the room. “Many of them were there to argue that the first step to getting a handle on human trafficking is to make prostitution legal,” it states.
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