"Decriminalize Sex Work" by mzulak is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

GMHC Statement on Decriminalization of Prostitution in New York City

GMHC applauds the decision this week by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to end prosecutions for sex work (also known as prostitution). The move follows New York state’s repeal earlier this year of the so-called “Walking While Trans” ban that allowed law enforcement to profile people simply for how they looked and particularly targeted transgender women of color.

Studies have shown a close association between criminalized sex and high-risk behaviors that put people at risk of HIV and sexually transmitted infections. These laws also stigmatize already vulnerable people who may have to engage in sex work to meet their basic needs.

These laws have had detrimental impacts on the public health of our communities. People who are prosecuted for sex work are often impaired in their ability to maintain their health. They also often experience challenges with housing and food security.

GMHC was a part of coalition that advocated for the repeal of the “Walking While Trans” ban and is a member of the steering committee of Decrim NY, a coalition of current and former sex workers, allies, and organizational partners seeking to decriminalize, decarcerate, and destigmatize the sex trades in New York City and State.

We look forward to continue working with our elected officials on further reforms to our legal system that ensure equitable treatment and support the health of our communities.

photo courtesy of mzulak is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0