WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

D.C. Gay Activists Fighting Prostitution-Free Zone Bill

Play associated audio
 
A sign designating an area of downtown D.C. as a prostitution-free zone.
Courtesy of http://nopfzs.tumblr.com/
  A sign designating an area of downtown D.C. as a prostitution-free zone.

A controversial bill that would allow the city's police chief to set up permanent prostitution-free zones will be taken up this morning by the D.C. Council. The bill lets police detain and arrest people suspected of engaging in street prostitution. Some of city's gay activists are planning to fight the measure.

Transgender rights activists say the proposal to establish permanent prostitution free zones in the District is a thinly veiled attempt to drive transgendered women out of neighborhoods, regardless of whether they are sex workers or not. Currently, the Metropolitan Police Department can only set up a temporary zone that lasts 10 days.

Activists made a video this week to raise awareness of the bill and are planning to fight the legislation. Rubi Corrado is one of those activists. "These police officers are going ot have to make a choice, to address and arrest young individuals that are on the street trying to survive, or addressing real criminals, seasoned criminals," Corrado said.

Yvette Alexander, the Ward 7 Council member who authored the bill, says prostitution is running rampant in some neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River.

"We're thinking either you make a decision, if there are going to be these prostitution free zones, then that's my cue that I need to get out of the prostitution business," Alexander said.

Some Council members believe the measure may be unconstitutional because the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly struck down anti-loitering laws.

Prostitution Free Zone from PJ Starr on Vimeo.

NPR

Aretha Franklin Blocks Premiere Of Concert Film 'Amazing Grace'

A documentary about Franklin's famous 1972 live album Amazing Grace has suffered years of delays due to technical and legal challenges.
NPR

Open Your Eyes To The Infinite Possibility Of The Tomato

How do you transform 100 pounds of 60 varieties of tomatoes into a seven-course meal? It may sound like a math problem, but it's more a creative journey into the infinite possibility of the tomato.
NPR

British Prime Minister Announces U.K. Will Take In More Migrants

NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with Guardian political editor Patrick Wintour about British Prime Minister David Cameron's announcement to allow more Syrian refugees into the UK.
NPR

Drone Crash At U.S. Open; New York City Teacher Arrested

The black, shoebox-sized drone flew over the court at Louis Armstrong Stadium during a second-round match and then crashed into empty seats and broke apart.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.