D.C. Gay Activists Fighting Prostitution-Free Zone Bill | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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

One Lawyer's Fight For Young Blacks And 'Just Mercy'

When police pulled a gun on Bryan Stevenson as he was sitting quietly in his car in Atlanta, he knew he had to effect change. His memoir describes his attempts, including freeing men on death row.
NPR

Sandwich Monday: The Primanti Bros. Pitts-burger

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try a sandwich from the famous Primanti Bros. of Pittsburgh.
NPR

A Tight Race Emerges To Fill Seat Left By Iowa's Sen. Harkin

Longtime Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin is retiring. Host Robert Siegel profiles the close midterm race to replace him and one voting group that could sway the election: women voters.
NPR

Will Apple's Mobile Wallet Replace Your Leather Wallet?

Many have tried and failed with this kind of payment option before. But Apple's launch is bigger, with more financial institutions' support, and consumers may be more security-conscious.

Leave a Comment

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