New York Legislators Call for Statewide Decriminalization of Prostitution

Local legislators said Monday that they will introduce a bill decriminalizing sex work in New York state. State Senators Jessica Ramos, Julia Salazar, and Brad Hoylman, along with Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, plan to introduce a bill repealing statutes that criminalize consensual sex work and creating a system to erase prostitution records. The legislation was written with the help of Decrim NY, a 20-organization coalition launched Monday to “decriminalize, decarcerate and destigmatize the sex trade in New York City and state.” “Trying to stop adult sex work shouldn’t be the business of the criminal justice system,” Gottfried​ said at the Decrim NY launch event. “Throughout history, it hasn’t worked, and it makes things worse. Decriminalizing adult sex work is harm reduction.”

— Emily Shugerman