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Sex, Law & the Popular Vote

Posted by ed on October 30, 2012
Posted in Gay life  | Tagged With: | No Comments yet, please leave one

Ballot propositions have a long history in California. Unfortunately,these propositions also have a  history of unfairly restricting unpopular groups. Of course LGBT people are definitely one of those groups.

Some of my older friends remember the first real hateful proposition: proposition 6 in the 70′s. This was to restrict the ability of gay men and lesbians to teach in schools. Thankfully, through the work of a large number financed activists this was defeated. I definitely remember all the AIDS hysteria propositions in the 80′s. It seemed that every 2 years another insane proposition was being voted on that would further stigmatize persons with HIV.

Of course, there’s also proposition 8. Hopefully that hateful piece will be overturned soon.

Now the propositions have turned to another unpopular group: sex workers. Proposition 35 is marketed to get tough on sex trafficking. Unfortunately, it’s poorly worded and contains provisions.

Of course, sex trafficking should be aggressively prosecuted. Anyone forced to do something that they don’t want to do should be prosecuted. Laws are already on the books to deal with this crime.

Unfortunately, this proposition contains chilling language that include commercial sex in the definition of human trafficking. Section 6(h)(2) defines commercial sex as exchanging anything of value being given or received by any person. Anything of value not only includes money, but could also include dinner and a movie – it’s not defined. With this very broad definition of ‘commercial sex’ I fear overzealous, politicized prosecutions. Is erotic coaching, like I offer, considered a sex act? I really don’t know. What about offering an erotic focused workshop? What about making a porn movie?

The text requires anyone convicted of this act to register for life as a sex offender. The sex offender registry in California is already overwhelmed. Adding many more non-threatening people to this registry only makes it more difficult to track those that actually pose a danger to others.

Interestingly, most of the major papers in California have come out against proposition 35 (LA Times example and many more.) They see it as poorly worded and over-reaching.

Please vote NO on 35.

Here We Go Again

Posted by ed on October 10, 2011
Posted in Gay life  | Tagged With: , | No Comments yet, please leave one

hate bingoI read this morning of yet another, anti-gay ballot initiative coming in California. This time it’s in response to a new law that teaches children about the contributions of all people, including LGBT persons.

It seems like these anti-gay initiatives just won’t stop. Last time it was to discriminate against gay people in marriage. Back in the 80′s it was all about AIDS hysteria. (remember no on 69 – who would appreciate the irony in that one!)

We’re under constant attack. Yet, we also attack ourselves. Sometimes the amount of judgement on each other is incredible. It seems like all we humans like to do is stick our noses in other people’s business. So many GLBT people are constantly making comments about other GLBT people. I find the irony compelling in expecting a behavioral norm from people who spent an important time in their life running from another behavioral norm.

We have this culture that somehow believes you’re either with us or against us. Of course, the important consideration is who, exactly is us?

If you’re GLBT remember that time in your life when you were expected to conform. You tried and tried to conform, yet, somehow you knew you couldn’t and be true to yourself. We all accepted our differences and forged our own path.

What happened to leaving each other alone and letting us each forge our own path?