Decriminalize Consensual Sex Work in Massachusetts
Decriminalizing consensual sex work is the safer, healthier, and more humane path for Massachusetts.
As an organization advocating for the wellbeing, agency, and autonomy of LGBTQ+ people, GLAD supports An Act to Promote the Health and Safety of People in the Sex Trade (H.1867) to fully decriminalize consensual sex work.
LGBTQ people face disproportionate harassment from police, and violence and mistreatment when incarcerated. The criminalization of consensual sex work can lead to increased police interaction whether an individual is engaged in sex work or simply perceived to be.
Transphobia and homophobia still lead to family rejection, homelessness, and poverty for too many LGBTQ people, and criminalizing what can be a critical survival option for some only compounds those harms. Criminalization forces many to work in hidden or remote places where they are more vulnerable to violence.
It also impedes sex workers’ ability to negotiate condom use and safer sex practices, to seek help when they are targets of violence or harassment, or to set boundaries for their autonomy, health, and protection. Research also shows that criminalizing consensual sex work subverts efforts to protect individuals from trafficking, exploitation, and abuse by making it dangerous for victims to speak out.