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April 10, 2017

After Nearly A Year, Sex Workers' Tilt Fundraiser Hits $10,000 Target

SAN FRANCISCO—It's been a long, hard-fought slog, but the Erotic Service Providers Legal Education and Research Project (ESPLERP) today announced that as of April 3, it had met its Tilt fundraiser target of $10,000, to be used to continue its groundbreaking lawsuit, ESPLERP v Gascon, which challenges California’s current anti-prostitution law. Getting rid of Penal Code 647(b) is the lawsuit's target, with the plaintiffs alleging that this law violates sex workers’ right to sexual privacy, right to associate, right to right livelihood and due process. “Our court case is mostly funded by individuals making small contributions, although we have also had significant contributions from funds like the Craigslist Charitable Fund,” said Maxine Doogan, President of ESPLERP. “In contrast, our opponents, the State of California and various District Attorneys, have very deep pockets—essentially using our taxpayer dollars to deny us our rights. So we are very grateful to everybody who has dug deep and contributed, and have helped us get all the way to the Ninth Circuit.” “Our supporters recognize the central point that private consensual behavior between adults should be constitutionally protected,” said Claire Alwyne of ESPLERP. “That applies to all areas of the adult industry, whether prostitution, porn production, adult classifieds, video clip production, etc. In the current climate, where government is coming after a whole range of adult industry players, we really need to support each other, to protect sexual privacy and sexual freedoms for everyone.” ESPLERP’s case is now before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where 36 civil rights and LGBT organizations have filed amicus (friend of the court) briefs supporting it. The next stage is for the Ninth Circuit to schedule oral arguments. But whichever way the decision goes, there are likely to be yet more legal stages, whether that is an appeal to the Supreme Court, or a remand back to the District Court where the whole cycle will start again. This case will run and run... This legal process requires money, so ESPLERP has now started a second Tilt fundraiser, this time looking to raise a further $12,000 for the case. Contributions can be submitted here.

 
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