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April 02, 2019

Nine Democratic Presidential Candidates Voted 'Yes' On FOSTA

As the 2020 presidential campaign heats up, particularly on the Democratic side with more than a dozen candidates now in the race, sex workers are finding little to choose from in a field that includes nine candidates who have already voted in favor of the supposed “sex trafficking” law known as FOSTA/SESTA, according to an report published Tuesday by the increasingly political women’s magazine Teen Vogue. Sex workers warned that the bill would, rather than protecting them from traffickers, actually make their jobs and lives more dangerous. As AVN.com has covered, those predictions appear to have come true—while at the same time, police have said that the law, which in effect bans online sex advertisements, have made their own jobs more difficult, in their efforts to track down and arrest traffickers. When the bill came to a vote in the United States House of Representatives one year ago, only 25 reps voted against it, while 388 voted in favor. Among those 388 were current Democratic presidential hopefuls Beto O’Rourke of Texas, Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, and John Delaney of Maryland.  On the Senate side, only two U.S. Senators, Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon and Rand Paul of Kentucky, opposed SESTA, the Senate iteration of the bill. Current Democrats running for president—Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and Corey Booker of New Jersey—all voted in favor of the bill. On the Republican side, of course, the one candidate in the race, Donald Trump, signed the FOSTA/SESTA bill into law last April, as AVN.com reported.  One other candidate currently gaining wide exposure, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, was asked in February for his views on FOSTA by OUT Magazine, but “Mayor Pete” seemed not to be well-informed about the law, though it had passed nine months earlier. “It doesn’t sound like a good idea,” he told OUT. “But I need to get more educated on it.” Two of the Democrats, Harris and Gabbard, have since announced that they now support decriminalizing sex work, at least in some limited form. Sanders was also asked his position on decriminalization of sex work earlier this year, but said only, “That’s a good question and I don’t have an answer for that.”  Among the other candidates, as Teen Vogue noted, Klobuchar has centered the issue of “sex trafficking” in her campaign, describing herself as “a national leader in the fight to combat human trafficking.”  Candidate Elizabeth Warren is a co-sponsor of a FOSTA-like bill for the financial sector, a bill that could cut off sex workers from their own earnings, if they keep their money in bank accounts. Photo By Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons 

 
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