While Senator Barack Obama rejects prostitution and trafficking as an abuse of human rights,  San Francisco voters are being urged to make our city a sanctuary for pimps and traffickers.
What we have to do is to create better, more effective tools for prosecuting those who are engaging in human trafficking and we have to do that within our country. Sadly, there are thousands who are trapped in various forms of enslavement, here in our country - oftentimes young women who are caught up in prostitution. So we've got to give prosecutors the tools to crack down on these human trafficking networks. Internationally, we've got to speak out and we've got to forge alliances with other countries to share intelligence, to roll up the financing networks that are involved in them. It is a debasement of our common humanity, whenever we see something like that taking place.
~ Senator Barack Obama

I exploited my body and gave myself to any man who wanted a piece. It was a vicious lifestyle. What these men don't know -- or maybe what they DO know -- is that prostitutes or streetwalkers or "happy hookers" are women with a deep sense of pain. Most have been abused in unimaginable ways.
~ Brenda Myers-Powell

Proposition K conceals the inhumane nature of prostitution and cripples the efforts of law enforcement, human rights groups and social service agencies to assist those who seek escape from sex-traffickers.
~ Kamala Harris, SF District Attorney

..there is nothing broad-minded about looking the other way when 14-year-old girls and boys sell themselves on the street and massage parlors are staffed by women who are being held against their will. These are not consenting adults.
~ Debra Saunders
FAQs about Decriminalization of Prostitution PDF Print E-mail
What would happen if Proposition K were passed in San Francisco?

Decriminalization of prostitution means that all laws regarding prostitution would be removed.  In other words, buying a woman would be socially and legally equivalent to buying cigarettes.  Prostitution in all its forms- street, brothel, escort, massage- would be legally welcomed.  Pimps the world over would become San Francisco’s new businessmen.

Decriminalization of prostitution will increase legal, illegal, semi-legal and all prostitution. Yet decriminalization will make no difference in the physical and the emotional safety of women in prostitution. Regardless of its legal status, prostitution is extremely harmful to those in it.

There is little difference for the prostitute between legalized and decriminalized prostitution.  They are both state-sponsored prostitution.  In legal prostitution, the state is the pimp, collecting taxes.  In decriminalized prostitution, the pimps remain in control, whether they are bar pimps, stripclub pimps, taxi driver pimps, or street pimps. In both legalized and decriminalized prostitution, the john is welcomed as legitimate consumer.

Decriminalization of pimping and buying of women is in effect the promotion of and profiting from childhood sexual abuse, rape and sex trafficking.  There is no way of making prostitution “a little bit better” any more than it is possible to make slavery “a little bit better.”  Prostitution is a profoundly harmful institution.  Who does it harm the most?  The woman or man or child who is prostituting is hurt the worst. She is hurt psychologically as well as physically.  There is a much evidence for this.
Berkeley's 2004 Prop Q PDF Print E-mail

In 2004, 64% of the voters in Berkeley rejected a proposal for decriminalization of prostitution that was similar to Prop K.  This was an overwhelming mandate in one of the most progressive communities in the United States.
The Berkeley City Manager was asked by the Berkeley Mayor and City Council to assess the likely impact of decriminalization of prostitution on the city of Berkeley.  He stated that  decriminalized prostitution would result in that city’s becoming the Bay Area prostitution destination point, attracting johns and pimps and the women they sell.

He stated that decriminalization would significantly increase the cost of law enforcement and would also result in an increase in the numbers of crimes of sexual assault, battery, and robbery.

He stated that the exploitation of women and children, especially teenage prostitutes, would likely increase in Berkeley as a result of decriminalization.

The City Manager stated that medical providers would see an increase in STDs, especially in vulnerable groups of people with HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis and other communicable diseases.

He predicted an increase in prostitution of children as a result of decriminalization.  Research data from Netherlands, New Zealand, and Australia supports this trend.

Organized crime spirals out of control when prostitution is either legalized or decriminalized.

Read the Berkeley City Manager's full report (pdf).