End Unjust Arrests, Sentencing and Sex Offender Registration of Sex Workers

From Women’s Health & Justice Initiative, New Orleans:

Statement of Support for Resistance in New Orleans
End Unjust Arrests, Sentencing and Sex Offender Registration of Sex Workers

Desiree Alliance was asked to draft this statement of support in conjunction with Women with a Vision in NOLA and to gather organizational as well as individual support.  We hope you’ll sign on in solidarity!
To Sign the Petition, see http://www.petitiononline.com/desiree1/petition.html
and read the article at http://www.colorlines.com/article.php?ID=673 for more info. Thanks!

We the undersigned extend our support for Women With A Vision’s No Justice Project, a campaign to combat the sentencing of people arrested for sex work under the 203-yr-old “crimes against nature” felony-level law in New Orleans, LA.  We believe that the unjust application of this law, which requires those sentenced to register as sex offenders for 10 years, and places ‘sex offender’ on their photo identification cards, among other prescribed penalties, further marginalizes and wrongfully criminalizes vulnerable communities.

It is apparent that the application of this law is gender-biased and reflects a broader problem of over-criminalization of low-income people and people of color.  The overwhelming majority of those sentenced under the law are African-American, and nearly all are women, with transgender women also being disproportionately impacted.

We believe that no person should be arrested, let alone charged as a sex offender, for selling sex.  We also hold that marginalized communities; including people of color, sex workers, transgender people, and drug users; must have greater access to health care, education, housing, general economic wellbeing, safety, and freedom from state violence such as imprisonment.

We will work together, under the guidance of organizations and individuals in New Orleans to support this important campaign.  We encourage all other organizations concerned about racial justice, gender justice, economic justice, health, human rights, and sex worker rights to do so as well.

J. Kirby
Desiree Alliance

Susan Lopez
SWOP Las Vegas

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