Three prostitutes and a client say their First Amendment rights are being violated and are seeking to have prostitution legalized in the state of California.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco. by Maxine Doogan, a self described prostitute who has been a working girl for 20+ years. “We’re adults and we can make decisions about our sexuality. We think it’s protected under the First Amendment, the right to free speech, right to sexual privacy,” Doogan told ABC News. Doogan’s GoFundMe page has raised $30,000 for legal fees.
The people of San Francisco actually voted on decriminalizing prostitution in 2008 and the measure was shot down 58% to 42% – but the plaintiffs in the lawsuit believe relaxed marijuana laws and same sex marriage are two signs that times and attitudes have changed.
Those opposed to legalized prostitution point to those who are brought into the trade against their own will through human trafficking. San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon told ABC News, “There are people victimized on a daily basis, under duress, beaten. Having said that, I don’t negate the fact there may be some consenting workers and if there are, how do we differentiate one from the other.”