LGBTQ+ Rights & Sex Worker Rights

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Sex workers have always been a critical part of the movement for LGBTQ+ rights.

To create a safer and healthier future for people of all genders and sexual orientations, we have to change the story about sex work.

The conflation between erotic expression and exploitation has led to laws criminalizing adult, consensual sexual activity, gender expression, and medically accurate, inclusive sex education.

The criminalization of sex work, loitering laws, internet surveillance, and censorship disproportionately impact the LGBTQ+ community.

Removing barriers and reducing criminal penalties for sex work has been shown to dramatically lower STI rates and violence. According to a study by the World Health Organization, decriminalizing sex work could cut new HIV infections by 46%.

Sex Worker Rights and LGBTQ+ Rights

Decriminalizing sex work means removing criminal penalties against buying, selling, or facilitating sexual services. That way, no one is arrested, evicted, fired, or loses custody of their children for engaging in adult, consensual sex work.

The criminalization of any aspect of sex work has similar negative public health outcomes. For example, the criminalization of clients has been repeatedly shown to negatively affect sex workers’ safety and health; reducing condom use and increasing rates of violence.

Laws criminalizing sex work do not provide critical support for LGBTQ+ youth or minors escaping abusive homes.

Lamda Legal, ACLU, World Health Organization, Amnesty International, Southern Poverty Law Center, Human Rights Campaign, Human Rights Watch, and UNAIDS all support the full decriminalization of sex work.

Support policies that offer help, not handcuffs.