Push to decriminalize prostitution in DC gains steam

- A push to decriminalize the “world’s oldest profession” is gaining steam in D.C.

Councilmember David Grosso has proposed legislation that would strip criminal penalties away from those who participate in “consensual sexual exchange.” Working with a sex worker advocacy group to hash out the specific language, Grosso introduced the bill in early October.

“It is time for D.C. to reconsider the framework in which we handle commercial sex and move away from criminalization to focus on human rights, health, and safety,” Grosso said in a statement.

The bill has already garnered opposition from other councilmembers, including Council Chair Phil Mendelson, who told the Washington Blade, “I do not support legalization of prostitution in the District,” adding, “we have amended the current law over the years to recognize that sex workers are often the victims of trafficking.”

On Thursday’s “The Final 5,” FOX 5's Jim Lokay spoke with Liz Wolfe, a former D.C.-based journalist with the group Young Voices, who hashed out the pros and cons of decriminalized prostitution, whether it could precipitate a slippery slope for other formerly-forbidden vices.

Wolfe, who believes the measure is worth considering, says “it won’t be going away anytime soon.” She advocates for stringent preventative measures for sexually transmitted diseases.

In the video player above, watch Wolfe's interview on FOX 5's "The Final 5."

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