Bill To Repeal New York’s Prostitution Loitering Law
I saw this headline and couldn't imagine that it was true. Well, it is, it's confusing, but I think I have the whole thing figured out.
The Alt is reporting that New York State lawmakers have introduced a bill that would repeal the 1976 law that forbids "loitering for the purposes of prostitution." I looked the repeal up on the New York State Assembly website and it does specifically state that this bill "Repeals section 240.37 of the penal law, relating to loitering for the purpose of engaging in a prostitution offense; makes technical corrections relating thereto."
From what I understand, though, is that there are other laws in place that protect the streets from prostitution and repealing this law wouldn't change any of that, it has another purpose. As the law states,
Criminal conduct under Penal Law Sections 140.10/140.15 (Trespass), 230.00 (Prostitution), 245.00 (Public Lewdness), and 240.20 (Disorderly Conduct) would still be subject to arrest and prosecution. The repeal of Section 240.37 will not affect public safety or the ability of the police to respond to community complaints.
In 2016, there was a class-action lawsuit blaming the New York City Police Department for arresting transgender women of color for simply "standing outside, speaking to one another, or walking from a subway or grocery store back to their house." Apparently, that proves this law is too vague and that it needs to be repealed so that innocent people don't serve time for doing innocent activities. The hope is that repealing this law will end targeting and discrimination and not start a new discussion on the legalities or lack thereof in regards to prostitution.