Sunday, August 17, 2008

San Francisco, American Bangkok

It seems that San Francisco will have a measure on the fall ballot that will decriminalize prostitution. I respect the fact that rational people can differ on the best means to control prostitution, but it seems this measure has a dangerous loophole for minors.

Yet the San Francisco ballot measure completely ignores the prostitution of children. The measure simply states, "Law enforcement agencies shall not allocate any resources for the investigation and prosecution of prostitutes for prostitution." Astonishingly, there's no exemption that encourages police to enforce the law for minors.

If the measure passes, the city is likely to become an international haven for pimps who peddle girls and boys, and perverts seeking sex with minors.

And where does that leave Bay Area youth? "They want new and young," Jasmine, a former teen prostitute from Oakland who now volunteers for the nonprofit SAGE Project, which fights sexual exploitation, explained to me.

On the one hand, I want to believe that there is no way that San Francisco will pass this measure. On the other hand, it is San Francisco. The city is the capital of unintended consequences. One can only hope that there are enough people in that city who still have a command of logic to defeat this measure.

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