What? Is legal prostitution coming to Hawaii?
According to the Associated Press, Hawaii lawmakers are currently considering a bill that would decriminalize prostitution within the state.
House Speaker Joseph Souki introduced a bill recently that would also legalize buying sex and acting as a pimp.
While he says he doesn’t have a position on the bill, he says he simply introduced it as a favor to transgender activist Tracy Ryan, who hopes to convince state lawmakers to pass the bill because transgender women are overrepresented in the sex trade, and therefore, disproportionately affected by criminalization laws.
The bill would also allow police to have sex with prostitutes as part of investigations.
The report says that up until 2014, it was legal for police officers to sleep with sex workers, if it was part of investigation. But state lawmakers changed that after the AP pointed out the loophole in a story.
It’s unclear how much support the bill has though. Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro told the AP that the bill would make it harder to address global sex trafficking because “it would be more difficult to find the bad actors, more difficult to get witnesses to make cases.”