In this Update:
Monday, December 17 2012 7pm-9pm
at the Mudlark Public Theater
in New Orleans
Facebook Event Page for IDEVASW in New Orleans
Flyer for event: International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers in New Orleans
ONLY RIGHTS CAN STOP THE WRONGS!
Come for an evening of paying respect to life by honoring those who have fallen victim to the institutional and physical violence committed against sex workers worldwide.
This will be a candlelight vigil and open mic speak out so bring yourself, bring a friend, bring solidarity, and please bring any words/music/dance you’d like to share as part of the speak out, as well as an item of veneration to add to our community altar.
Refreshments by donation. Snacks provided.
From the Facebook event page:
Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012
Federal District Court, 500 Poydras Street
Judge Feldman’s Court—Room C551
Please help us fill the courthouse for oral argument!
Doe, et al. v. Caldwell, et al. is a federal class action lawsuit seeking to remove from the sex offender registry the hundreds of people who are still forced to register solely as a result of a CANS (Crimes Against Nature by Solicitation) conviction.
On March 29, 2012, the Court unambiguously ruled that it is unconstitutional to require someone to register as a sex offender solely because of a CANS conviction. Yet almost 500 people remain on the registry. So we’ve sued the state again, and we need your support.
In Louisiana, people accused of soliciting sex for a fee can be criminally charged in two ways: either under the prostitution statute, or under the solicitation provision of the Crime Against Nature statute. This archaic statute, adopted in 1805, outlaws “unnatural carnal copulation,” which has been defined by Louisiana courts as oral and anal (but not vaginal) sex. Individuals convicted of a Crime Against Nature are forced to register as sex offenders.
Those on the sex offender registry must carry a state driver’s license or non-drivers’ identification document which brands them as a sex offender in bright orange capital letters. They must disclose the fact that they are registered as a sex offender to neighbors, landlords, employers, schools, parks, community centers, and churches. Their names, address, and photographs appear on the internet.
Many have been unable to secure work or housing as a result of their registration as sex offenders. Several have been barred from homeless shelters. One has been physically threatened by neighbors. And another has been refused residential substance abuse treatment because the facility does not accept sex offenders.
Almost 40 percent of registered sex offenders in Orleans Parish are on the registry as a result of such a conviction. 76 percent of these individuals are women, and 80 percent of them are African American.
Being forced to register as a sex offender because of a Crime Against Nature conviction serves no legitimate purpose whatsoever. It is unjustifiable and unconstitutional. The only reason our clients are registered sex offenders is that they were convicted under the provisions of a 200-year-old statute that condemns non-procreative sex acts and sex acts traditionally associated with homosexuality, solely on grounds of moral disapproval.
More info: http://ccrjustice.org/crime-against-nature
Please join us!
We’re currently in the early planning stages of a super awesome fundraiser event party to raise money so we can apply for 501(c)(3) status. Once we’ve met that goal, we’d like to fund resources for local sex workers–legal guidance for those who need it; a fund to pay for sex-worker friendly healthcare for those who otherwise would have to deal with Dr. Judgey McJudgerson; badass superhero costumes; the possibilities are endless! But first we need to party. Stay tuned, and let us know if you’d like to help plan.
We’ve set up a Google Group for those of you who would like to be more involved in decision-making/planning/ideas/etc., or who would just like to lurk and see what we’re about. Let us know you’d like access (email us, or contact us through this form) and we’ll give you access. I have the member list set to invisible, so no one will be able to see your name/email address when you join. Current conversation topics: new name, fundraiser party, last-minute Dec 17th event planning.