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April 17, 2012

Condom Quickie: No Condoms as Evidence!

You may or may not be aware that in New York, the police and the courts can currently use the fact that a person has or is carrying condoms to prove that they are engaging in criminal activity (i.e., prostitution). WTF right?

Obviously this is ridiculous - any laws that discourage people from carrying condoms, in effect discourages them from using condoms - something that everyone should be doing, not just sex workers. It's 2012, we should be way beyond the antiquated ideas that women who carry condoms are unladylike or slutty. They're smart and they're safe. Condoms are not shameful and carrying them should not be "illegal" or "evidence". 

New York State Bill A1008/S323 (also known as the "No Condoms as Evidence Bill") would stop police and prosecutors from using possession of condoms as evidence of prostitution, based on the premise that it is a much better public health policy to encourage condom use, by eliminating the fear that carrying them might be used against you in a court of law.

Today, Tuesday April 17, supporters of sex workers' rights, public health experts, sex educators, and human rights advocates have gone to Albany to lobby the New York State Assembly to pass Bill A1008/S323. Today there will be a press conference held, calling on the Assembly to pass this legislation and stop discouraging sex workers and other New Yorkers from carrying condoms.

Even if you're not in Albany today, you can still help! You can get more information on the bill, on why it's important, and on what you can do here.