Hawaii bill would legalize prostitution industry
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Hawaii bill would legalize prostitution industry

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Tracy Ryan, a transgender activist, talked today at the Hawaii Capitol about why she’s pushing a bill to legalize prostitution.

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Hawaii lawmakers are considering decriminalizing prostitution in the state after the speaker of the House introduced a bill that would also legalize buying sex and acting as a pimp.

The proposal also would end a state law that says police officers cannot have sex with prostitutes in the course of investigations.

Transgender activist Tracy Ryan said she is trying to convince state lawmakers to pass the bill because transgender women are overrepresented in the sex trade and therefore disproportionately affected by criminalization laws.

House Speaker Joseph Souki said in an interview that he does not have a position on the bill and he introduced it as a favor for Ryan.

“I don’t like seeing people sent to jail that don’t belong there,” Ryan said.

But longtime anti-sex-trafficking advocate Kathryn Xian said that legalizing the selling, promoting or buying of sex would make it harder to police the industry.

“If this bill passes and everything was no crime whatsoever, then abuses against women and children would just shoot through the freaking roof,” Xian said. “It would be exponentially harder to prove violence in the industry. It would be almost impossible to prove any sort of labor abuse.”

Asked about the part of the bill that strikes language preventing police from having sex with prostitutes during investigations, Souki said: “No, again I have nothing to say about the bill.”

Hawaii has an unusual history with prostitution investigations. Until 2014, it was legal for police officers to have sex with prostitutes as part of investigations, but state lawmakers changed that after The Associated Press highlighted the loophole in a story.

The Honolulu Police Department did not immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment about the bill.

Ryan wants to preserve the law preventing police from having sex with prostitutes to arrest them if the bill does not pass, but “if they can’t arrest them anyway because it’s no longer illegal, it’s a moot point,” she said.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro said 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.”

Michael Golojuch Jr., chairman of the LGBT caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, said transgender women are overrepresented compared with other women in the sex trade because the discrimination they face leads some to feel it’s the only kind of work they can get.

Golojuch personally supports the idea of decriminalizing prostitution, but he said he and the caucus had not yet taken an official position on the bill.

“My dream job would be union organizer for consensual sex workers,” Golojuch said. “It would be great for people who want to do that work to unionize them and empower them so that they are taken care of.”

Not everyone thinks legalizing prostitution would benefit sex workers.

“By normalizing sexual exploitation and recasting it as a career choice that has no harms attached, we’re creating a setting and a system where we are OK with objectifying women, where we’re OK with buying other human beings’ bodies, and that has effects that are far-reaching in terms of how women are treated,” said Khara Jabola, chapter coordinator of Af3irm Hawaii, a feminist group.

The bill and another to decriminalize marijuana may be part of a push to reduce the prison population, House Majority Leader Scott Saiki said.

But any decriminalization bills are unlikely to pass before the Legislature gets a report from a working group that has been meeting on the topic. That report isn’t expected before the session ends, Saiki said.

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    • Souki is as stupid as they come. This joke will go national. Monopoly Party is really dysfunctional and ready to collapse if we just had a legitimate opposition party.

        • Come to my super bowl party tomorrow in kalihi valley. I have over 300 usually, and its a good time. We do it all. We even have HPD and legislators, and nobody has a problem. Its all good kine fun. Make everything legal. Forget Drumpf and his crazy azz rules. He can hang with Rosie, since Melania won’t be in the white house until later this year.

        • Joe’s heart is in the right place. You don’t have to be smart to know that this is the right thing to do.

          As a kupuna and faithful Catholic, no one can accuse Joe of being immoral.

          It’s about time we got the pimps and hookers out of Waikiki. As part of our wonderful state, Waikiki deserves to be known as a pretty classy place. Keep the decadence where it belongs – out of sight and out of mind. It will be a boost to our economy.

      • Hey Joe I need a favor, can prostitution be legal only in Kapole? the reason, build a few clubs and couple hotels. I ‘ll sell a package deal for the tourist in Waikiki, Transportation (the rail), entry to a club with drinks and some marijuana, prostitute and a room. It will help support the rail, marijuana industry, tourist industry, state will collect a whole bunch of money from excise tax, job taxes, etc for you guys to spend, just what you useless, clueless, incompetent politicians want. You guys can even get a couple free package deals a year.

      • I hope the bill passes. But I have doubts that it will. I expect the Christians will come out in droves to testify against it. Still, it’s good to hear that Joe Souki was willing to introduce it. Even that took some courage. As long as it is consensual and between adults, the government should stay out of our bedrooms.

    • Actually it ties in to the politicians, they legally get paid off for their votes by super pac contributions. So the politicians figure why not paid sex. Next is legalized gambling. Picture this, city licensed prostitutes and slot machines at the rail stations to increase ridership.

    • No problem at all with it. Remember not that long ago HPD undercover officers participated in it. Actually said it was part of their job.

      The Nei will never have gambling, pot sales are iffy. Why not legalize the oldest profession on earth and get some extra tax money from it. But only if it is targeted to a certain need. Not to disappear into the black hole of the state’s General Fund.

      Let’s get’r done.

      • No it’s not, better to have it legal and controled. During World War II it was legal. It was done to prevent the spread of STDs and keep the rest of women from becoming assault victims. Board of Health Doctors would check on girls weakly. Operations were confined to Iwilei, convenience to soldiers going into Honolulu, before or after . Sex assault and STDs were down during those years. STDs was one of the white man’s diseases that caused the demise of Hawaiians. Joe Souiki may not be that stupid…..legalize it, control it, and tax it. Hammer those doing it illegally. Bet it would reduce sex trade.

      • Cricket_Amos> I’ll be your HR Manager. Only kidding, This is so absurd. But I believe Souki, Souki is really serious about this. Crazy politicians. Souki is getting old and senile, so they’re taking advantage of him.

      • It does seem a contradiction until you really think about it.
        Seems like everybody over here vacations in Vegas. Legalize gambling here and they will stay home. That is s not good business for the mob casinos over there.
        Every time the issue of comes up, it dies just as quick after the fat envelopes from Vegas start flooding the legislature.

  • I can’t believe I read this!

    “My dream job would be union organizer for consensual sex workers,” Golojuch said. “It would be great for people who want to do that work to unionize them and empower them so that they are taken care of.”

  • The leg would be so, so, so boring without Senile Joe. If you think this is funny, you should watch him sexually harass 21yo staffers in the elevator. Never a dull day with Joe nearby.

    • Pot is an herb. When I smoked over a period of 30 years I was self motivated, in great shape, and had great memory from when I was in elementary school. Don’t agree with legalizing prostitution. If a person can’t find a relationship on his own maybe he shouldn’t have one. Arrest both parties in a prostitution bust.

        • You may as well include Clinton (D) and Trump (R) just to be fair. Or have you forgotten Trump’s trysts that cost him his marriage to his last wife?

      • do you even get teh concept of why people go to “prostitues” in the first place? TI’s not about “relationships, couples, marriage” or anything closely related to such. Legalizing Marijuana is a whole nother subject with a stronger impact on both society and the economy, because the base plant called hemp is a viable and commercially available product that can be used to manufacture and create a variety of medicines, materials and products and should be looked at for legalization on many different levels!

        • I just heard on the radio the Johns Hopkins Minute, which listed a whole lot of disorders caused not only by smoking pot, vaping and even taking non THC Cannabinoids that are being touted as cancer prophylaxis!

        • The negative responses to Marijuana is the work of Big Pharma/The Tobacco industry, who pay off medical professionals to nix Marijuana.
          If you one religious follower, read up on research which indicate that Jesus Christ used marijuana in healing followers because that’s what this natural plant/herb does.
          Why do you think the aforementioned sly foxes try to discredit MJ?, it’s to protect their $$$$ interests. _uck the damage people are sustaining from cigarettes and Big Pharma meds which poisons unsuspecting CASH COWS.

  • this is a new low even for the democrat party. you’ve got women who aren’t even women getting a bill introduced by a politician who can’t even say if he supports it, and after the big women’s march for equal rights they now want to have the right to legally sell their bodies? how low can this party get?

    • This is Hawaii. I could introduce a bill to re-classify Native Hawaiians as a species of feral animal, wear a Hitler moustache and goose-step around on the House floor, beat up and rob old women on weekends and hang out nude at Kapiolani Park on weekends while I watch kids’ soccer games (because I “identify” as a featherless Nene Goose) and as long as I had a “D” next to my name and Dan Inouye’s portrait in my office at the Capitol, local people would keep re-electing me for as long as I live…and probably in at least one election where I’m already dead but still on the ballot.

      Hawaii is a textbook illustration of what happens when MO-RONS are allowed to vote.

    • Aw, lighten up folks. Uncle Joe is only setting up his post retirement pastime of having paid sex without getting caught by the police. I’ll also bet there will be an over flow of applicants wanting vice duty assignments. Make more shame for Hawaii if these freak-o-zoid democrats get their way!!!

    • Wow, is this progressive Hawaii or what. Honolulu could become the transgender capital of the world. Some would likely use the new rail system. I guess this is a win-win for Hawaii. I’m all for an even stronger Democratic Party. Who needs those dastardly Republicans. As former Speaker Pelosi once said (when Dems controlled the House), “there’s really no need for two parties”.

      • Nancy Pelosi is living proof that abortion should be legal and the state should step in to perform the needful if the parents neglect to do so. Too bad abortion wasn’t legal when Peloci was conceived back in the day!

    • We should support prostitution, it reduces crime by a landslide. Every place where prostitution has been legalized, sex crimes including rape have fallen off a cliff! Heck even marriage is a form of legal prostitution where your spouse can threaten to take half your $h!t in a heartbeat and be entitled to V@g!na-money thanks to no-fault divorce laws should you not pay up or give in to their whims! The only people opposing prostitution are married women!

  • Wait. More of a certain class of people in Hawaii are committing an illegal act and going to jail…. and so therefore we should legalize the illegal act? WTF? Souki’s an idiot.

  • Joe Souki, I appreciate your courage in putting this subject up for public debate. It deserves to be talked about… particularly by those whose lives are most affected, and those of us who can think through how others, everyone, could be affected. Whatever happens, we are better served by thinking about this. And this happened because the speaker is willing to talk. Thanks

  • Sadly it is no joke.

    Has anyone noticed that no mention has been made of the very lucrative slave trade of under age girls?

    How can these heartless demons simply avert their eyes from the cruel plight of the legions of child victims their advocacy will legitimize if the oldest profession in the world is legalized?

    What a cold blooded crew these alleged “human beings” are!

    • it it was legalized, and the state monitored/licensed it similar to other businesses, wouldn’t that reduce the child victims because there is already legal sex workers?

      • You’ve probably seen for yourself: in Hawaii, money doesn’t talk, it SHOUTS.

        With the right amount of under the table cash to the right people – – and perhaps a sample or two of the “special” pubescent merchandise – – underage girls will become just a more expensive piece of prime beef that can be ordered up like a meal from a menu.

        And ask yourself this: in a booming flesh market where so MUCH money is moving so fast, who will stand up for these victimized young girls and try to protect them? Anyone? Doubtful.

      • Yup, WWII, was the proof. Girls were registered, Board of Health checked girls weekly. Stats are there, found it during a rsearch paper on Sexual deviation in Hawaii, Sinclair Lib. Changed may view, even when I went vice morals. Waste of energy, had my guys focus on under age AND used abuse. Catch pimps beating up girls, arrest for domestic abuse because girls would not cooprate but State could go forward, pimps got message.

  • If our lawmakers have no moral substance then Hawaii is sunk. If this is the case how about legalizing the lottery? To me it’s better then legalizing prostitution isn’t it? But then our lawmakers are more horny then gamblers.

  • Let’s see if I have this right. If this bill becomes law, all those business establishments having signs with the word “MASSAGE” will now have to change…..for accuracy and because its now legal.

    Can you imagine all the new signs?

    Me thinks the Speaker missed his afternoon nap when he decided to introduce the bill.

  • This is a dumb bill Souki introduced “AS A FAVOR”? Give us a break! I bet he’d be the first in line! Ms. Xian is right..and the democratic party has a SCARY representative who is FAR TOO liberal.

  • And a Bill to allow legalized casino gambling is not being supported? 🙂 A repeat of a prior comment that bears a repeat…let me do it again…what and no legalized gambling? 🙂

  • Why not model a legislation bill for the Sex industry on that being used in Nevada, where “women of leisure” are licenseed and certified, have a specific place to ply their trade and wares and has built in healthcare and other measures to keep everything legal and above board? Decriminalizing prostetution in the State of Hawaii is just the first step and more legislation needs to be created to cover and protect those who choose to be a part of the “sex business!”

    • hmmm… someone that finally gets it. Took about 40 people worth of emotional outburst before we get a logical thought out comment. Prostitution is going on RIGHT NOW. It is dangerous, unclean, and illegal. As another poster pointed out, there are many minors that are also effectively prisoners of the pimps. Legalization would help solve alll of these issues. By criminalizing it, you are doing exactly the opposite of what your stated intent is.

    • Studies indicate it results in more human trafficking.

      https://orgs.law.harvard.edu/lids/2014/06/12/does-legalized-prostitution-increase-human-trafficking/

      A 2012 study published in World Development, “Does Legalized Prostitution Increase Human Trafficking?” investigates the effect of legalized prostitution on human trafficking inflows into high-income countries.

      The study’s findings include:

      Countries with legalized prostitution are associated with higher human trafficking inflows than countries where prostitution is prohibited. The scale effect of legalizing prostitution, i.e. expansion of the market, outweighs the substitution effect, where legal sex workers are favored over illegal workers.

      • Yeah, Human Trafficking and sex with underage girls; that’s exactly what the current President Trump was involved with way back when. In fact the underage girl who is now a grown woman who had a well known Attorney represent her in suing Trump but relented because of death threats against her recently. Read all about it on the internet.

    • Not to mention the taxes we can collect from such industry. Unfortunately, there are those who would not consider that revenue as it would be below them.

  • Legalizing sex as a county in Nevada has is in some ways empowers women who choose to have a right to what they can do with their bodies. I get that. But legalizing pimping in the sense of an entity that takes advantage of women by charging them a high percentage of the revenue is not empowering women. The same goes for transgender. If it dies get legalized, there would be a need for regulations that women and transgender are given a fair and equal opportunity that would mean a fair wage or income. And that means no “pimping” as far as the street term is concerned. They can work for a business that is run by a legitimate owner and/or director but not be run by pimps that are likely to take advantage or abuse them.

    • Yup, got sick watching pimps play basketball ball all day behind Waikiki Fire station, then beat up their girls at night, collect all the cash and try and deposit it still First Hawaiian at Kapahulu branch.

  • Reading a London Economist take on legalization of the sex trade they make the point that it would eliminate the pimp and actually protect women who would have online advertising and the bad actors would be identified and black balled. also the workers would be rated. It happens every day this would make it safer for all involved.

  • Oh no! Please!!! That’s just terrible and horrible, especially for those of us who have lived through homes and lives busted up by imposing Asian women????! Sorry to sound racist or use a stereotype, but it is your experience that makes expressions! Sometimes it makes one want to support immigration ban, if he would expand it to the PRC, Phillipines etc! How many aging white men do you see being pushed around by these women! Granted most of the Waikiki prostitutes ate aging white surfer babes, but this just adds to Hawaii’s atmosphere of promiscuousness!

  • What a crazy state we live in. Of course, if by some miracle this law does pass and Ige signs it into the law, the Democrats will regulate and tax prostitution astronomically to pay for rail, fund the underfunded pensions, social programs, etc. As in rural Nevada where prostitution is legal and regulated, each trick costs a lot more than it does in the underground, unregulated economy.

    Even more ironic when you consider we recently had a so-called “Women’s March” around the State Capitol and now the Speaker of the House of their Democrat Party wants to legalize prostitution. I wonder what the radical feminist marchers think of that.

    If that’s not enough, Beth Fukumoto is now considering flipping to the majority party whose speaker of the house introduced a bill to legalize prostitution after she announced her desire to flip. Great timing!

  • I guess this makes a little bit of sense as Obama commuted the sentences of more than 1,000 people — more than the past 11 presidents combined. Obama felt that the sentencing system in the United States was used to lock up minor criminals. Anyway, the bill won’t pass but make for good media coverage.

  • If you check the signature to HB1533, you’ll see next to Souki’s name “by request”. A legislator told me that “by request” means that the legislator was not necessarily even in support of the bill, but that they were doing it on behalf of a constituent. (Or, maybe, as Souki said about his bill, “as a favor”.)

    • I hope he’ll introduce a bill for me as a favor to refund all of the taxes Hawaii’s citizens have paid to this state for hopeless, wasteful programs like Honolulu rail.

  • The party that supposedly supports women’s rights wants to make them available for a price? Sex trafficing is a horrible thing that degrades o\and objectifies women and girls. No point in making it easier.

  • I am completely against the legalization of prostitution and pimping, primarily because it would bring Hawaii into bad odor. It would make Hawaii sleazy and tacky. Probably some people come to Hawaii and seek out prostitutes, but, in the main, our tourists are fairly decorous. If this legislation was to pass, we would be overrun with many more undesirables While it might bring more money into the state in the short run, in the long run, Hawaii would lose. Its image as a vacation destination for people seeking not only physically beautiful surroundings, but a friendly, courteous population would be gone. For those of us who live here, it would be a disaster.

  • Hey, let all immigrant come in at will, open the borders and then legalize prostitution.
    Business will boom! And while we are at it, legalize gambling so that we can switch from
    Paradise to Vice islands! Who elect those clowns?

  • The new bill to legalize prostitution will undermine our tourism industry, and promote sex trafficking. A very bad idea.
    We don’t sex workers jobs for the children of Hawaii. Have your grand children beaten by legal pimps? Not the right thing.

    • Hawaii is about to become the New Bangkok – – sex tourism capital of the world.

      And the Democrat Party will take in BILLIONS of dollars, especially in the underage sex trade.

      Face it: we have the best (and most expensive) legislators money can buy.

  • This story has gone national. I read the bill as written and it would make a legalized Nevada brothel look like a Sunday School Joe, enough favors already. Read what you submit, geeeesh.

  • Absolutely make it legal, the current prohibition has kept it underground and in the wrong people’s hands. Legalize and the position of pimp will not even exist.

  • “House Speaker Joseph Souki said in an interview that he does not have a position on the bill and he introduced it as a favor for Ryan.”>>> Not because of him representing a constituent but because he wanted to do someone…a favor. And why exactly does Souki OWE this favor to Ryan?

  • Police officer goes home from work… wife ask, Hi honey how was your day. Well sweetie the off duty cop gives his wife a kiss and say’s, well I arrested a HO today after having some head and great sex with her… you know what I mean , it was just another day at work. Three month’s later they meet in divorce court. End of story.

  • Why don’t we turn the rail into individual little crib cars ? You pay to ride , you pay to play , and you pay to get back home again. There is hope for the rail yet.

    Disgusting , no ?

    • Could buy season tickets ……the Low Flyer’s Club . And all our children could look at it as it goes by and think
      ” I’ll get to do that some day just like those big wig ! “.

      Sure , legalize it and rename Honolulu , Boom Boom in Paradise.

      A joke right ?

  • It’s more important to protect people’s rights. And they can still complain about violence by pimps who exploit them and customers.

    Let the police do the right thing rather than the easy thing. Why punish the victim?

  • Legalized gambling and prostitution bills. Wow. I don’t mind gambling by itself, but opponents always site a raft of social ills including prostitution that goes along with it. Now I see why.

  • People intentionally ignore that the US has prostituted Hawaii since 17 Janurary 1893. And in the process allows the Jones Act to charge twice as much for toothy gummer locally than in San Fransisco ;)… I see this as a new tax source that if unionized could provide health services and pseudo regulation in a lucrative ancient art form.

    Currently the laws allow you to pay for sex if you film it. Let’s not pretend porn actors are not pimped by a 300 billon dollar industry that has produced affordable VCRs and the biggest industry online. Any “18” year old can point a camera at themselves and take payment to perform solo, robotic, group, couples play in millions of different chatrooms or amature exchange regardless of government or church protest.

    In the country of the “Free” there’s too much regulation on things not inline with a contrary bigoted puritanical imaginary genocidal god. Yet the Dugars, priests and political friends of twisted zealots continue contrary to their doctorine they push on others. Whenever, wherever there is prohibition there is cartels and death and corruption and the church.

    So legalize it, tax it, regulate it; then impose insane punishment for trafficking and pedos and the politicians and churches and bankers and police that will be involved.

    Compare Amsterdam to Ukraine or Saudi or Afganastan on economic, health, age, and safety of sex workers. In the prohibited places the workers are younger, and have no rights. The moment the fakeState gets its hands in this there will be protections not currently available.

    Further the fakeState has no say over my personal sovereignty. What I put in, on MY body is not their business. The fakeState has no business sticking needless in anyone to pimp them out to vaccine manufacturers. The fakeState or church has no business regulating what I eat drink smoke or screw. Prohibition always makes it’s target more dangerous and profitable.

    No Treaty of Annexation = no jurisdiction. http://FreeHawaii.info

    • True… if we look at foreign countries with sane regulation of sex workers, then we see this as just another occupation.

      In this country it freaks out the fundamental Christians.

      I’m glad that Joe Souki, a kupuna and faithful Catholic that he is, has introduced this bill. Any other Representatives would be accuse of being immoral.

  • Not to long ago camp girls and comfort girls lined ‘Hotel Streets’ and Tearooms throughout this kingdom. Not too long ago Fasi made and mandated the “I’m a boy!”, pin, a Nazi marker for trans in Honolulu. (google “I’m a boy!” + pin + glades)

    Today there’s still massage parlors and comfort places up and down Keeamoku, and near hotels and military bases throughout the Kingdom of Hawaii. The fakeState will never successfully manage prohibition on anything other than its own morals and covering its own corruption.

    Regardless comment the “Hotel Street” of your neighborhood and era… or your favorite tearoom from grandma’s stories

    Honolulu – Hotel St 1870’s – 1990
    Honolulu – Keeamoku ’70s – now