(VIDEO) Manhattan will stop prosecuting sex workers, marking ‘monumental’ step for trans advocates

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Transgender advocates in New York are celebrating after the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office announced it will no longer prosecute sex workers. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said “Over the last decade we’ve learned from those with lived experience, and from our own experience on the ground: criminally prosecuting prostitution does not make us safer, and too often, achieves the opposite result by further marginalizing vulnerable New Yorkers.” The DA also announced approximately 6,000 prostitution-related open cases will be dismissed, including 900 cases dating back to the 1970s. Cecilia Gentili, founder of Transgender Equity Consulting, said “one of the most significant steps taken Nationally in the effort to stop criminalizing sex work. This resolute action to actively decriminalize sex workers is the kind of change our community has been hoping for, advocating for, for decades.” As we have reported at Queer News Tonight, Trans people — especially trans women of color — are more likely to engage in sex work: The National Transgender Discrimination Survey found nearly 11 percent of transgender Americans reported having participated in the sex trade, including almost 40 percent of Black respondents and 33 percent of Latinos.

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