Article Title:Update: Manukau, moralism and sex work
Author or Credit:Craig Young
Published on:5th December 2014 - 10:45 am
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Story ID:16126
Text:Unfortunately, it seems that the anti-sexworker and transphobic Manukau City Council (Regulating Prostitution in Specified Places) Bill is back in the parliamentary chamber. What shall we do about this? Despite the resignations of George Hawkins and Ross Robertson from Parliament to pursue Auckland local government representative careers, and the dumping of fanatical transphobe and New Zealand First List MP Asenati Lole-Taylor far down her party list so she didn't return to Parliament, due to questions about her electorate committee's finances and those of her husband, this iniquitous legislation is still alive. It has lumbered through the Local Government and Environmental select committee, where virtually all professional submissions opposed its passage and the consequent recriminalisation of street sex work. More recently, the Justice and Electoral select committee rejected a petition from fundamentalist activist and pseudo-feminist Elizabeth Subritzky and her pressure group "Freedom from Sexual Exploitation". In a media release last year, the Local Government and Enivornmental select committee said it favoured voluntary restraint, rather than legislative coercion. Predictably, the Christian Right has thrown another temper tantrum about this. Family First still wants the Manukau bill passed, despite the weight of professional opposition to that revealed within parliamentary submissions from professional organisations and covered in my previous Gaynz.Com articles on this issue. Moreover, Family First and Subritzky also want to ban residential brothels. Family First's rhetoric leads one to wonder whether it will be satisfied with anything short of wholesale repeal of the Prostitution Act 2003, with the connivance of elements of the Auckland Council, including Mayor Len Brown and other local authority cronies. However, judging from New South Wales' Summary Offences Act 1988, such bans do not work, and endanger marginal street sex workers, placing them at further risk of safety and health. As has been noted by medical practitioners organisations opposed to this bill, any recriminalisation will particularly harm highly vulnerable transgender Maori and Pacific Island whakwahine, fa'afafine and faikaleite street sex workers particularly hard. The Manukau City bill does nothing more than dredge up feeble and orchestrated "public nuisance" and anecdotal moral panic media material, particularly from the Manukau Courier during this period. I have said this before and I will say it again. This shameful bill attacks some of the weakest and most vulnerable members of New Zealand's LGBTI community members. It endangers their lives and health and there is almost unanimous professional, evidence-based opposition to its passage. Both the Local Government and Environmental select committee and Parliament as a whole must reject this private member's bill and vote to defeat it at its second reading. However, once again, the Local Government and Environmental select committee has delayed making such a decisive statement and rescheduled its report back to March 15, 2015. Enough. Defeat this bill! Recommended: Parliament: New Zealand Parliament - Home Craig Young - 5th December 2014    
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