Statewide prostitution repeal looms after today’s Burlington vote

By Carol Kaufman

Even as Burlington voters today decide whether to decriminalize prostitution, a House bill to strike down state laws prohibiting prostitution is working its way through the Legislature. 

H630, whose lead sponsor is Selene Colburn (P-Burlington), would “repeal the prostitution laws that currently prohibit ‘indiscriminate sexual intercourse’ and consensual engagement in sex work for hire by adults (18 years old) while retaining strict prohibitions and felony criminal penalties for human trafficking of persons who are compelled through force, fraud, or coercion to engage in sex work.”

H630 was introduced on Jan. 14 and assigned to House Judiciary, where Colburn is an influential member. Other sponsors are Emilie Kornheiser of Brattleboro, Tiffany Bluemle of Burlington, Brian Cina of Burlington, Katherine Donnally of Hyde Park,  John Killacky of South Burlington, Emma Mulvaney-Stanak of Burlington,  William Notte of Rutland, Barbara Rachelson of Burlington, Taylor Small of Winooski, Heather Surprenant of Barnard, Tanya Vyhovsky of Essex, and Rebecca White of Hartford. 

The bill claims that existing laws “reflect the social mores of the early 1900s, criminalizing not only voluntary sex work but sexual activity outside marriage, and no longer reflect Vermont’s commitment to personal and bodily autonomy.”  

Vermont Family Alliance asks why are parents being kicked out of the village and the legislative process concerning sex work age restriction?  H630 allows an 18-year-old to enter sex work when most 18-year-olds live under the protection of their family and attend High School.  

Vermont Family Alliance is gravely concerned that H630 is evidence Vermont legislators are expanding the definition of “reproductive autonomy.” H630, if passed, will weaken supports for families and fail to protect Vermont children and youth.

The author is affiliated with Vermont Family Alliance. Follow the organization on Facebook or email vermontfamilyalliance@gmail.com.

10 replies »

  1. ‘Personal and Bodily Autonomy’….but I’m forced to get experimental shot to keep my job?

    Liberals want to make me claw my eyeballs out.

  2. What about the State regulations governing this fledgling industry? Not surprisingly, those regulations aren’t enumerated in this bill.

    Will prostitutes (male or female) be required to register themselves as business owners or employees with tax IDs? Will their income be taxable? How will their income be reported (receipts with bona fide clients listed)? Will they be covered by Vermont labor laws? What about sub-contracting (e.g., pimping, brothels, hotel room rentals)? What about collective bargaining? What about worker’s compensation, unemployment insurance and disability benefits? And what about the physical requirements? Will prostitutes be required to show proof of vaccination for STDs? And their customers? How will a breach of contract be defined? I don’t think our Uniform Commercial Code covers this market.

    And most importantly, will the State (or more directly, the politicians sponsoring this bill) accept responsibility for damages that occur as the result of these regulations, or the lack thereof? For that matter, will the courts have the nerve to establish legal precedent?

    If you think Vermont’s governmental regulations and due process are ‘screwed up’ now (yes, pun intended), just wait for this ‘primal urge’ to take effect.

    And then consider why these people want to pass Vermont Proposal 5, Right to Personal Reproductive Autonomy Amendment (2022). This is going to be a legal and Planned Parenthood utopia. Especially if the service providers are paid in kind.

    Just be sure to remember who the Representatives are who introduced this bill.

    Colburn of Burlington,
    Kornheiser of Brattleboro,
    Bluemle of Burlington,
    Cina of Burlington,
    Donnally of Hyde Park,
    Killacky of South Burlington,
    Mulvaney-Stanak of Burlington,
    Notte of Rutland City,
    Rachelson of Burlington,
    Small of Winooski,
    Surprenant of Barnard,
    Vyhovsky of Essex, and
    White of Hartford

    And if H.630 ever sees the light of day, remember who votes for it.

    • A number of good questions were listed concerning the business aspects of the prostitution trade. You should add to that questions about government regulation and control. License fees, educational requirements, insurance requirements, a state department to oversee and inspect?

  3. Wonderful. Say…..how about we legalize indecent exposure, growing pot in school gardens, driving under the influence, retail theft of anything valued at less than $1,000. public carry of tactical weapons, and distributing condoms in middle schools?!!

  4. Our cultural morays and in some cases our laws, have shown a slow evolution away from the international standard of treating woman as chattel. There is a pantheon of heroes who have contributed to this. In the 70’s, in Texas, it was sufficiently slow so as to elicit heroic radical reaction. Roe v Wade was part of that effort to correct such treatment. The aim was to delegitimize laws intrusive toward women’s bodily integrity but the means to that end was we enshrined eliminating unwanted pregnancies. Perhaps not a prudent move…eliminating one wrong by endorsing another. As part of this thrust toward casting off delegitimizing views of women we have supported the ideal that the commodification of women is a bad idea. If we eliminate laws against prostitution will we not be re-endorsing that women can be a commodity? Is this not regressive toward our quest to unburden women? …is this a consensus in our community or another esoteric agenda of some enlightened zealot?

  5. Can you imagine the pretzel logic those legislators had to twist themselves into to go so far as to support this. Organ harvesting or selling organs for cash is but one choice away for both the Johns and the prossies.
    This looks like a side step to remove culpability for the pervs in our government who look the other way as children are trafficked, abused, sold, and killed by adults they are told to trust…which again, is but one side step away from prostitution. Where there is one, the other exists as its shadow.
    Law enforcement knows this.
    Is this about money honey?
    Qui bono?

    Tunbridge Fair just changed hands. Maybe the pervs are getting worried their playground has gone away.

  6. Welcome to Pervmont! The Green Mountain cesspool of corruption. The level of criminality in this State is beyond the pale…the powers in the seats are just legalizing it for their own satisfaction.

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