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 firstname.lastname@example.org.