A WIN for AF3IRM Portland!
AF3IRM Portland has been working with a coalition of survivor-led organizations since late 2021 to DISMANTLE Initiative Petition 42 (IP 42), AKA the Oregon ballot measure which was deceptively titled the “Sex Worker Rights Act”, when it pushed to further protect buyers, pimps, and brothels, and increase demand and sex trafficking. It sought to further normalize sexual exploitation and protect the interests of sex buyers and pimps. It was in no way a genuine measure to empower those in the sex trade, particularly Indigenous women, women and girls of color.
The coalition and AF3IRM mobilized to initiate a legal challenge against the ballot measure’s safety and validity, as it would provide more freedom and wealth to those in power, and further marginalize the most vulnerable. Soon after the legal challenge began, the IP 42 Chief Petitioner Aaron Boonshoft, a multi-millionaire and self-proclaimed sex buyer, withdrew the ballot measure.
This is a win that couldn’t be done without the steadfast commitment from a grassroots group of survivors, organizers, women of color, and allies from AF3IRM, Northwest Survivor Alliance, Rights4Girls, World Without Exploitation, and many others.
The coalition legally challenged the claims of the petition, stating:
- The ballot measure’s title and caption FAIL to specify the actual effects of this measure. The original caption misguides a voter to believe that this measure would exclusively create more protections for sex workers–BUT in reality, the measure would create more protections for buyers, pimps, AND brothels in addition to sex workers.
- The ballot measure violates the Single Subject Rule and is invalid under the Oregon Constitution’s procedural rules. The measure in fact amends and creates laws in no fewer than eleven subjects.
Legalization is NOT the solution to end exploitation. AF3IRM supports the decriminalization of the bought and sold, but pimping, trafficking, brothel-keeping, and the buying of sex should remain anathematized, as these are the agencies of exploitation.
If you’re looking for a political home and are ready to take your activism to the next level, DM us @AF3IRM, or email [email protected] to get connected.