For those not in RI, indoor prostitution was a big issue. It was legal until recently. I understand that human trafficking and exploitation is wrong, however, there are healthy expressions of sexuality that are not exploitation. Sex is natural, people have been doing it since humans walked the earth.
I received the following in an email from From RI Citizens for the Arts:
The Arts Affected by new Sex Trafficking law
During the recent 2-day session of the General Assembly, the legislature passed amendments to the state’s “sex trafficking” law. This law has possible negative implications for the arts community. The legislation includes a definition for “sexually explicit performance” to mean “an act or show, intended to arouse, satisfy the sexual desires of, or appeal to the prurient interests of patrons or viewers, whether public or private, live, photographed, recorded, or videotaped”. Further the legislation holds any person found guilty of, among other things, recruiting, employing, transporting, or persuading a minor to participate is punishable by up to 40 years in prison. The subjective nature of the definition and its broad implications can be detrimental to the arts community. As our colleague Steven Brown at the RI-ACLU points out in a letter to us: “From an MTV video, to the filming of Lolita or just about any teen sex comedy, to the display of artful photography of minors – involvement in any of these activities in Rhode Island may now be a felony”. This language was added in House Judiciary Committee late on the first night of the 2-day session, and then passed in the Senate on the final day. Once we heard of the bill from the RI-ACLU, RI Citizens for the Arts embarked on a phone campaign and lobbying effort to Senator Rhoda Perry (D-Providence), the lead sponsor. While the bill passed, both Senator Perry and Senator Maryellen Goodwin (D-Providence) have offered to sponsor an amendment to the bill in the coming session, seeking to adjust this language. RI Citizens for the Arts will continue to pursue this with the legislators. Further, the RI-ACLU is considering a legal challenge to the law, and has asked members of the arts community to consider being plantiffs on the suit.
projo article: http://politicsblog.projo.com/2009/11/ri-aclu-directo.html
Thankfully, the Sex at the X show, that I am curating at Gallery X, is taking place in New Bedford, MA.