Voters Choose Not to Legalize Prostitution in San Francisco

Bay Area News (SF) 5 Nov 08

San Franciscans rejected a measure that would have legalized prostitution in the city. Measure K lost by an overwhelming majority on Wednesday with more than half the precincts reporting. San Francisco’s mayor and top prosecutor spoke out Wednesday against the controversial ballot measure that would have decriminalized prostitution in the city, saying it would remove the ability of law enforcement to curb human trafficking and provide services for victims.

Speaking on a dingy street corner in the Tenderloin District, the site of a now-closed massage parlor, Mayor Gavin Newsom and District Attorney Kamala Harris pushed a message that prostitution is not a victimless crime. “We can not give a green light or a pass to predators of young women,” Harris said. “This is so much bigger than what happens between consenting adults behind closed doors,” she added.Harris said prostitution often accompanies drug crime, violence and quality of life in neighborhoods such as the Tenderloin. She said passage of Proposition K would not be “compassionate.”