BALTIMORE, MD –
Last week, congress passed a $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill. The fine print prohibits sex workers from receiving aid.
Part of the coronavirus relief plan includes funding for small businesses whose business has been affected by the virus. Those small businesses have been asked to fill out an application. It appears that applying entities cannot “present live performances of a prurient sexual nature or derive directly or indirectly more than de minimis gross revenue through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a prurient sexual nature.”
It’s worth noting that statement includes legal sex workers like strippers, sex toy producers, and others. Well, according to that broad clause.
“It’s so dehumanizing,” Jacqueline Frances, a stripper, comedian and author, shared with HuffPost. “They’re asking all of us, who work legally, to feel ashamed about what we do. They are actively making life harder for sex workers in this crisis.”
The clause is based on a 1995 issue where “lawful activities of an obscene, pornographic or prurient sexual nature,” according to the initial proposal.
I think what makes it so tough to digest is that these legal sex workers are employees and citizens. They’ve worked and paid taxes in this country and not to mention, they’re also affected by this virus. I can’t help but wonder whether this clause will be re-visited.