Scarlet News:

Move To Criminalise Oral Sex: Sex Workers Targeted

May 11, 2006 | News

The Police Minister Judy Spence is increasing police powers to entrap and deceive sex workers into offering oral sex without a condom. Currently police act as clients, calling and visiting sex workers to pressure them into agreeing to offer sex without a condom, and then pressing criminal charges against them for it. However in one case the sex worker pleaded not guilty – and got off. The court ruled that they had only offered the service, not actually done it, therefore the crime was not committed. In a bizarre twist Police Minister Judy Spence is now tabling legislation to criminalise even the discussion of oral sex without a condom – but only for sex workers. Sex workers, experts and community representatives oppose the move. Sex Workers In Queensland: The only people in Australia to have oral sex criminalised

"Sex Workers in Queensland have their sexual behavior regulated by criminal law; it has been against the law for sex workers to have oral sex without a condom since 2003. The fact is that sex workers are the most likely Australians to be practicing safe sex, and criminalising their behavior is based on little more than insinuation and discrimination. There is no need for laws against oral sex without a condom, for sex workers or anyone."

Janelle Fawkes, Manager, Scarlet Alliance, Australian Sex Workers Association

Police Minister seeks to raise arrest statistics by entrapping sex workers into offering sexual services without condoms

“A new law is being brought in to make an unneeded and unenforceable law easier to enforce. Under the Prostitution Amendment Bill 2006 (s77a) police will have the power to entrap sex workers by asking them to perform sex or oral sex without a condom or dam. We have no doubt that as soon as these laws are passed, the Queensland Police Service will be on the phone, and out to see, private sex workers trying to entrap them into offering a sexual service without a prophylactic. The government is well aware that sex workers are not a public health problem. Sex workers on the whole have better sexual health than the general public. So why do we need a law to police matters that are not a problem? Because the Police Minister’s office is concerned with arrest rates, not public health. Putting the police in charge of investigating the sexual practices of sex workers is just not smart policy in a post-Fitzgerald society.”

Candi Forrest, SSPAN (Sexual Service Providers Advocacy Network)

Legislating Oral Sex: The Queensland Government Wants Into Our Bedrooms

"Regulating the discussion of oral sex without a condom between sex workers and their clients is intrusive and ridiculous. Sex workers, their clients, and any person who chooses to discuss such matters, should be able to do so without fear of criminal charges. The negotiation and discussion of the use of condoms is a personal issue between the sex worker and client, it is not for the Queensland Police Service to regulate. Surely, after the revelations of the Fitzgerald inquiry about police corruption resulting from their personal intrusion into the sex industry, we don’t want to set the stage for history to be repeated”.

Criminologist Paul Wilson 07 55952543

Criminalisation of oral sex unsupported by evidence: Queensland Aids Council

“The Bill provides for an increased role for police in regulating the sexual behaviour of individual sex workers through the criminalisation of ‘offering oral sex without a condom’. This is a form of policing to which no other group in society is subjected. This punitive response to public health issues is not supported by evidence.”

Paul R Martin , General Manager, QuAC, (Queensland AIDS Council)

Police Should Not Be Empowered To Question Sex Workers About Their Intimate Practises: SSPAN

"Sex workers in Queensland are not a public health problem and the police should stay out of their sexual business. Lawful sexual activity is covered by Equal Opportunity legislation in Queensland, which protects EVERYONE except for sex workers when it comes to condom use. The criminalisation of sex workers’ behavior means that police are empowered to pose as clients and harass sex workers over the specifics of their sexual services. This is unacceptable and unnecessary, it is not good OH&S practice and it gives the Queensland Police Service open slather to intimidate sex workers."

Candi Forrest, SSPAN, (Sexual Service Providers Advocacy Network)