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End Police Bias

Ethical Prostitution

19th Century German Sex Worker, Anna Dorthea Hansen Flickr/creative commons

As a follow up to yesterday's discussion of the decriminalization of sex work, take a look at this video of a sex worker ally drilling down to the issues. While perhaps relying too much on sensational memes based on unreliable data that says most sex workers are sex-trafficked children, she makes a durable case for the complete decriminalization and legalization of sex work. Social acceptance and legalization of sex work is the key to ending sex-trafficking, not its cause. Sex-traffickers are involved in organized crime and should be pursued and punished vigorously; if they disappear so will their victims. But unless ...

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Decriminalizing Sex Work: The Work Ahead

Flickr/creative commons

Highly-acclaimed, reader-supported news site, Truthout, has once again zeroed in on a pressing matter of social justice, the continued criminalization of sex workers. Mike Ludwig's news analysis, well worth a full read, weaves together several different threads of this issue in terms everyone can understand. Ludwig points our attention to "a great leap forward" in New York's state court system that has introduced 11 new prostitution courts called Human Trafficking Intervention Courts (HTICs). These new courts were designed to treat arrested sex workers as "trafficking victims" deserving of medical and social services ...

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Op-Ed: Culturally Inept Policing Schools Criminals

Photo by Adam Fagen Flickr/creative commons

In our grassroots work in Washington, DC, 3 years ago, we discovered a sad reality that persists. Police training and code, cultural competency training, with additional Special Orders pertaining to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) people, and the country's most long-standing and extensive human rights protections for the LGBT community were not enough to rid the police force of homophobes and transphobes. While there are many good policemen, this substantial group cannot not be persuaded to put their personal feelings second to enforcing the law, actually doing their jobs. In fact, some are perpetrators of crimes against the communities they were assigned ...

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Stay Informed. Stay Active.

Light Brigading Flickr/creative commons

We speculate that unlike the consciousness raising on gun control following the Newtown Massacre, which petered out along partisan lines since the National Rifle Association owns most of the U.S. Congress, this singular event in Ferguson will succeed in merging the message with the messenger at just the right moment. It has brought about a laser-focus on the rotten mass of shameful, bankrupt, coercive, and inhumane systems, forcing elected officials, conservative and liberal alike, to say, wait a damn minute.  "The eyes of the nation and the world are watching Ferguson right now. The world is watching because the issues ...

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Love Pierces Hate

by Rafee Jewell Flickr/cretaive commons

  After a week of writing about the senseless murder of Michael Brown, a young, unarmed African-Americn in Ferguson, Missouri, by a white policeman, I've spent the last few days reading posts we have written over the past few years, and those from other authors, condemning racism. It's become a meditation on the racism upon which this country was founded. Fear of other did not begin with America. Fear of something different than yourself springs from caveman DNA, and it is only the gradual grasp of Love, in your intellect and in actuality of the Love you express, that raises anyone above ...

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Jamelle Bouie Gives the Larger Picture

Photo by Steve Rhodes Flickr/creative commons

Why the Fires in Ferguson Won't End Soon But while calm is hard to predict, one thing is clear: The events in Ferguson—from the shooting to the police response and everything since—are a product of familiar forces and stem from a familiar history. Put another way, the area’s long-bottled racial tension has burst, and it’s difficult to know if it can be resolved, much less contained. -- Slate's Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie)  In a mere 3000 words, Jamelle Bouie schools us in reality versus perception. The article is well worth a full read and understanding because it applies ...

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Old Ferguson Makes New Commitments

Flickr/creative commons

VenusPlusX's unique mix, what we mean by The New Age of Sexual Freedom, is aimed at solutions to change the state of our country, our world, through the removal of all obstacles such as racism, sexism, the worst of nationalism, and all the other "isms," that stand in the way of Peace, universal pluralism based on love. (Our Mission, our Manifesto.) In this context, we have written all week about the shooting of young Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, his legacy and his family's continuing legacy, a lightening strike heard around the world that has forever changed ...

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Do Your Part To Break The Cycle

By Elvert Barnes Washington, DC August 14, 2014 Flickr/creative commons

  Michael Brown and his family have finally put a face on police brutality, sparking a robust national conversation that must take place. Freedom and human rights are just words, words this country peddles abroad but does little for at home. We can honor this family’s awful sacrifice by doing more each day to end this scourge in our nation. Will you? (VenusPlusX, August 18, 2014) Yesterday, we wrote Solutions Are Available But Will We Pay Attention? to start a list of what we can do to bring about substantive change to the circumstances that lead to the tragic killing of young ...

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Solutions Are Available But Will We Pay Attention?

Photo by Chase Carter Flicker/creative commons

"Every once in a while, a dramatic news story can actually produce real reform. More often the momentum peters out once the story disappears from the news (remember how Sandy Hook meant we were going to get real gun control?), but it can happen. And now, after the aftermath of the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missiouri, turned to a chaotic nightmare of police oppression, we may have an opportunity to examine, and hopefully reverse, a troubling policy trend of recent years." -- Paul Waldman, The American Prospect We've written our initial response to the unfolding ...

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Casa Ruby Awards First Dan Massey Trans Ally Award

(l. to r.) Dana Beyer, DC Mayor Vincent Gray, and Casa Ruby Distinguished Service Award recipient, Consuella Lopez Photo by Ted Eytan Flickr/creative commons

Last week, we had another wonderful night out in New York City with our friend and current candidate for the Maryland Senate, Dr. Dana Beyer. The Maryland primary election is today and, win or lose, it's not an exaggeration to say the force is with her. As a trans woman running against an entrenched old boy who happens to be a gay man, she has been heroic in this campaign (and in her previous campaigns for Maryland Delegate) in presenting voters with a true progressive vision that enfranchises all people, not just special interests, not the status quo. Dana ...

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