First Hearing and Press Conference in Historic Legal Case Challenging California Prostitution Law
Laws Against the Commercial Exchange of Consensual, Adult Sexual Activity Challenged as Violations of Privacy, Free Speech, and Freedom of Association Rights
WHERE: Oakland Federal Building& U.S. Courthouse, 1301 Clay Street, Oakland, CA 94612
WHEN: Friday August 7, 2015
Hearing: 9:00 a.m. hearing in Courtroom #5 on the 2nd floor, Judge Jeffrey S. White presiding
Press Conference: Following the hearing, members of the Erotic Service Providers Union will hold a press conference outside the Clay Street entrance of the courthouse 15 minutes after the court hears motions regarding the historic case.
The lawsuit, ESPLERP v Gascon (San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon is one of the defendants) contends that California’s current anti-prostitution law, known as 647(b) after its section in the state’s penal code, violates fundamental Constitutionally protected rights by unfairly depriving individuals of the right to private consensual sexual activity, criminalizing discussion of that activity among consenting adults, and restricting the right of individuals to freely associate. Plaintiffs are asking the court to find the statute unconstitutional.
The original complaint was filed in U.S. District Court on March 4 by the Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education and Research (ESPLER) Project, a non-profit formed by members of the grassroots community labor group Erotic Service Providers Union (ESPU) to advance sexual privacy rights through legal advocacy. Being sued in their official capacities are California Attorney General Kamala Harris and the district attorneys of Alameda, Marin, San Francisco, and Sonoma counties, the jurisdictions in which plaintiffs reside.
At the August 7 hearing, Judge White will hear defendants’ attempt to have the case dismissed.