The Curvature: “Louisiana Law Forces Many Sex Workers to Register as Sex Offenders”

Excellent article at The Curvature about Louisiana’s troubling sex offender laws: Some women who are convicted for selling sex are placed on sex offender registries. In fact, almost 40% of the people in Orleans Parish on the sex offender registry are there because they sold oral or anal sex. (Yes, Lawrence v Texas probably makes this unconstitutional.) Sex offender registries, which were enacted by politicians with such fervor about “protecting children,” provide law enforcement with a new way to criminalize poor African American women who may be relying on sex work for survival.

This is not in any way about keeping communities safer. It is about further punishing and portraying as deviant those who have failed to comply with societal rules regarding sexuality, class, and womanhood. It’s not about making communities safer, it’s about specifically ensuring that these particular community members are as unsafe as possible. And in that sense, it’s certainly working.