December 17, 2019
Contact: Christopher Vasquez, NCLR Communications Director
cvasquez@nclrights.org / (415) 365-1337

NCLR applauds Representatives Khanna and Lee, Senator Warren for introducing Federal Sex Worker Bill

Groundbreaking bill would require the Federal Government to examine the impacts of SESTA/FOSTA on the health and safety of sex workers in the United States

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, on International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, Representatives Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee, and Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced the “SESTA/FOSTA Examination of Secondary Effects for Sex Workers Study Act,” or the “SAFE SEX Workers Study Act.” The bill requires a federal study on how losing access to online platforms impacts the health and safety of people in the commercial sex trade.

In 2018, Congress passed SESTA/FOSTA which vastly expanded the civil and criminal liability of websites for hosting information related to the sex trade. In response, dozens of websites closed, displacing sex workers who utilized those websites to earn a living in order to stay housed, fed and safe. The SAFE SEX Workers Study Act seeks to understand the collateral consequences of the SESTA/FOSTA and other measures to shutdown online platforms.

“Violence against sex workers plays a significant part in the epidemic of violence against transgender women of color,” said NCLR Senior Policy Counsel, Tyrone Hanley. “The SAFE SEX Workers study will provide an important opportunity to learn directly from sex workers about the challenges they face post-SESTA/FOSTA. This knowledge will help inform future laws and policies that promote the health and safety of sex workers.”


The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. Founded in 1977 by Donna Hitchens, NCLR was the first LGBTQ legal organization founded by women. Since its founding, NCLR has maintained a longstanding commitment to racial and economic justice and our community’s most vulnerable. www.NCLRights.org