(San Francisco, CA, August 27, 2015)—On Tuesday Federal agents arrested Rentboy.com CEO Jeffrey Hurant and six of the company’s employees on prostitution charges. The agents also seized their homes, bank accounts, and $1.4 million.

Statement from National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Kate Kendell:

“Like Amnesty International, the World Health Organization, and other medical and human rights organizations, NCLR strongly opposes criminal prosecution of sex work by adults.  Experience and evidence have shown that criminalization serves only to make those who are vulnerable to harms associated with sex work even more vulnerable. The criminal charges against Rentboy.com by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice are misguided and a terrible waste of resources.  We are especially concerned about the negative impact on LGBT individuals who have been driven to sex work after being rejected by their families and experiencing other types of discrimination.  NCLR strongly recommends that the federal government adopt a strategy aimed at providing essential supports – education, jobs, housing – to LGBTQ youth and adults who have been marginalized by these serious harms.”