monicaTransgender Law Center joined the ACLU and ACLU of Arizona, Lambda Legal, the Legal Aid Society, and Urban Justice Center in submitting an amicus brief calling for the reversal of Monica Jones’s conviction. The ACLU was lead counsel on the brief. As you may recall, Monica was convicted of “manifesting an intent to commit… prostitution” in April. “Manifesting” laws criminalize everyday activities such as waving at someone in a car or talking to friends on the sidewalk, and are frequently used to target trans women of color around the country simply for “walking while trans.”

Monica, a student and activist with Sex Workers Outreach Project, had been a vocal opponent of the Phoenix-area ProjectROSE before her arrest. ProjectROSE is emblematic of “rescue” organizations that have sprung up around the United States that seek to force moralizing “counseling” on sex workers and people presumed to be sex workers. Such programs do nothing to address the true needs of and actual harms faced by the people they claim to serve. As Monica herself put it, “[W]e don’t believe consenting sex workers are victims, or that workers need to be arrested in order to get services.”

You can read the full amicus brief below, and if you haven’t already, sign the petition to support Monica and defund ProjectROSE here.

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