SAN FRANCISCO — Fetish site RetailClips.com has pledged a percentage of profits from its site to help the Erotic Service Providers Legal Education and Research (ESPLER) Project’s court case that seeks to legalize prostitution in California.
Maxine Doogan of the ESPLER Project said she hopes that RetailClip’s promise to share in profits will “inspire others in the larger erotic industry to recognize our common ground and join the fight.”
“In the current climate, where government is coming after a whole range of adult industry players, we really need to support each other — to not only protect but also to expand sexual privacy and sexual freedoms for everyone,” Doogan said.
Donald Kaiser, founder of Black Murk Entertainment, the operator of the newly launched RetailClips, said that ESPLER Project’s court case is crucial for the adult entertainment biz as a whole.
“Their central point is that private consensual behavior between adults is constitutionally protected,” Kaiser said. “That applies to all areas of the industry — whether prostitution, porn production, adult classifieds or video clip production. So, we want people to know that the more video clips they buy or sell on RetailClips.com, the more money will go to fund success in court.”
ESPLER Project’s lawsuit challenges California’s anti-prostitution law, Penal Code 647(b), and says that private behavior between consenting adults is constitutionally protected.
The case is now being appealed at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where 36 civil rights and LGBT organizations have filed amicus (friend-of-the-court) briefs supporting ESPLER Project’s position.
ESPLER Project has asked the appeals court to toss a lower court's judgment, remand the case back to the lower court and declare the anti-prostitution law unconstitutional. The group also is seeking a permanent injunction.
An Oakland, Calif., federal judge last year dismissed the group's suit against California's attorney general and four district attorneys across the state that sought to have Penal Code 647(b) tossed.
At the time, the state successfully argued that its 55-year-old prostitution statute is a valid regulation of commerce that does not infringe upon any liberty interest of its citizens.