Starchild: Making It Safe to Walk the Streets

In November, San Francisco voters will get to vote on whether to decriminalize prostitution in the city.

The measure would bar authorities from spending money to investigate or prosecute people for engaging in prostitution.

The measure, which qualified Friday, would also end a local program that allows those caught soliciting a prostitute for the first time to avoid charges if they attend a class and pay a fine.

And the measure got in the ballot in large part because of Starchild, America's best-dressed Libertarian activist. He helped collect the signatures to qualify it, and he's one of the measure's spokespeople. Eric Dondero pays tribute:

Libertarians and most especially Libertarian Republicans are aligned with Conservatives more and more these days, on a variety of civil liberties issues. Conservatives have come around on smoking bans, seat belt laws, speed limits, free speech rights, and even in some cases on the gambling front. But they still seem completely out-of-touch on sexual matters, and hopelessly uncool.

And they wonder why young people are turning off to the GOP in record numbers.

Perhaps they should consider that it's their oldline prudishness that's more of a turn-off to younger voters than the War in Iraq. Solution: Let the Libertarians take the lead on issues such as legalization of prostitution and swingers' rights, and bring some hipness back to the GOP.

It's a beautiful coda to the city's 2007 lawsuit against Starchild, which he won.

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  • ||

    DONDEROOOOOOOOO!

    Solution: Let the Libertarians take the lead on issues such as legalization of prostitution and swingers' rights, and bring some hipness back to the GOP.

    ...so they can see that you can be cool and start needless wars at the same time.

  • ||

    Didn't a bunch of splitters form a new party last time the LP tried to modify the Swingers' Rights plank of the platform?

  • shocked, I tell you||

    Until now, I always thought Starchild was a chick.

  • ||

    DONDEROOOOOOOOO!

    Crimethink, Dondero finally said something that makes sense. Let's encourage this behavior, instead of taking cheap shots.

    Kinda like the weekend thread where people were taking swipes at Neu Mejican, lumping him in with the leftists on the thread, when NM was saying libertarian stuff.

    Give credit where it's due.

  • ||

    "Libertarians and most especially Libertarian Republicans are aligned with Conservatives more and more these days"

    I think Dondero has been sniffing glue.

  • ||

    prolefeed,
    I think you've gotta read the Dondero quote in the voice of Austin Powers (adding, "Yeah, Baby!" to the end of each sentence) to really get the full effect.

  • ||

    Kinda like the weekend thread where people were taking swipes at Neu Mejican, lumping him in with the leftists on the thread, when NM was saying libertarian stuff.

    Ahh yes, my moral complicity with Chinese facotries for failing to hold them to some subjective pseudoscientific environmental standards.

    Gaia save me!

  • ||

    "facotries."
    Randian has apparently outsourced his spelling.

  • ||

    Here's StarChild in action, er, at a libertarian national convention: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mdailey77/183465744/in/set-72157594189715338/

  • ||

    In terms of gayness:

    gay < flaming < flagayming

  • ||

    shit, there should be a < < starchild after that. Stupid preview button, not forcing me to click it.

  • ||

  • ||

    prolefeed,

    I apologize for not quoting the part I actually had a problem with:

    Perhaps they should consider that it's their oldline prudishness that's more of a turn-off to younger voters than the War in Iraq.

    Sorry, his trying to downplay the idiocy of the Iraq War negates any credit he gets for being on the right side on other issues.

  • ||

    "The measure would bar authorities from spending money to investigate or prosecute people for engaging in prostitution."

    Wouldn't such a broadly written law prevent or impede the police from investigating cases of sex trafficking? I'm all for legalizing prostitution, but sexual slavery is real. The only ways to effectively curtail it are bringing the sex industry fully into the light, which this measure does not do, or vigorous enforcement, which this measure prevents.

  • ||

    "facotries."
    Randian has apparently outsourced his spelling.


    That's how it's spelled in my Wal-Mart desks instructions!

  • Paul||

    This is happening in San Francisco...why do I not trust it?

  • Back to work||

    Wouldn't such a broadly written law prevent or impede the police from investigating cases of sex trafficking? I'm all for legalizing prostitution, but sexual slavery is real.

    So investigate them for kidnapping.

  • ||

    Since when is Dondero some kind of Libertarian spokesman?

    This is the guy who supported Giuliani as "the libertarian candidate" (who was going to smack down the "authoritarian" Hillary in the general election) and spent the whole primary season attacking his ex-boss Ron Paul for not wanting to kill brown people.

  • ||

    a local program that allows those caught soliciting a prostitute for the first time to avoid charges if they attend a class and pay a fine.

    A class in what? How not to get caught?

  • lunchstealer||

    Reading the title, for a second I thought that the Mothership had descended and given Dondero the funk.

  • Timothy||

    DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Conservatives have come around on smoking bans, seat belt laws, speed limits, free speech rights, and even in some cases on the gambling front.

    If he means they've come around to supporting them, then yes, he's right on the money. What a douchetard.

    DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • JB||

    If this passes, I might actually say that some liberals are actually liberal in at least one way.

  • ||

    I suspect that San Francisco, one of the most liberal cities with regards to "personal rights"*, will flunk this thing by a monstrous margin. Not that I have any real backing to this assumption but people vote with their hearts, not their minds, and as "progressive" as the residents of SF are I don't think they will get over the "ewww" factor. Additionally, I would not be at all surprised if an organization forms that explicitly denouncing this bill because it doesn't call for taxing prostitute's fares or provide for their healthcare.

    *I enclose personal rights in quotes since a lot of people, the residents of SF being a prime example, seem to disassociate many personal choices from the realm of rights. Smoking, true property ownership and use, etc.

  • ||

    I'd like to see San Fran live up to its supposed "freewheeler" cred, but most city mice have their own set of prejudices and ignorance. I just find country mice a hair more intolerable (and usually less read...though not always).

    Anywho, the silver lining is if Frisco fails this, we can all mock the "liberaltarian" movement relentlessly.

  • ||

    During the heyday of the Ron Paul movement (last January or so), Wired Magazine was going to do a walk-along with a group of supporters handing out literature door to door. We wanted to put our best face on it, so we all made sure that Starchild did not find out about it! If there's a reporter within one hundred miles of San Fransisco doing a story on libertarians, Starchild will find him! It's freaking embarassing.

  • ||

    Brandybuck- he seems to be getting more done than most LP members.

  • ||

    As far as the whole flaming gay thing, wasn't he arrested for being paid to have sex with women?

  • Eric Dondero||

    Hey David, thanks for the link. Very kind of you.

    Interesting Factoid: Do you all realize that if San Francisco does this, it will become the second community in the Nation to have virtual legalized prostitution? The first being the 10 Counties in Nevada, of course.

    Remember Gambling in the 1970s? It was limited to just Nevada. Then one day a tiny town in South Dakota - Deadwood - took the step of legalizing it. Then, within months, Atlantic City followed suit. And it's been gangbusters ever since.

    Perhaps Starchild deserves even more credit than we're giving him. We could see other communities who are on the edge of legalizing prostitution come over soon, if San Francisco takes the leap. Just like what happened with Gambling in the 1970s.

  • Eric Dondero||

    BTW, a small pet peeve of mine:

    We often say that Prostitution is legal only in the State of Nevada in the USA.

    Well, this is only partly true.

    Prostitution is completely legal in Puerto Rico, as well. They have brothels right there in downtown San Juan.

    Another reason we libertarians should be supportive of Statehood for PR!

    But let's make sure to mention that little fact, when talking about this issue: "Prostitution is legal in two States - Nevada and Puerto Rico, and is about to be legalized in California, as well."

    (I know, it's bending the truth a teensy weensy bit. But hey, that's politics!)

  • Xeones||

    DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • ||

    Dondero's only supportive of this law because ordering a prostitute is about the only way he can get laid.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that.

  • Starchild||

    Thank you Eric Dondero and David Weigel for writing about prostitution decriminalization in San Francisco, and I appreciate your kind words. In all honesty though, I would like to say that although my role was not insignificant, chief credit for getting the measure on the ballot belongs to the author and official proponent, Maxine Doogan, along with a couple activists with Industrial Workers of the World who collected the most signatures.

    Since qualifying for the ballot, organizing the campaign has mostly fallen to myself and Maxine, and we are probably the two people most identified with it at this point.

    You can read the text of the initiative at the Erotic Service Providers Union website (http://espu-ca.org/wp/?page_id=173), and contribute online via credit card via that site if you would like to support the measure. If you prefer to mail a check, I encourage people to make checks out to the Libertarian Party of San Francisco and send them, with "prostitution measure" or the equivalent written on the memo line, to 2215-R Market Street, #170, San Francisco, CA 94114.

    I've also started a Meetup group that is a good place to keep up with what's going on with the campaign -- http://localpolitics.meetup.com/241/

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