Although condoms themselves aren’t illegal, in New York City, Washington, D.C, and San Francisco possessing condoms has been used as evidence contributing to arrest and prosecution for intent to commit prostitution.
The chilling effect in all three cities is that sex workers are being discouraged from practicing safe sex. Sex workers and others are less likely to use condoms if they know that the police might consider possessing them evidence of intent to commit a crime.
All three cities have serious problems with HIV/AIDS and should be taking every possible step to encourage safe sex. Stopping the spread of disease, especially HIV/AIDS, should be our top priority, and this backwards policy puts all of us at risk.
Over a thousand people have already sent letters to the mayor of Washington, D.C. and today you can help by sending a letter to all three mayors asking them to tell their police forces to stop considering condoms as evidence of intent to commit any crime and by making public statements declaring that no one should be afraid to practice safe sex in their city.
A strong public statement, in this case, could literally save lives.