Florida lawmakers just voted to create a public registry of people caught paying or attempting to pay for sex.
After an initial defeat in the Florida House of Representatives, the registry—arguably the worst part of a new Florida crime bill capitalizing on human-trafficking propaganda—was revived and reinserted before the measure’s passage in the Florida Senate. The final version, approved last week, creates a database of convicted prostitution customers, targets strip clubs, and mandates that a slew of state workers and businesses jump through new hoops to accommodate a few politicians’ latest attempt to get their names in the press.
As the Florida Senate’s Committee on Community Affairs stated, the new registry “will collect and centralize information relating to those convicted of soliciting prostitution, regardless of whether the person subject to the solicitation is a victim of human trafficking or not.”
The Soliciting for Prostitution Public Database will list anyone who has been convicted of, or plead guilty, to “soliciting, inducing, enticing, or procuring another to commit prostitution, lewdness, or assignation.” The legislation specifies that the database should include a person’s name, photograph, address, and offense. Listed people who go five years without a subsequent offense could have their names removed.
“This isn’t creating a list of bad or dangerous clients; it’s just a list of clients who got caught by the police,”