The division over prostitution threatens Irene Montero’s ‘only yes is yes’ law

The division over prostitution threatens Irene Montero’s ‘only yes is yes’ law


Ada Colau and Irene Montero, with Ione Belarra in the background, at a United We Can event in 2020.

© Unidad Editorial, SA
Ada Colau and Irene Montero, with Ione Belarra in the background, at a United We Can event in 2020.

The reopening of the debate on prostitution has placed the so-called law of only yes is yes. The star project of Irene Montero its transit through the Congress after cracks and differences have opened up in the last week between the parties that were theoretically going to vote in favor of the norm. Some divergences that have surfaced even within the coalition of United we can, where the Common from Ada Colau They have tabled an amendment to the text of their fellow ranks because of their disagreements. All these problems have arisen as a result of two articles contained in the Pdraft Organic Law for the Comprehensive Guarantee of Sexual Freedom, popularly known as the only yes is yes. Are the 187 and 187 to, which address the issue of prostitution. In them, the Ministry of Equality It proposes that those who rent real estate, flats or premises to people who engage in prostitution, even if it is a practice totally consented to by those people, be prosecuted and punished with sentences of several years in prison, because it understands that they benefit economically from an “exploitation”. It involves recovering what was legally called “the locative third party.” A crime that was withdrawn from the Penal Code in the 90s during the last Government of Felipe Gonzalez considering that it was being harmful to prostitutes because it pushed them underground and into more hostile and vulnerable conditions. ERC, Together and the CUP They presented on Thursday an amendment to the law to suppress these two articles, because they defend the free exercise of prostitution when it is a consensual activity and without any type of coercion or threat on the person who prostitutes himself. It is what I had already done two days before In Common We Can, the Catalan confluence led by Ada Colau that is part of United We Can, which is the party that, with Irene Montero at the helm, heads the Ministry of Equality. They are not the only government partners who are distancing themselves from the law because of the risk of making the lives of many prostitutes even worse. As this newspaper has learned, More Country He will also shortly submit an amendment to delete 187 and 187 bis of the bill. And that could drag his partner too Commitment.

The minister wants to persecute those who rent real estate for prostitution

The law has reignited an unresolved debate within feminism, dating back many decades, and where advocates of abolition and the regulation of prostitution confront each other. Irene Montero, who is part of the first group, is now in the middle of this clash of positions. The only yes is yes law does not seek to delve into the issue of prostitution in all its complexity, but it does want to approach it as one more sexual violence. The debate is now open. On the one hand, the PSOE made his official position in favor of the prohibition of prostitution just a week ago, during his 40th Federal Congress, and approved to recover the crime of the locative third party. Therefore, here it is pressing in favor of keeping the two articles under discussion in the law and it would not contemplate any other option than to keep them in this way in the norm. On the other hand, there are the Government partners, where this matter generates differences and they propose to change those aspects of the law. It is not by chance that the Catalan parties are championing this front, even the Commons of Colau. Because although feminism in the whole of Spain leans towards the abolitionist path, in Catalonia there is a feminist majority with a more regulatory vision. And it is more widespread in Catalonia for prostitutes to associate or cooperate with each other to, for example, rent flats.

His partners criticize addressing the issue in a sexual violence law

This gap in support is complicated for the Ministry of Equality because ERC is an essential partner of the Government in the game of the majority in Congress, and the PSOE and United We Can not do without their votes. In addition, the Republicans have strengthened their position by allying with the Junts and the CUP. There is more. He is not happy either PNV, another of the main partners of the Executive. Basque nationalists are against an issue such as prostitution sneaking into a rule like this one – designed for rape and other sexual crimes – and they claim to separate the debates and deal with them with different laws. Despite this crossroads, Equality sources trust that the law is not in danger and that open debates will be resolved. The minister explained Thursday at the Equality Commission Congress that his objective was not to “resolve” this historic debate, but considered that he could not “look the other way” either. “What we are proposing are not occurrences,” he said, but rather in line with “international mandates.” In his opinion, “it is not a debate on will, but on precariousness”, and announced that they are already working on the “first Social and Labor Insertion Plan for victims of trafficking, sexual exploitation and women in prostitution contexts”, to provide outlets even women who claim to do it freely. That also wants to link it to changes in the Aliens Law.

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