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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Prop. K Backers Hope to Ride No on 8's Wings

Posted By on Tue, Nov 4, 2008 at 5:07 PM

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By Lauren Smiley

There was so much hullabaloo going on in front of City Hall this afternoon, you'd almost miss that San Francisco is on the verge of being one the few cities in the country to decriminalize prostitution via Proposition K.

A large man named Solomua (pictured) was losing his voice screaming while holding up a Bible with an American flag stuck in it at the No on Prop. 8 supporters, who in turn yelled back "Jesus Christ loves me, too!" (Solomua's best line: "The mayor's a straight man! He's lost his ideology!") There were Cindy Sheehan and Ralph Nader die-hards trying to pitch their long-shot candidates to the voters walking up the steps. One gnawed on a Taco Bell quesadilla and said, "I'm going in to vote now, there's no more swaying going on at this point." Then there were the marketers giving out Ritter Sport chocolates and energy drinks having nothing to do with the electoral process at all.

Amid the hubbub, Robyn Few, the backer of the failed proposition to decriminalize prostitution in Berkeley in 2004, hardly drew much notice with her shaved head and Yes on K signs. Yet she said that the huge progressive, gay-friendly voter turnout which planed to vote No on Prop. 8 would only help Prop. K pass. "We're just trying to stop the discrimination against [sex workers]," she said. "Our thing is about coming out of the closet, too."

And the exiting voters seemed to, for the most part, agree: "People should be able to do whatever they want with their body," said one guy who identified himself only as one of the "Sons of the Mission."

Said voter Elaine Fujii: "For whatever reason they're forced into that profession they deserve the same rights we do."

Other voters reasons for voting yes on the proposition: "If a woman wants to get out of that field she'll have hope of obtaining a job later [by not having a criminal record]."

"It's a victim-less crime, it's not really a crime and don't the cops have something better to do?"

The one guy we talked to who voted no was a man of few words: "You can't say yes to everything."

Some city officials, including the mayor and DA Kamala Harris, are worried that if the measure passed it would give a free pass to traffickers and pimps: "This is not cute. This is not fanciful," said Mayor Newsom at a press conference last week, according to the New York Times. "This is a big mistake."

The Yes on K folk will be partying tonight after the polls close at the Zeitgeist in the Mission.

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Janine Kahn

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