Don't the police have any real criminals to hunt down??? You know criminals that hurt people like robbers and rapists. Not some harmless transgender prostitute!!!!
This is also mixing government and religion by having government enforce all the Christian values found in the Bible.
The article also points out that all of these silly laws are probably unconstitutional violations of our 1st Amendment rights!!!!
Phoenix transgender activist appeals prostitution-related conviction
Megan Cassidy, The Republic | azcentral.com 9:35 p.m. MST August 5, 2014
Monica Jones, a Phoenix transgender woman found guilty in April for manifesting prostitution, is challenging her conviction and the constitutionality of the ordinance that brought her to court.
Attorneys say the Phoenix ordinance, which outlaws the intent to buy or sell sex, criminalizes protected rights of free speech and discriminates against marginalized communities. Transgender women, particularly transgender women of color, and those in poverty are especially prone to arrest under the law, Jones and her supporters say.
Jones asked the Arizona Supreme Court to reverse her conviction on Tuesday.
"If I was a White woman walking down Arcadia, I would have never been stopped for manifestation," she told reporters Tuesday afternoon at her attorney's office in central Phoenix. "This law gives police the right to target anyone they feel fit to target."
Jones is an LGBT activist and full-time student at Arizona State University. She was arrested last year during a prostitution sting operation in Phoenix after she got into the car of an undercover officer.
To violate Phoenix's manifestation-of-prostitution ordinance, a person must have attempted to engage a passer-by in conversation or stop cars by waving at them, inquired whether someone is a police officer or requested that someone touch his or her genitals.
Jones' attorney, Jean-Jacques "J" Cabou of Perkins Coie LLP, said the ordinance undermined various portions of the First Amendment.
"This law abridges a lot of pure speech — speech like speaking, speech like asking questions, speech like what you wear," Cabou said. "The law protects all of those things, and, in this case, it protected none of them."
In the April trial, the municipal judge's decision hinged on the accounts of two witnesses: Jones and the undercover Phoenix Police officer. Their stories diverged on several factors, including who initiated the ride and whether Jones instigated sexual contact.
Jones' attorneys say the ordinance also relies too much on the assumptions of the individual officer. In Jones case, attorneys noted, the undercover officer described her outfit as a "black, tight-fitting dress" and repeatedly referred to Jones as a man in his written report.
Phoenix Municipal Judge Hercules Dellas said his guilty verdict was based the credibility of the witnesses, and he said Jones' prior prostitution conviction lent motive to want to avoid a 30-day jail sentence.
Jones' attorneys on Tuesday filed both an amicus brief against the ordinance, as well as a separate appeal that argued there was insufficient evidence to support the conviction and alleged several errors on the part of the trial court.
Jones' case has garnered national attention in the name of LGBT rights in the past year, enough to prompt celebrity backing. Laverne Cox — a transgender woman and LGBT-rights advocate who's been nominated for an Emmy for her role on the Netflix series "Orange is the New Black" — was in Phoenix on Tuesday to support Jones.
Cox called Jones an inspiration and thanked her for bringing much-needed attention to a national issue.
"All over the country, trans women are targeted simply for being who they are," Cox said.
Attorneys from the ACLU of Arizona and ACLU's LGBT & AIDS Project have thrown their support behind Jones.
Dan Pochoda, legal director of the ACLU of Arizona, argued on her behalf during trial and said various courts in other states vacated similar statutes.
Assistant City Prosecutor Gary Shupe has argued that the ordinance contains an element of intent and said that there appears to be a split between courts that have dealt with comparative laws.
Pochoda on Tuesday said there's been an epidemic of local ordinances passed at the urging of city business interests. He compared the manifestation-of-prostitution ordinance to anti-begging and anti-camping city laws, which discriminate against the rights of the poor and homeless.
"They're aimed at 'cleaning up' — in their words — the downtown areas, the city areas," he said. "They're unconstitutional in different ways, but they're all unconstitutional."
Phoenix city prosecutors on Tuesday did not return requests for comment.