Carrying condoms doesn't make you a prostitute. 

That's the radical idea that's failed to pass the New York State legislative committee since 1999. But this year, there's hope that the bill will actually pass. Its crazy premise? That condom possession shouldn't be used as evidence of prostitution in a criminal court. 

See, here's the problem: NY cops are actually able to use condom possession as proof of intended prostitution. This is especially crazy when you consider that this is New York we're talking about here. Dressing in heels and carrying a pack of prophylactics is your typical Friday night. Hell, Monday night. 

Sienna Baskin, co-director of the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center, explains why using condoms as evidence is dumb and dangerous. Baskin told The New York Times that sex workers have asked her "'How many condoms can I legally carry?' That’s a disturbing question, because it’s not a crime to carry condoms."

Not if the Brooklyn District Attorney has anything to do with it. "I oppose any law that would restrict our use of evidence," Charles J. Hynes told The New York Times. "Prosecutors in my office assess evidence on a case-by-case basis, determining what is appropriate in each situation."

Yeah, that might work if condom didn't prevent time-sensitive things like, say, AIDS. In a small survey of sex workers, the Urban Justice Center found that the many prostitutes are not protecting themselves because of the policy. Out of thirty-five sex workers surveyed, sixteen said they had not carried condoms because of fear it could lead to trouble with police. Fifteen said they'd even had condoms taken away or destroyed by police. Three of those fifteen said they then went on to have unprotected sex anyway.

The circumstances under which a cop is allowed to confiscate condoms are pretty kind of baffling. That sounds like illegal stop and frisk — what's that you say? Oh, that's also legal in New York? 

Here's hoping the Assembly Bill to end this policy actually passes this year. God Bless America, where you can carry a gun, and be searched for your condoms. 

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