A petition from the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) that protests ‘a policy that calls for the decriminalization of pimps, brothel owners and buyers of sex – the pillars of a $99 billion global sex industry’ has been signed by more than 400 people, including A-list Hollywood celebrities; Anne Hathaway, Kate Winslet, and Meryl Streep along with prominent church leaders like Judah Lawrence Couch, director, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd;
Rev. Michael Carrion, Evangelical Covenant Church and National Latino Evangelical Coalition; Rev. Adrian Dannhauser, chair, Task Force Against Human Trafficking for the Episcopal Diocese of New York; Major Katie Stoops and Salvation Army.
An excerpt from the letter reads,
“The decriminalization of pimping, brothel owning and sex buying, it will in effect support a system of gender apartheid, in which one category of women may gain protection from sexual violence and sexual harassment, and offered economic and educational opportunities; while another category of women, whose lives are shaped by absence of choice, are instead set apart for consumption by men and for the profit of their pimps, traffickers and brothel owners.”
Taina Bien-Aimé, executive director of CATW, told FOX411 that Amnesty’s move to legalize prostitution would leave an already vulnerable population in even dire straits. She also commended the women for their support and stance on the issue.
“These women just happen to be celebrities but they are women first.” she said “They care about women’s rights and they care about a future where violence against women doesn’t exist. We’re grateful that leaders like Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway are standing with women that are exploited rather than pimps and Johns.”
Cammie Croft, the Deputy Executive Director of the group who spoke to FOX411 said,
“Amnesty International has not made a decision yet on this issue. It is important to stress that given that the consultation process is still on-going, no decisions have been made,”