Advocates for sex workers’ rights celebrated a major victory Friday afternoon when California Governor Gavin Newsom announced his intent to sign legislation that would increase protections for people working in the commercial sex trade. Specifically, Senate Bill 233—first introduced in February by Democratic State Senator Scott Weiner—protects sex workers from arrest on prostitution- and drug-related charges if they come forward as victims of abuse or exploitation. It also bans the use of condoms as evidence of sex work, a police practice sex workers have long said compromises their health and safety.

“No one is safer when sex workers are afraid to report crimes and acts of violence. Silence only helps the perpetrators of those crimes,” Newsom said in a press statement on Friday. “This legislation will help ensure serious and violent crimes are reported to law enforcement, and I thank the Legislature for sending it to my desk.”

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