Lezlie Sterling / Bee file, 2011

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, is proposing legislation that would prohibit using possession of condoms as evidence of sexual solicitation. The measure, he said, is intended to "encourage safe-sex practices."

The Buzz: Bill would bar using condom possession as evidence of prostitution

Published: Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3A

Condoms not evidence of prostitution under bill

Arrested for carrying condoms? No longer, under proposed legislation to bar police from using condoms against prostitutes.

Assembly Bill 336 would disallow possession of one or more condoms as evidence of sexual solicitation in arrests or prosecutions.

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano contends his bill could save lives.

The measure would eliminate the dilemma of sex workers choosing between carrying condoms to prevent disease or abandoning such protection for fear of arrest, according to the San Francisco Democrat.

"We have to encourage safe-sex practices, not frighten people into spreading disease," Ammiano said in a written statement.

AB 336 would not legalize prostitution or bar police from arresting offenders based on other evidence, including presence in suspect areas, manner of dress, approach to cars, or possession of sex toys, lubricants or cash.

"They can still arrest people under the law," Ammiano said. "They would only be prevented from using as evidence the one thing that protects public health: condoms."

BILL WATCH

Puppies, kittens and other live animals could not be sold at flea markets or swap meets under legislation proposed this week by a Sacramento Democrat. Assemblyman Roger Dickinson's Assembly Bill 339 would make first offenses an infraction punishable by a fine of up to $250. If an animal suffers or is injured, however, the charge can be hiked to a misdemeanor and the fine to $1,000.

WORTH REPEATING

"I've never been on a Carnival cruise, but I have been deployed to Afghanistan living in extreme, inhospitable field conditions. I'm ready."

ASSEMBLYMAN JEFF GORELL, R-Camarillo, commenting via Twitter about conditions on the Carnival Triumph, which was towed to Mobile, Ala., days after an engine fire crippled the vessel in the Gulf of Mexico

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