With the recent passage of House Bill 1540 by the Texas State Legislature, Texas has become the first state in the nation to make paying for sex a felony.
The bill, which was proposed by the Human Trafficking Prevention Taskforce, will help make a dent in human trafficking, according to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
“Texas is the first in the country to punish sex buyers with felonies, which is a substantial step toward curbing the demand for commercial sex,” Paxton said. “Human trafficking is modern day slavery – targeting vulnerable men, women and children in our communities. I commend our legislature for passing laws that fight this inexcusable offense.”
The bill wasn’t the only sex trafficking measure that the state has made recently as a state judge recently ruled that Facebook could be held responsible for knowingly helping sex traffickers who use the site to lure victims.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Jimmy Blacklock ruled late last month that three women who were forced into prostitution by sex traffickers move on with their case against the social media giant.
Facebook wanted the case dismissed under section 230 of the U.S. Communications Decency Act, which states that websites are not accountable for what users post.
“We do not understand section 230 to ‘create a lawless no-man’s-land on the Internet’ in which states are powerless to impose liability on websites that knowingly or intentionally participate in the evil of online human trafficking,” Blacklock wrote.
Blacklock also elaborated that Congress modified section 230 in 2018 to permit websites to be held legally responsible for violating state and federal human trafficking laws.
The suit, which was first filed in 2018, blamed the company of being a medium for “an unrestricted platform to stalk, exploit, recruit, groom and extort children into the sex trade.”