More than two years after the Council of Ministers gave it the green light for the first time, the so-called 'law of only yes is yes' is getting complicated in the final stretch of the process. The Equality Commission of the Congress will debate in a few hours the opinion of the text so that it passes to the plenary session, but the discrepancies of the groups on prostitution are putting the agreement in check. The heart of the matter lies in an amendment by the PSOE that seeks harden the locative third party and that the members of the investiture do not like anything, that they threaten not to support the norm if it is finally included. One option is that the amendment go ahead with the vote in favor of the PP, with whom the Socialists have maintained contacts for it.
Everything is up in the air a few hours before the vote. They are just a couple of articles of an extensive norm that, among other things, will make any sexual act without consent be considered sexual assault, which have sparked the differences. Equality has asked the groups that the content related to prostitution leave the text to be debated in another law, but for the moment, it does not seem that the proposal has been accepted by the PSOE. As confirmed by sources from the socialist group, the party "maintains its position" and calls for further dialogue, reports Iñigo Aduriz.
What the PSOE intends, which in recent months has marked a clear abolitionist profile, is to eliminate the condition that there is exploitation of the prostitution of others to persecute the owners of premises and that it is enough that it "promotes, favors or facilitates" the exercise of it. And the same in the case of non-coercive pimping. The amendment could go ahead with the support of the popular, but at the same time they oppose some of the central axes of the norm, so their "yes" to the final text in the plenary session of Congress, necessary in this case if investiture partners fall out of the deal, it would not be guaranteed. The opinion can come out today with a simple majority, but since it is an organic law, it will need an absolute majority in plenary.
The socialist amendment does not like United We Can or the usual partners of the Government to carry out their legislative projects. Both Ciudadanos and ERC, JxCAT, Bildu, the CUP, PNV and En Comú Podem registered amendments to directly suppress the articles related to prostitution from the norm. PNV sources emphasize that this was their approach from the beginning and show their opposition to the socialist amendment. "This issue leaves us in a difficult position when it comes to voting on the opinion," they say. “In the event that the amendment is finally included, the law will in no case have our support”, affirm forceful sources from Bildu.
“If the groups vote against the law for persecuting whorehouses, let them explain it,” add socialist sources, reports Irene Castro. On the other hand, those who are against the proposal assure that eliminating “exploitation” from the text can lead to prosecuting the prostitutes themselves and those around them who rent flats or real estate to practice. The same socialist sources reject the idea proposed by Equality "before the possibility that the law is in danger", to debate these articles within the framework of another law. "There is no time to lose, we are talking about pimping." The Socialists are also very critical of the position of those who are doubting the final vote and emphasize that if the ruling does not finally go ahead, "the responsibility will be on the one who votes against."
The words of the parliamentary groups show to what extent the negotiations are tense and the uncertainty that hangs over the approval of the star law of the Ministry of Equality. "I am quite worried about the final phase of the process," said Irene Montero this morning, who has focused on the alternative wordings on these articles that she has proposed to the different groups with the aim of reaching a broad consensus.
What does the standard include
The law establishes a comprehensive framework of care for victims of sexual violence in the style of the law against gender-based violence in the sphere of the partner or ex-partner that was approved in 2004. It establishes a battery of prevention, awareness and reparation measures and amends the Penal Code to end the distinction between assault and sexual abuse. The objective is that, as more and more countries have done, sexual crimes in Spain comply with the Istanbul Conventionwhich requires that the regulation of sexual crimes be based on consent and not on violence or intimidation, which is what the law requires for there to be sexual assault.
The processing of this law has not been without controversy. It has already started its process amid discrepancies within the Executive, between the Ministry of Equality, Justice and the first vice-presidency of Carmen Calvo, and got the green light from the Council of Ministers in extremis, at the gates of 8M 2020. Proof of this was that the final text was subject to last-minute changes. After that, the ministries continued working and added new precepts to the text, among them those that today are complicating its final approval, those related to prostitution.