The adult industry isn’t high on the list of constituencies that presidential candidates are courting on the campaign trail. But many adult stars and sex workers do vote, and given the choices this year, many of them will plan to pull the lever for a Democrat.
The reasons they’ll vote for either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders are purely practical. There’s a widely held perception that Republican’s will crack down on sex industries in an effort to appeal to their religious base. These restrictions could negatively effect jobs and health insurance premiums, and water-down the already limited protections that are currently in place.
More now than ever, sex workers are making a case that in today’s politics, casting a vote also has implications for women’s health, sexuality, and safety.
“Hookers for Hillary” is a campaign effort coordinated by the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, a world famous Nevada brothel. In supporting Clinton, and Sanders, sex workers aren’t just advocating for the status quo, but a protagonist willing to put forth policies and protections that would benefit them personally as well as professionally.
One such protection would be strengthened domestic abuse laws. ‘Entice Love’, one of the brothel’s sex workers and a mother of two, tells The Guardian that she has been in an abusive relationship and she believes Clinton’s policies would help women like her.
Love believes that women will find better health care support from a Democratic candidate. President Obama ushered in the Affordable Care Act, the federal law health care law that made coverage more widely accessible. Before Obamacare, Love’s only health coverage was through Medicaid. Now under the new health law, she is able to find and pay for coverage through private insurance.
Health care is also important for another brothel worker, Taylor Lee. As a restaurant worker, Lee had difficulty affording the medication she needs for her epilepsy, she told The Guardian. With the law in place, insurers can no longer deny coverage to those with preexisting medical conditions. While Lee believes Clinton would ensure that the health care law stays in place, she said that she supports Bernie Sanders.
Sex workers earn their living in ways that political candidates don’t talk about in their stump speeches. But the financial and health issues that these women face are very similar to the issues that mainstream voters face every day. These women vote, and they want to be heard. “We’re helping Hillary and we’re helping ourselves,” Love told The Guardian. “Women should help other women, right?