Knoxville is home to some of the most popular escort services in the country.
But the city has also seen a rise in online sexual harassment, and now the city is taking action.
Knutland City Councilwoman Sherry Lewis, a member of the city’s LGBTQ community, wants to ban all escort services.
She has been working on the legislation for months, and is hopeful to be able to bring it to the city council for a vote.
“I’ve been working with a lot of people, and I just felt like we needed to get something in place,” Lewis told The Tennessean.
“I think it’s just a matter of time.”
Lewis has been pushing for the bill for months.
In November, she co-sponsored legislation that would have banned escort services altogether.
In February, she introduced a bill that would ban all commercial escort services from the city.
Lewis said that while she supports the idea of outlawing escort services, she doesn’t believe they’re the only ones who need to be banned.
“There’s other kinds of escort services that are out there,” she said.
“The majority of the escort business is for people who are looking for someone to do sex work for them.”
She said that many escort services are based in the area, so people often get in touch with people who have previously done sex work.
“That’s a huge concern for me, because I think that the majority of these people who do escort work are women, and they need to get out of that business,” Lewis said.
“The majority are very young people looking to make a living.”
Lewis said she doesn´t think that any specific escort services should be banned, but she does believe that escort services have a negative impact on the LGBTQ community.
“This kind of business is so prevalent and so pervasive, that people need to take a stand and be aware,” she told the Tennesseant.
“We need to have policies in place that prohibit this kind of behavior.
We need to prevent people from doing this.”
Read more stories from Tennessee at The Tennessan.