Sharp words over a child prostitution bill

State Sen. Renee Unterman, a Republican from Buford, just issued this angry statement:

“I have worked tirelessly for years to protect the children of Georgia from predatory and despicable acts of sexual exploitation and prostitution. I’m severely disappointed and personally insulted that conservative groups I have worked with and supported have chosen to misrepresent all the work I have put into protecting Georgia’s children.

What’s the deal? A YouTube video that accuses her – and state Rep. Wendell Willard (R-Atlanta) – by name and picture of an attempt to decriminalize child prostitution. Her bill (SB 304) would prohibit girls and boys under the age of 16 from being charged with prostitution. Instead, they would be shifted to treatment or counseling.

“These bills will take away police powers to investigate a crime,” the video says — a claim that Unterman and others strongly dispute.

On the other hand, it’s hard to charge a 15-year-old with prostitution when 16 is the legal age of sexual consent in Georgia. We dealt with the topic a week or so ago. Read it here.

The group behind the video is a new one. Something called We Change Atlanta. They’ve also campaigned against mandatory vaccination – and for that ban on microchip implantation that the Senate approved last week. Unterman voted for the bill — as did 46 other senators.

Here’s the group’s take on the child prostitution bills:

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

64 comments Add your comment


February 12th, 2010
1:15 pm

Some days when i read this site, it makes me want to move somewhere else. I mean, are all state governments like this one? I don’t know, I’ve lived here all my life. Are other states passing laws banning something that isn’t an imminent threat in a time when their budgets are busted, their educations systems failing, and crime increasing? Are other states filled to the brim with loony fringe groups influencing every politician and bill?

What state in the union has the best run state government?

Guv'ner Sunny Perdue

February 12th, 2010
1:27 pm

“What state in the union has the best run state government?”

Why its Georgia, silly!


February 12th, 2010
1:33 pm

Sounds like a group that Nancy Schaefer would be associated with.


February 12th, 2010
1:57 pm

Well, Rep. Unterman, while I applaud and 100% support your work on this issue, you are the one who used them before and they are just using you back. When you lay down with dogs….


February 12th, 2010
1:59 pm

And the answer is………..NONE!!!!

That’s right, None! There is no so thing as ANYTHING Government run that is a success (Fed or St). Disagree?? Name them.

John K

February 12th, 2010
1:59 pm

Exactly Harrison. Sorry Renee, but they expect you to play ball by their rules. The right demands you march in lockstep.

Some Other Mike

February 12th, 2010
2:05 pm

As sadly predictable as this issue is, I have to point and laugh at Sen. Unterman. Our taliban don’t like their members being out of line. Off to Bible Re-education Camp with her! LOL


February 12th, 2010
2:32 pm

The Christers have only one view: sex is wrong and if you have sex you’re a criminal. So what if you’re 12 years old and were violently forced to engage in it? God’s gonna get you for it and so will we.

Larry E

February 12th, 2010
2:35 pm

To answer IMNO, unfortunately yes. I was born in Atlanta and I’ve lived in 10 states and the Province of Alberta in Canada. They all suck. Alberta would be the lesser of the evils. I live in Colorado and I love the physical part of the state and a lot of the people, but the state government is another matter. The problem is that I don’t know of any states that are any better.


February 12th, 2010
2:41 pm

This is a rather clever ad and highly deceptive. It touches all the bases from the music to the pathetic victims, but provides a solution that criminalizes the victims. Put those sinner in jail! Book ‘em Danno!

The folks who oppose the diversionary provisions for the underage victims are practicing a form of Christianity that I’m not familiar with and certainly not in line with the mind of Christ — it’s more in line with the Pharisees that Jesus condemned.

And, these folks wonder and rationalize and point fingers when trying to explain why the pews in the average church are largely empty on Sunday.

Christians are in denial about their religion and the public response to it. Wake up! Loosen up!

The very people you reject are the ones Jesus esteemed.

DJ Sniper

February 12th, 2010
2:42 pm

Once again, the Christian right proves how utterly retarded it is. Something tells me that the people who are so opposed to this bill are probably guilty of committing illegal acts with minors themselves. You know how the people who are such religious fanatics are usually the ones who have the most skeletons in their closets.

UGA Alum

February 12th, 2010
2:50 pm

CLEVON LITTLE, if you don’t like anything about government, Vote! That’s the problem today, too many people whine without any action taken. If you disagree with a politician or an issue, make your voice heard at the voting booth.

UGA student

February 12th, 2010
2:55 pm

This makes me so angry I can barely speak. The magnitude of the hypocrisy would be hilarious if it weren’t so horrible. And dangerous. And shameful.


February 12th, 2010
3:11 pm

Sonny’s Christian Georgia is completely retarded. Atlanta needs to break away and form it’s own state. The Christian conservatives can have OTP. Let liberals, intellectuals and TRUE Christians, (not the crazy bible thump’n ones) have ITP thank you.


February 12th, 2010
3:19 pm

Rep. Unterman, as a fellow member of a community that has been historically persecuted by the zealous right, I’m surprised you’d stoop to sycophancy with such rabid theocrats.

These folks care about as much about the lives of children as they do about their-own souls. They are a sick and twisted bunch who would sooner pillory their-own children rather than love for the God-given gifts that they are.

“Jesus loves the little children”, these so-called followers of his, not so much.


February 12th, 2010
3:25 pm

Yeah they can not break the law because they have a disorder! It is not their fault! Pubity came too early.

Iconoclast! 15/16 is not little children! We call them young adults.


February 12th, 2010
3:27 pm

I think the focus should be on the sexual predators but progressive liberals want sex everywhere, with everyone, and with anything.


February 12th, 2010
3:35 pm

so we make criminals out of the children. and they still have no were to turn.We know the church sure is not going to help these children,they will put them in their grave, just like they did christ when he told them to give there riches to the poor and help the needy they hung him on the cross they did not like what he had to say.

Jon but not Jon Voight

February 12th, 2010
3:49 pm

Let’s try it in another context: Democrats control both houses and the governorship. They submit a bill just like this one (SB304)- what would the reaction be from the Republicans?

The Late Maynord Jackson

February 12th, 2010
3:57 pm

This is all about race, most of these poor little girls are black and those white women want to put them in jail.. probably to keep them away from their husbands.


February 12th, 2010
4:00 pm

Georgia… it never seems to amaze me. What is wrong with Republicans in this state.

oh dear...

February 12th, 2010
4:02 pm

gotta love the foil hat libertarian set…


February 12th, 2010
4:07 pm

We Change Atlanta is a bunch of 9/11 troofers and anti-vaxers. Not content with this idiocy, they’ve turned to calling 13 year olds ‘hoes. These people (and I use the term loosely) are a waste of oxygen.


February 12th, 2010
4:11 pm

IMNO, you ask a good question. I’ve lived in GA, FL, TN, SC, CA, NY, and MD. I’d say Georgia is better run than CA, NY, and MD because they are so badly run in terms of CA being broke; NY being overtaxed; and MD overregulated (they are the biggest Nanny of all the nanny states). My guess is that GA is pretty much on par with FL, TN, SC. Financially Georgia is one of the best run. In terms of personal freedom? Well Ga reflects the fact that it is the buckle of the literal bible belt. I say keep the fiscal sanity. Work tirelessly and with good humor to loosen up that uptight bible belt.


February 12th, 2010
4:12 pm

p.s. You’d be surprised how many loony fringes there are – even in normal places like Kansas. Or extreme places like CA and NY. I didn’t run into loons in New Hampshire but maybe I wasn’t there long enough.


February 12th, 2010
4:14 pm

Hunh… wearechangeatlanta also appears to think that swine flu and 9/11 are both government conspiracies. I don’t get what that has to do with whether or not it’s a good idea to lock 14-year-old prostitutes in jail. What a kitchen-sink platform.

[...] read more on the issue, see the article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Image via Paul!!! [...]


February 12th, 2010
6:47 pm

Am I the only one who sees the hand of Ralph Reed in this, manipulating fundamentalist Christians to take action that benefits a lobbying client? Remember when he and Abramoff used Alabama fundamentalists to block a casino in order to aid their casino client in the next state? Is Ralph now handling lobbying for the adult entertainment industry in Atlanta?


February 12th, 2010
7:09 pm

Well, Ms. Unterman, just goes to show, your buddies on the radical Christian right have tunnel vision. Maybe now you won’t be so eager to carry their water. They obviously believe that if a 12 year old is forced to have sex, she is a sinner and must go to jail. Doesn’t matter if she was raped. Sex is evil regardless of the circumstances. Remember the old cliche, When youo lie down with dogs, you get fleas. Please quit lying down with these hateful hypocrites.

Your New Low-Flow Toilet Salesman

February 12th, 2010
7:27 pm

Charging a minor with prostitution. Even though the legal afe of consent is 16. These are the same people that elected Sonny Perdue twice.


February 12th, 2010
7:36 pm

There might be a reason no other state has defined prostitution as a crime for those over any certain age. Did you all watch the video? It seems sensitive to the victims and their need for help. Is all this hostile, hateful, venomous spew in reaction to the video or to the “Christian right?” Again why do no other states have this proposed approach?

Now I will sing off and prepare to be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail for trying to be objective.

dewey cheatham

February 12th, 2010
8:23 pm

DJ…shame on you for using the term “retarded.”


February 12th, 2010
8:27 pm

Legalize prostitution for adults and get government out of our bedrooms.


February 12th, 2010
10:08 pm

Enter your comments here


February 13th, 2010
12:36 am

Republicans = McCarthyism … yet church going folks keep voting for them. I don’t know a single Republican who could cast the first stone at these children. But I know a whole bunch that would.

Bill Orvis White

February 13th, 2010
12:49 am

There’s right and wrong. It’s right to lead a Christ-centered existence. It’s wrong to prostitute yourself. Anyone who engages in debauchery needs to be prosecuted. Sen Unterman, you need to step down. You’re not a conservative. You’re not a good Hebrew. I’m sorry, but Ralph (Reed), a good Christ-centered fella, is wrong to back Renee. Sorry Ralph, you lost me on this one. Senator Unterman, please resign.

Rightwing Troll

February 13th, 2010
7:58 am

“but Ralph (Reed), a good Christ-centered fella”

THAT is exactly what is wrong with GA “conservatives”…

RR laughed at christians and called them loons while he was corralling them for his paid casino campaign (paid for by rival casino operators), yet people like Bill Orvis White still blindly support him…

Rightwing Troll

February 13th, 2010
8:01 am

Seems somewhat apropo that Bill’s comments denigrate those “who prostitute themselves” when speaking of Ralphy… GA’s very own version of a one man Bunny Ranch…

Got an issue before the voters? Need dependable votes? Hire Ralph Reed and he’ll deliver his christian vote for you…

Prostitution, plain and simple.


February 13th, 2010
8:07 am

name in the news, nuff said.


February 13th, 2010
9:16 am

I am speechless. I am moving to a state that believes in theraputic intervention for young girls and women over locking them and spitting them back out into the streets to be further victimized and exploited.


February 13th, 2010
10:22 am

I can’t believe there are some who want to charge the victims rather than the victimizers.


February 13th, 2010
10:30 am

Bill Orvis White, I hope your grandchild (female or male) is never forced to be used by perverted adults for sexual pleasure. That you (and your sick Christian brother and sisters) think these children choose to be sex slaves simply shows how stupid you are about the real world. Quit looking through your rose colored stained glass windows and you will discover that your beliefs and actions actually provide the environment for abuse. You sir are a foolish man!

Been Around-Done That!

February 13th, 2010
10:41 am

A society that fails to protect its children is a society doomed to extinction! Unfortunately, like at the time of Christ, we have extreme right wing nuts (Pharisees) and extreme left wing nuts (Saducees). Both wear blinders and see only their narrow little viewpoints. Both would have shouted “Give us Barrabas” and happily crucified Christ. The extreme right believes their actions do God a service and the extreme left believes there is no God. May the Supreme Architect of the Universes protect us (and the helpless children) from both!

PC Bobby

February 13th, 2010
11:27 am

The Christian Taliban has taken the national and GA G0P hostage. Mrs. Unterman is on the right side on this issue. What should Mrs. Unterman do next? Join the ineffective Dems? Accept a re-education class from the far right GOP? Whatever happened to balance and common sense?


February 13th, 2010
12:24 pm

Virginia voted on that same microchip law last week. They must all go to the same seminars where they learn how to introduce red herring legislation to cover up the insider deals they give themselves and their fat lobbyists. Or in Georgia’s case, young nubile lobbyists.

Stinks 2 B U(nterman)

February 13th, 2010
12:57 pm

First of all, unless Unterman voted to increase the budget for DFCS personnel (so that the exploited children could be helped with a foster or adoptive family) then SB 304 is a SHAM. If the kids aren’t going into the juvenile justice system (which the Rebubbacans never have a problem funding jails) then there has to be some real money to fund a real solution.

Second, AMEN to the poster that said it all with that one phrase, “when you lay down with dogs . . . .” Unterman, you’re lookin’ kinda itchy.


February 13th, 2010
1:34 pm

It is interesting to see those who support Unterman’s position also pilloring her for her association with the far right fundamentalists. I won’t call them Christian because Jesus weeps at their attitudes and antics.

Unterman is right in this. Support her by writing to your representative and telling him/her that Unterman’s bill is right and could make a difference.

Most of you are preaching to the choir – now preach to the sinner.

Uh excuse me

February 13th, 2010
1:35 pm

Well, I can’t speak for all 911 truth seekers, but…. I’m thinking that the government conspiracy that happened over 8 years ago is a far greater real threat than failing or refusing to prosecute teens under 16 yoa for prostitution.


February 13th, 2010
1:44 pm

I’ve been trying to figure out whether or not there is a Creator…I think I’ve got my answer.


February 13th, 2010
1:57 pm

The Repubs are dysfunctional.You get what you voted for!