Hawaii could elbow therapists out of massage ads

Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - Massage, spa and escort ads would be restricted under a bill Hawaii lawmakers are considering.

The bill targets ads for massage, relaxation, escort and body rub services. It says those ads cannot include physical descriptions or photos of the therapist except for the person's hands, wrists and forearms.

Supporters of the bill tell lawmakers that human traffickers exploit women and children as sex workers. Those supporters see explicit advertising for services as part of that exploitation.

The bill faces obstacles. The state's attorney general's office has told lawmakers the bill may be too restrictive under the First Amendment.

Senator Rosalyn Baker says she has heard from spa owners who worry about how the bill could affect them. The Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the bill next.

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