The first state in the nation to make online sex work a crime has been hailed by the anti-prostitution lobby as a landmark victory.
In the Arizona capital of Phoenix, the state Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to pass legislation that would ban prostitution in all but the most extreme circumstances.
Arizona has long been considered the model state for online sex tourism.
And in 2014, the nation’s largest online sex business, Grindr, opened a Phoenix-area branch.
But in recent years, online sex has been increasingly popular among young people and is particularly lucrative in the United States.
A survey by the Pew Research Center in 2016 found that 19 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds in the US reported that they had been approached online for sex in the previous year.
That compares to just 10 percent of the population ages 18-29.
And a 2015 Pew Research study found that 90 percent of American adults surveyed had seen online sex ads.
A new law that passed in Arizona and passed in Colorado earlier this year would make it illegal for businesses to offer sex work to minors and make it a felony for people to advertise sex work.
“The Arizona legislature is taking an important step forward toward a better future for women and girls,” said Melissa Kester, legislative counsel for the National Organization for Women.
“It is a step forward for the women and men who work for these businesses.”
The Arizona legislation, SB13-9, would also make it an offense for anyone who offers or advertises prostitution to be charged with a crime.
A woman who solicits sex for hire under 18 would also be subject to a misdemeanor, and anyone who knowingly offers or sells sex to minors would be subject for a felony.
The law also requires that anyone who provides or advertizes prostitution to minors must be at least 16.
The bill also prohibits anyone who hires someone for sex from receiving a “prostitute license,” meaning that the person would have to obtain a commercial sex license in order to operate in the state.
It also requires people to wear a tracking device when selling sex to verify that they are not being offered by a minor.
The legislation is one of the first of its kind in the country, and it will be challenged in court.
The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that sex workers must be protected from the consequences of their work and must be able to pay for medical care.
But the new legislation is not the first effort to crack down on online sex in Arizona.
In 2014, legislators in New York passed a bill that required all people operating in the sex trade to obtain medical licenses and required anyone who solicited sex to have a “pregnancy test.”