Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

We completely agree with 36 prominent clergy members who today appealed to Village Voice Media “to end the sex trafficking of girls and boys made possible by its Web site, Backpage.com.”


Here’s more from their news release:

The newly formed multifaith coalition is made up of mainline Christians, Catholics, Jews, evangelical Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Humanists and other moral and religious leaders. Groundswell, Auburn Theological Seminary’s social action initiative, convened the group.


“Village Voice Media CEO Jim Larkin and his Board of Directors need to stop Backpage.com from serving as a platform for the sex trafficking of girls and boys immediately. For over a year, advocates have demanded action, but the responses they have been given are half-measures and delays. We are tired of Village Voice’s delay tactics,” said The Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson, President of Auburn Theological Seminary. “The only way to end the sale of minors for sex on Backpage.com is by shutting down the Adult section for good.

The clergy members involved in today’s announcement launched a petition drive to encourage Village Voice to do the right thing:

It is a basic fact of the moral universe that girls and boys should not be sold for sex. Yet Village Voice Media’s classifieds website Backpage.com continues to provide a platform for the trafficking of minors in its highly-profitable Adult section.


As parents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, and caretakers to children ourselves, we need to create a groundswell of responsibility to shut down Backpage.com’s Adult section, so that no girls and boys are trafficked on its Web site.


We're mobilizing a groundswell of supporters across the faith and moral spectrums in this effort. Join us in calling on Village Voice Media to shut down Backpage.com’s Adult section immediately.

The group also has a terrific advertisement in today’s New York Times. You may sign the petition here.


-Dan Sytman-