SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of a new Washington state law that would require classified advertising companies to verify the ages of people in sex-related advertisements.
Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the law this year to cut down on child sex trafficking. The law that had been scheduled to take effect in June received unanimous approval from the Legislature.
The decision issued by U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo S. Martinez on Friday is temporary, until the case can be heard in court.
The website Backpage.com and a nonprofit that runs a popular archive of Internet sites asked for the preliminary injunction.
Backpage, which is owned by Village Voice Media, makes millions of dollars a year operating an online clearinghouse for escorts. The company was the main target of the new law.