Condoms-For-Porn Initiative Officially Gets Off the Ground

Condoms-For-Porn Initiative Officially Gets Off the Ground
File photo by Gary/Flickr

The Hollywood-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation announced this week that it has officially started the process of bringing an initiative to voters that would mandate condom use on adult video sets in California.

The California Attorney General's Office yesterday received AHF's request for an official title and summary. Once approved, the resulting language will appear on petitions seeking your signature. When AHF collects and turns in enough valid signatures—more than 500,000 from registered voters are required—and those endorsements are verified by the state, the initiative will likely go to voters in November, 2016.

The porn business, of course, wants none of this.

The industry has successfully battled against at least two similar proposals in the state legislature. And it has vowed to run away from its historic base of the San Fernando Valley and toward other states if such a law is enacted.

The business has argued that consumers don't want to see condom porn and that requiring it will force production to go out-of-state and underground, where it would be less safe.

Leaders in porn say a voluntary, twice-a-month testing protocol for performers has worked to shut down potential STD outbreaks.

Interestingly, however, condoms are already the law in porn's hometown of L.A. County, where voters approved just such a measure, spearheaded by the AHF, in 2013.

On top of all that, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health has already said it interprets federal law—which seeks to protect employees from the workplace transmission of blood-borne pathogens—as meaning that condoms are required equipment for porn stars working in the state.

Condoms-For-Porn Initiative Officially Gets Off the Ground
File photo by Justin Hall/Flickr

Health officials in Nevada, where some production has fled, have recently said pretty much the same.

Still, the industry has been fighting a statewide law tooth-and-nail.

The AHF, meanwhile, says its initiative will be a shoo-in. The group has the few million dollars it routinely takes to gather signatures for a run at the ballot, and it claimed in a statement the votes will surely follow:

Advocates aim to have the condoms in porn measure qualified to appear on the November 2016 Presidential election California ballot. Initial polling of 1,158 California voters that the group conducted on the statewide measure in mid-September 2014 showed overwhelming support for the proposed law—71% answered ‘yes’—when asked how they would vote on such a measure were the election held today.

"We're excited," AHF spokesman Ged Kenslea told us. "We're fairly confident it will prevail."

Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, called the ballot proposal a "no-nonsense workplace safety measure will become the law of the land, providing much-needed additional protection to California workers."

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow L.A. Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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