Condoms for Porn Stars Could See a Statewide Vote

Condoms for Porn Stars Could See a Statewide Vote
File photo by Neon Tommy/Flickr

If someone asked you to vote on whether or not porn stars' on-set condom use should be mandated by law, what would you say?

It's looking more and more likely that you will have a say when it comes to condoms in porn. The Los Angeles–based AIDS Healthcare Foundation announced that it just submitted way more signatures than are required by the state in order to put mandatory prophylactics for adult video on the California ballot next year.

The AHF says it has gathered 557,136 signatures of registered voters for its California Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act; 365,880 valid signatures are needed to make the November 2016 ballot.

Of course, California counties have to count the signatures before the organization can claim victory. But, as you can see by the numbers above, the math is in AHF's favor.

And, yes, the group wants you to approve the measure.

The organization argues that porn stars should be protected at work just like everyone else. Federal law says employees should not be subject to blood-borne pathogens at the office.

In a statement, AHF says the proposed state law "would expand the power of Cal/OSHA and local California public health departments to enforce condom use on adult film sets throughout the state."

It's the third time in our memory that the organization has tried to bring the matter before voters. AHF is undefeated.

In 2012, it gathered enough signatures to force the L.A. City Council to make condoms mandatory for adult video performers working inside city limits. By approving the law, the council avoided having to put the issue to a citywide vote.

That same year, AHF was successful in getting a similar initiative in front of L.A. County voters, who approved it. Since then, condoms have been the rule for porn throughout L.A. The organization now is aiming for a statewide law.

"In an abundance of caution, we collected 191,256 more signatures than we needed to qualify," says AHF president Michael Weinstein. "In 2012 in Los Angeles, with Measure B and with our initial polling for this measure, voter sentiment favoring safer sex in adult films is clear: Unlike most politicians, voters are not squeamish about this issue, seeing it as a means to protect the health and safety of performers working in the industry. It’s only fair that adult-film performers be afforded the same safeguards as other Californians in their workplaces. In November 2016, we anticipate California voters will once again reaffirm this important principle."

The largely L.A.-based porn biz argues that consumers don't want see condoms in porn and that, if forced to deploy prophylactics, producers would instead go underground, where performers would be less safe. The industry claims that its voluntary, twice-a-month STD testing protocol for porn stars works, although it's not keen on proving it.

According to the AHF initiative's Attorney General–approved title and summary, which gives endorsers an idea of what they're signing, the law would permit the "state, performers, or any state resident to enforce violations."

The adult video industry's trade group, Free Speech Coalition, pounced on that. In a statement issued late yesterday, Diane Duke, the group's CEO, said:

In his zeal to control and monitor adult film, Michael Weinstein and AIDS Healthcare Foundation have crafted an outrageous initiative that would allow any citizen of the state of California to sue a porn star for not using condoms on film, and gives them a financial incentive to do so. The initiative likewise permits private citizens to sue hotel chains, cable operators and retail outlets for selling or distributing such films. In an effort to patrol community morals, Mr. Weinstein's initiative turns the state courts into a legalized method of stalking, harassment and exploitation of adult-film stars.


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