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Porn shoot condom measure makes statewide ballot

LOS ANGELES — Porn performers across the state would be required to wear condoms during sex scenes under an initiative that has qualified for the November 2016 ballot.

The California Secretary of State’s Office announced that random sampling indicated more than 402,468 valid signatures had been collected to qualify the initiative for the ballot. It needed 365,880.

The California Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act is backed by AIDS Healthcare Foundation and the group For Adult Industry Responsibility (FAIR).

In addition to requiring condoms, it would also require producers of adult films to pay for performer vaccinations and testing for sexually transmitted diseases. Producers would also be required to obtain state health licenses before filming can begin.

“We submitted a total of 557,136 signatures in the 58 counties throughout California in order to qualify the measure — almost 185,000 more than needed — so we were fairly confident that we would qualify, however, it is always heartening when it becomes official,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “We now look forward to the next steps, both in the Legislature and before voters in November 2016, if necessary if the Legislature fails to act, in the process of making this initiative the law of the land.”

The initiative will meet opposition from the adult-film industry. The Free Speech Coalition, an adult film industry trade association, opposes the ballot measure, noting that it would allow citizens to sue if they see sexual acts performed without condoms in an adult film.

“If the proposed initiative were to pass, adult performers would immediately be targeted by stalkers and profiteers, who would use the initiatives’ sue-a-performer provision to harass and extort adult performers,” said Diane Duke, the coalition’s CEO. “This is an unconscionable initiative that would take a legal and safe industry and push its performers into the shadows.”

The coalition noted that performers are already tested every 14 days, negating the need for a condom requirement. According to the group, there has not been an “on-set transmission of HIV in the regulated adult industry since 2004.”

The measure’s supporters counter that it is not porn performers who could be the target of a citizen lawsuit, but a producer who allows filming of sex scenes without condoms.

The proposed law is modeled on Los Angeles County’s Measure B, which passed with overwhelming voter support in the November 2012 election. Porn producers fought Measure B in federal court, arguing that it violated the right to freedom of expression, but the law was upheld last year on appeal.

The adult film industry, estimated by some to be worth around $10 billion a year, has been primarily based in the San Fernando Valley, although the passage of Measure B is believed to have pushed some production out of the area.

 

 

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