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Sunday 09 April 2017

A Losing Proposition

Posted in: Comment
By Craig Young - 21st November 2016

One of the other aspects of the US federal election that was little commented upon was a California- based state referendum called Proposition 60, which would have allowed California's state Occupational Health and Safety Department to prosecute malefactors every time a condom wasn't used for sex in adult erotic entertainment DVDs. So why did this proposition lose at the ballot box?

Part of the problem was the drafting of the legislation. It wasn't a straightforward attempt to apply reasonable and sensible occupational health and safety procedures within the adult erotic entertainment industry in the County of Los Angeles. Instead, it would have made it possible for adult erotic entertainment media production personnel and funders to be identified and to be vexatiously litigated against, and would have cost one million dollars to enforce, as well as the loss of potential taxation and licensing revenue if the industry were to relocate from the precincts of Los Angeles. Otherwise, it sounds quite reasonable- it would have obliged producers to enforce condom use and medical examinations and post condom requirements at film sites. Again, though, the devil was in the detail, as it also obliged adult erotic entertainment funders and producers to renew their production licenses every two years and contact California's OSH every time an adult erotic entertainment film was being made.

Let it also be noted that the revenue that the adult erotic entertainment provides for California amounts to an estimated nine billion dollars each year, and that Californian state law already mandates safe sex in adult erotic entertainment media- Measure B was passed in 2012, but is unevenly enforced. Proposition 60 pitted the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the American Sexual Health Foundation and California State Association of Occupational Health Nurses against the California Democratic Party, California Republican Party, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, Los Angeles County Commission on HIV/AIDS, Equality California, AIDS Project Los Angeles, Wicked Pictures, Cybernet Entertainment,Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicleand theSacramento Bee.The chief individual behind Proposition 60, Michael Weinstein, runs the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. It runs pharmacies and provides HIV care in California, and is also behind Proposition 61, which seeks to lower prescription prices in that state. Weinsten has a sterling record of affirmative HIV/AIDS activism, setting up hospices, providing medication to patients without health insurance and fought back against troglodyte Republicans and religious extremists who wanted to quarantine HIV+ people and people living with HIV/AIDS. More controversially, he's also anti-PrEP, arguing that some of its boosters are anti-condom and encourage unsafe sex.

As for Proposition 60, some adult erotic entertainment media participants prefer twice-monthly HIV tests to condom useage, although gay adult erotic entertainment regularly uses condoms apart from the bareback anti- safe sex fringe. As well as that, Mike Stabile, himself an HIV/AIDS activist, disliked the AHF's perspective on testing, with fear and stigma used to deliver their message, which he says is counterproductive and drives people away from responsible compliance.

When push came to shove, Proposition 60 lost heavily at the ballot box, with fifty four percent of voters opposing it, while forty six percent supported it, according to National Public Radio. One sticking point was the prospect of unemployment, industry shift and loss of taxation revenue, and it seems to have taken effect. As well as that, it was probably unneccessary. Moreover, adult erotic entertainment media on its own results in few new cases of HIV. Few gay adult erotic entertainment performers and producers would doubt the utility of mandated condom use, but Measure B already exists, and may need greater funds for enforcement. Proposition 60 appears to have been badly drafted and onerous in intent, which is probably why it lost. It contained some good ideas in principle, but in practice, it would have driven an already marginal industry further underground and made it even more difficult to enforce existing safe sex legislation.


Bill Chappell: "Condom Mandate for Porn Industry Falls Short in California"National Public Radio: 09.11.2016:http://www.npr. org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/ 11/09/501405749/condom- mandate-for-porn-industry- falls-short-in-california

April Debrosky: "From Maverick AIDS Activist to Porn Cop: The Man Behind Proposition 60"National Public Radio:02.11.2016: sections/health-shots/2016/11/ 02/500039336/from-maverick- aids-activist-to-porn-cop-the- man-behind-proposition-60

"Proposition 60: How hardcore do we want to get in regulating porn?"Sacramento Bee:02.09.2016:http://www.sacbee. com/opinion/election- endorsements/article100921742. html

California Matters: Proposition 60: Condoms in Adult Films: proposition/prop-60-condoms- in-adult-films/

"Heavy handed Proposition 60 would deputise every Californian as a condom cop"Los Angeles Times:28.09.2016:http://www. editorials/la-ed-vote-no- proposition-60-20160922-snap- story.html

"A condom requirement for porn actors doesn't make sense" San Francisco Chronicle: 01.09.2016:http://www. editorials/article/A-condom- requirement-for-porn-actors- doesn-t-9198804.php

For Proposition 60:

Against Proposition 60:

Craig Young - 21st November 2016

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