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November 04, 2015

APAC, FSC Submit Protest to Cal/OSHA Over Porn Regs-UPDATED

LOS ANGELES—The Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC) and the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) today submitted a formal response to Cal/OSHA over the proposed regulations that would mandate not only condoms but also goggles, dental dams and other skin protections to ward off contact with bodily fluids. The final draft of the regulations, titled 5193.1 Sexually Transmitted Infections, not only require condoms for all filmed sex, but also "barrier protection for eyes, skin, mouth and mucous membranes" where there is possible contact with OPIM (Other Potentially Infectious Materials). Cal/OSHA defines OPIM as not only semen, but also pre-ejaculate, vaginal secretions and other bodily fluids, meaning condom and dental dams would be required for oral sex, as well as goggles and gloves if there is a risk of "contamination." The new regulations were initiated nearly five years ago by Michael Weinstein, head of the controversial AIDS Healthcare Foundation. A vote on the final regulations is expected to take place early next year. "This has been a disappointing and surreal process," said Chanel Preston, President of APAC. "In hearing after hearing, Cal/OSHA disregarded the real concerns of performers, producers and infectious disease specialists. As a result, we have irrational regulations based in fear and stigma about adult film work that make no sense on an adult film set. If Weinstein's goal was to force the industry out of California, he's succeeded. There's no way to comply with these measures." Diane Duke, head of the Free Speech Coalition, and a co-signatory on the letter, says the process was heavily biased. "This was a healthcare discussion that devolved into discussion of sexual morality, and it never should have happened. We have a performer population which is tested every fourteen days for a full slate of STIs, and we've successfully prevented HIV transmissions on regulated sets for over a decade. But because of one man's well-funded moral crusade, we're now talking about goggles and gloves for adult film, and porn stars being sued if they don't use a condom. I suspect even Weinstein knows this isn't reasonable. This isn't about regulation, it's about suppression." The letter details a uneven regulatory process in which adult performers were displaced by brothel workers, where the pleas of longtime HIV activists were ignored, and where adult filmmakers were compared with criminals. After a contentious May hearing with performers, Cal/OSHA issued revised regulations in mid-October, leaving the barrier regulations in place, and ignoring serious concerns raised by performers, infectious disease specialists, and AIDS organizations including the LA County Commission on HIV. Today was the last day for the adult industry to respond to Cal/OSHA prior to a vote implementing the regulations expected for early 2016. The full text of the letter to Cal/OSHA can be found here. For copies of the new regulations, or for interviews with Diane Duke, contact press@freespeechcoalition.com, or call 818-348-9373. To contact Chanel Preston or for other adult performer representatives at APAC, contact apac.information@gmail.com.

 
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