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April 27, 2016

FSC-Backed PAC Forms to Fight Statewide Condom Measure

SACRAMENTO—A new political action committee sponsored in part by the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) has formed to combat the measure set to appear on California's November presidential ballot that would mandate the use of condoms in adult productions throughout the state. Dubbed Californians Against Worker Harassment, the PAC is funded by an alliance of adult performers, businesses and public health advocates, and will be chaired by FSC executive director Eric Paul Leue. Stated committee spokesperson Mike Stabile, "This initiative would grant any private citizen of California the power to sue a worker, even an injured worker, in the adult entertainment industry, simply because they don't agree with how that worker does their job. It opens up the door to extortion and harassment of a predominantly female performer base and small business owners by those outside the industry." The proposed law would mandate that use of condoms be verifiable in all adult productions across all technology platforms, including unrated independent films. If the condom is not visible a performer could be sued by any California citizen. Performer safety is currently regulated by Cal/OSHA, and performers are tested every 14 days for a full slate of STIs, a protocol which has prevented on-set transmission of HIV in California for over a decade. Adult workers have been vocal in their opposition to the law, which would remove their own right of choice pertaining to the use of condoms, and open the door to stalkers and serial harassers, a serious issue for many performers. Many also fear that the initiative will further drive a legal industry underground, leaving them less protected.  The Attorney General estimates the “California Condoms in Pornographic Films” ballot initiative will cost tens of millions annually in lost tax revenue and administration costs. A similar bill in Los Angeles in 2012 resulted in a 95 percent drop in permits for adult production in L.A. county, before being ruled unenforceable. “This initiative is dangerous to adult performers, sets a precedent for other workers to be sued, and will force tax revenues and jobs out of state,” Stabile said. “We should not allow adult performers to be harassed simply because someone doesn't like what they do. California law should protect workers from harassment, not sanction it.”  

 
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