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October 06, 2016

More CA News Outlets Coming On Board Against Prop 60

LOS ANGELES—This week, five more major California newspapers joined the "No on 60" bandwagon, editorializing that whatever benefit may be gained from mandating that adult performers use condoms and other "barrier protections" during sex scenes is far outweighed by the threat to those same performers from the nearly unlimited lawsuit power granted to state citizens under the initiative if passed. "If the 2012 L.A. County measure was an unwise intrusion on the practices of a legal industry, this Nov. 8 proposition may be worse," cautioned editorials that appeared yesterday in the Los Angeles Daily News, the Whittier Daily News, the Orange County Register and the Long Beach Press-Telegram. "It poses financial and health risks to the very people it’s meant to protect from sexually transmitted diseases. It would allow anybody—not only affected parties—to sue and file Cal/OSHA complaints against the makers of porn movies that don’t use condoms in sex scenes. And it sets a too-low threshold for getting a case into court. The law could be exploited by people trying to damage a controversial business or earn a cut of a resulting fine. Not only porn producers would face financial damage. So would performers, who now, in the digital era, often act as their own producers." The editorials express the fear that Prop 60 could drive adult production underground, to the detriment of the very performers the proposition claims to want to protect, and supports the Free Speech Coalition recommendations, also expressed to Cal/OSHA, of mandatory STD testing and optional condom use. "[T]he argument that a law this broad is needed to protect performers or the general public is unpersuasive," the editorials conclude. "The editorial board recommends a vote against Prop. 60." While some might try to dismiss the above condemnations of Prop 60 as coming from the board of a newspaper chain, even the Sacramento News & Review finds the arguments in favor of Prop 60 specious, and its story is built around the proposition's effects on a couple who create hardcore content together. "AHF President Michael Weinstein claims the initiative is necessary to protect adult performers’ health, but many opponents have questioned his real motives. Meanwhile, at least 1,500 adult performers have protested that the proposition would drown them in slut-shaming civil lawsuits that expose their identities and bankrupt mom-and-pop erotica producers like Alyce and Justin," the News & Review wrote of the couple who shoot hardcore videos, edit them and post them online, with the paper quoting Alyce that, "It could ruin my life." "Prop. 60 may sound like a compassionate measure aimed at protecting a marginalized work force, but the very people who make up that work force say it’s a stealth attack on their livelihood and safety," the story continues, noting that, "Performers get tested for STDs every 14 days and must have a documented bill of clean health to perform in a film. Many use pre-exposure prophylaxis that have a 92 percent effective rate in preventing HIV transmission, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, only a few ticks lower than proper condom usage," and, "[S]ince the initiative would require all 'producers' to alert OSHA when they’re planning to film, including cam shows, this would create a database that performers fear would put them in danger." The story also lays out the utter disregard Prop 60 proponents actually have for performers' safety. "Too bad!" said Yes on 60 campaign manager Rick Taylor. "Don’t break the law! Sorry. Don’t break the law. That’s all. This argument just blows me out. Like, 'Oh my God, my name might get exposed!' Well if you don't break the law, then don’t worry about it. You won't be exposed. And by the way, most husbands and wives that [do] pornography, they don’t merchandize it. They put it on for free." Trouble is, of course, if one of the "private attorney generals" that would be created under Prop 60 decides he/she doesn't see a condom in a particular piece of content, they can sue, and it'll be up to the content owner to prove that condoms were used—and in the process of suing, the performers' identities could easily be exposed, to no purpose, even if they're obeying the law Taylor claims to hold so dear. (Other quotes in the News & Review article make clear how horrible a person Taylor is.) "If Prop. 60 were to pass … I guarantee it will affect significantly more performers than just solely producers," the News & Review quotes APAC’s Chanel Preston as saying, "by a landslide." "For their part, Alyce and Justin see Prop. 60 as a Trojan horse, sold as protection but stowing a morality agenda that endangers small-timers like themselves, who don’t pose a public health risk and aren’t making enough money to weather lawsuits," the News & Review story concludes, adding, "It's scary for us little guys," Justin said. "We could have a government agency come crashing down on us for doing something that we love, and is fun, and gives a couple people an escape from their daily lives. If [Weinstein] really cared, he could have used that money to open free testing facilities." (Of course, as adult industry members are already aware, the testing AIDS Healthcare offers for HIV is useless for adult industry work.) With a little more than one month until the election, it is expected that several more news outlets in the state will also voice their opposition to this terrible ballot initiative.

 
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