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October 12, 2016

Prop 60 Opposition Being Covered By ... Courthouse News?!?

CALIFORNIA—The battle over Proposition 60, the so-called "Safer Sex In The Adult Film Industry Act," found a new player entering the fray today, when the legal news site Courthouse News ran a story on the controversial issue—and writer Nick Cahill managed to lay out some of the best arguments as to why the proposition should fail at the ballot box ... even if he gets a couple of facts wrong. (California and New Hampshire are not the only states where shooting adult content is legal; it's actually legal in every state.) "Under Proposition 60, producers would have to pay for performers' medical examinations, maintain records proving that condoms were used and face fines for violating mandatory condom laws," Cahill wrote. "Upping the ante, however, private citizens would be allowed to sue porn producers for violating the mandatory condom use in California films as whistleblowers of sorts. The threat of litigation has drawn many state lawmakers and newspaper editorial boards against Weinstein's statewide vision." Cahill goes on to quote State Sen. Mark Leno (D-SF) noting that, should the initiative pass, "The measure could cause significant harm to adult film performers, subject them to vast array of unprecedented third-party lawsuits and erode critical protections." Cahill mentions the plethora of newspaper editorial boards who oppose the proposition, stating, "Meanwhile newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and the Sacramento Bee have also encouraged readers to ditch mandatory condom use at the ballot box." (Also newly on board in voicing their opposition: The L.A. Daily News, CBS's Los Angeles affiliates CBSTV2, KCAL9 and KNX1070, as well as popular liberal website DailyKos—and that's hardly all of them.) Cahill also quoted performer/director/producer Chanel Preston's statements in Sacramento County Superior Court when she testified against former performer Derrick Burts' lawsuit to strike certain 'No on 60' statements from the materials sent out by the state to inform them about the effects of various ballot measures. "[Preston] testified in Sacramento County Superior Court in August that an estimated 75 percent of the members in the 'Adult Performer Advocacy Committee' produce their own content through webcam shows or by marketing segments of films they've performed in," Cahill reported, though he found it necessary to use Preston's real name in the article. Cahill also quoted from AIDS Healthcare's latest TV ad supporting the proposition, which has former actor and escort Derrick Burts lying about where he contracted his HIV: "They say Prop 60 isn't needed. Well, I got HIV and thousands like me get serious diseases because of unprotected sex on porn films." (Burts has told several conflicting stories as to where and how he was infected, and the incidence of "serious" STIs among adult performers is roughly the same as that among the general population of L.A.) But Cahill gives the last word to No On 60's campaign manager, Eric Paul Leue: "Just about the only person supporting it is Michael Weinstein, the proponent and sole funder of the initiative, who has created a measure that would allow him to go after adult performers unimpeded, against the will of legislators or state health departments and funded with state resources," Leue said in a statement. "This is a power grab which will disenfranchise and hurt adult workers in the pursuit of one man's misguided moral crusade." Looks like the word about how awful Proposition 60 is, is finally gaining some of the national attention it deserves.

 
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