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October 17, 2016

Adult Performers to Protest Prop 60 on Monday

LOS ANGELES – “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Adult industry performers will attempt to get that time-honored message across to California voters on Monday when they engage in a time-honored protest method that also apparently “ain’t broke.”

At noon PST, the No on 60 committee hopes to assemble about a hundred performers for a protest march on the Yes on 60 headquarters at 6255 W. Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles. The two groups are diametrically opposed to Proposition 60, a ballot initiative that, if passed on Nov. 8, will require performers to condoms and other so-called barrier protection when shooting sexually explicit scenes.

Among the most damaging of the initiatives provisions, according to No on 60, is the power the proposition would give California residents to sue anyone with a financial investment in any film if condoms aren’t visible in relevant scenes.

No on 60 also is incensed by another provision: “If Prop 60 passes, [AIDS Healthcare Foundation President] Michael Weinstein — the sole proponent of the initiative — would become a state employee with near[ly] unlimited power to defend the law and pursue violators.”

To date, Weinstein has invested almost $5 million dollars on his campaign, according to No on 60, and “has continuously refused to meet with working performers about their concerns with the initiative.”

Once the march reaches Yes on 60’s headquarters, performers plan to demand Weinstein “stop his attacks on performers, end his dangerous messaging and debate adult performers about the measure in a public forum.”

Prop 60 has been opposed by the California Democratic and Republican parties, as well as all seven of the state’s largest newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, dozens of public health and civil rights organizations, more than 50 state and local political clubs, and thousands of adult film performers. A full list of opposition is available at StopProp60.com.

In addition, almost all of the 1,500 to 2,000 active adult performers in California have spoken out against the measure, according to a No on 60 statement.

The Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC), which has called for a meeting with Weinstein for more than a year, is circulating a Change.org petition in an attempt to force Weinstein to debate the issues in public before voters go the polls on Nov. 8.

We, as representatives of performers in the adult industry, ask that Michael Weinstein, the sole proponent and funder of Proposition 60, meet with performers to debate his measure before the November election. Our open letter is below:

Dear Mr. Weinstein,

As the sole proponent and funder of Proposition 60, we once again ask you to come down from your tower and meet with the adult performers who will be hurt by your offensive, dangerous ballot measure.

Over the past six months, you and your surrogates have attacked, degraded and demeaned performers. You’ve called us a public health threat, a bad influence, called us liars and lawbreakers and suggested we move out of state if we don’t want to be sued or harassed. Let’s face it: your campaign is not about helping us, it’s about bringing us to heel.

Prop 60 would give each of California’s 38 million residents the power sue performers if they see a film where the condom isn’t visible. It’s an outrageous violation that would open us to stalkers, harassers, anti-porn activists and, maybe most disturbingly, profiteers. As you know, your proposition offers a large cash bounty for successfully bringing each suit, then forces us to pay our harassers’ legal fees.

Oddly, out of those 38 million, we’re most concerned about you. We’ve seen how you’ve gone after performers in the past, particularly performers who work for themselves. We’ve seen how you’ve shamed us, sued us, and attacked us. Prop 60 would give you nearly unlimited power — and unlimited state resources — to carry out your hateful campaign against an already stigmatized population.

We’ve tried to tell you that condoms aren’t always the best answer for long shoots, or for every performer. We’ve told you how those who hate us will use the law. We’ve told you that we’d work with you in designing regulation. We’ve told you the consequences of driving the business underground. You’ve ignored us at every turn.

You may think you know what’s best for us. You may think you speak for us. You may think that you have a better control of women’s bodies than the women themselves. We have less than 30 days until the election. If you really believe your position, we ask that you defend it. We challenge you to a debate — a performer versus the Proponent — to help explain why you deserve a greater say in our sexual health than we do.

Come down from that tower — or we’ll bring the discussion to you.

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