If you watch porn, you should understand what’s at stake with Proposition 60 – because it has the potential to censor the adult industry as we know it. Also known as Prop 60, it is just one of eighteen Californian statewide initiatives being put to vote on the November 8th ballot. The results of Proposition 60 will have widespread implications on the adult film industry—and on everyone who enjoys porn (yes, that means you). Here’s everything you need to know about Prop 60, or as some are calling it: “The Condom Law”.
Why You Should Care
- Porn stars and Producers can be pursued legally for not having condoms on in scenes and such
- Legal pursuits may breach performers’ privacy
- Moving backwards socially regarding sexual liberty
What’s Prop 60 All About?
Well, here’s a brief summary highlighting the main points of the fourteen-page Proposition 60, quoted verbatim:
- “To require producers of adult films to comply with the law by requiring, among other things, that performers are protected by condoms from sexually transmitted infections.
- To require the costs of certain vaccinations, testing, and medical monitoring relative to HIV I AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections to be paid by adult film producers and to give adult film performers a private right of action to recover civil damages for economic or personal injury caused by adult film producers’ failure to comply with the health and safety requirements of this Act.
- To require adult film producers to provide notice of filming, to maintain certain records regarding filming, to post a notice regarding the required use of condoms for specified scenes, and to fulfill additional health requirements.
- To discourage noncompliance and encourage compliance with the requirements of this Act by requiring adult film producers to be licensed.
- To hold liable all individuals and entities with a financial interest in the making or distribution of adult films who violate this Act.
- To enable whistle-blowers and private citizens to pursue violators of the Act where the State fails to do so.”
Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, is the main proponent of the proposition, which was drafted without actually consulting anyone in the adult film industry. It’s also worth noting that his organization is the main, and sole, donor for Yes On Prop 60 (a.k.a For Adult Industry Responsibility or FAIR), with just under five million dollars in funding.
At first glance, the proposition may appear fairly utilitarian in its aim to protect the labor rights of adult performers, yet few people in the adult film industry actually support it and those who don’t are extremely vocal and well informed.
— JuliaAnn™ #NoProp60 (@therealJuliaAnn) October 21, 2016
As a fan, seeing a condom is a non-issue. I’m not against Prop 60 because of condoms. I’m against it because it’s legal harassment #NoProp60
— Lola (@LolaMurder) October 17, 2016
— Sasha Heart (@SashaHeart) October 23, 2016
Bipartisan Opposition to Prop 60
Most shockingly, both state Democrat and Republican parties are on record as being opposed to the proposition, with official support from U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock (Republican, California’s 4th Congressional District), Senator Mark Leno (Democrat, District 11), and San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener; a very rare instance of bipartisanship—especially when it comes to pornography, a historically divisive issue in American politics.
In the case of the Democrats, they’re concerned that the proposition might compromise performers’ privacy and right to practice their trade. If anyone can initiate litigation against a film where no condoms are used and it makes it to court, an actor’s or actress’ private information would become public record since most performers have stakes in the films they shoot. Folks, need I remind you that porn stars use aliases for a reason—not just because they cleverly make use of sexual innuendo, but because they also protect them from unwanted, and potentially unsafe, attention.
State Republicans, on the other hand, are concerned about the effects the proposition might have on California when the industry relocates to somewhere with less regulation like Nevada.
“Since an enormous percent of all U.S. porn films are shot in California, state tax revenue will take a big hit, while state costs are estimated to exceed $1 million annually as a result of enforcing the measure” (Ballotpedia).
Basically, they’re concerned about the costs to enforce this proposition exceeding the money that the state will be able to make when pornographic production goes elsewhere.
The Concerns of Adult Industry Talent
It’s safe to say that if Prop 60 passes, porn’s heartland will migrate, and plenty of jobs and cash with it. Another concern is that Proposition 60 will open up anyone with stakes in adult films to constant legal pursuits from what the media has been calling “condom crusaders” (remember, violators of the initiative can be pursued by private citizens should the State fail to).
Performers’ concerns mirror those of both major parties, with a few others that only someone with experience working in the porn industry would know about. When you’re on set for a full day performing long-enduring sex, latex-related injuries are a very real issue, and they’re bound to become far more prevalent if performers are forced to wear condoms. Another concern is that husband and wife performers would be obligated to wear condoms during all filmed scenes, a formality that seems totally unnecessary, but that would be legally required.
Condoms = Not What Porn Consumers Are Looking For
In any case, the industry has done a fantastic job protecting its workers from STDs and STIs internally, as actors and actresses are required to get tested a minimum of every 14 days before filming a scene. If they are not cleared in the FSC Pass’ database prior to a shoot, they are turned away. USA Today reports that “[…] no cases of HIV have been directly linked to porn films since 2004”.
The Organized Resistance
No On Prop 60 or the Californians Against Worker Harassment has gained plenty of traction, despite only nearly half a million dollars in sponsorship. While Proposition 60 purports to protect performers and enforce a litany of workplace safety regulations, it creates a laundry list of other issues, not least among them compromising the safety of actors and actresses, which is why its detractors are calling it ‘ill conceived’.
Why You Should Vote
The results of Prop 60 will definitely take backseat to those of the federal election on November 8th but have an immense impact on the porn industry as we know it.