California’s Fight Over Condoms in Porn Is About to Climax – MADISON PAULY OCT. 21, 2016 6:00 AM


We explore all the positions on Prop. 60.

Among California’s long list of ballot initiatives up for grabs in November is Proposition 60, an initiative that would allow the state’s pornography viewers to sue adult-film producers—and, potentially, performers—if they can’t spot a condom in their latest download. And as it turns out, there’s at least one thing that California’s Democrats and Republicans can agree upon this election season: bareback porn.

Prop. 60 aims to fight the spread of sexually transmitted infections by adding the Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act to state law. While California has required porn stars to wear condoms since 1992, the proposition ramps up enforcement by permitting state residents to file a complaint about performers not wearing condoms with the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Cal-OSHA would then have three weeks to respond before those residents could sue anyone with a financial interest in the production and, if the court rules against the pornographers, collect a quarter of the penalties. The proposition also requires producers to obtain state health licenses, register shoots with the state, and pay for performers’ STI testing.

The list of Prop. 60 opponents is formidable. Democrats don’t like it because of the potential for lawsuits that could compromise worker privacy. Republicans don’t like the cost: about $1 million in state expenses to license and regulate film production, and an additional several million dollars in lost taxes if the industry flees California, according to a state analysis. AIDS Project Los Angeles slammed the measure for its condoms-only approach, which “completely ignores recent developments in HIV biomedical prevention,” such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)—a position taken by multiple AIDS groups. Newspaper editorial boards think it’s poorly written. And the porn industry has spoken out loudly against Prop. 60, claiming that its lawsuits would leave workers vulnerable to harassment from overzealous fans, anti-porn crusaders, and stalkers, to whom actors are especially vulnerable.

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