L.A. Times Columnist Weighs In on Measure B

Sep 30, 2012 8:00 PM PST

LOS ANGELES -- Supporters of Measure B believe the government can force the adult film business to be a role model for safe sex, but Los Angeles Times' columnist Jim Newton doubts it.

Newton, in an op-ed column slated for Monday's Los Angeles Times, says the measure is a "well-meaning attempt to promote safe-sex practices and, at least on the part of some supporters, to protect workers in the adult film industry."

"But it goes further than many people realize toward stifling what is, after all, a legal business, while doing relatively little to ensure the safety of those who are part of that business," he said in the editorial. 

"Yet, the measure is both more and less than it seems. It's a well-meaning attempt to promote safe-sex practices and, at least on the part of some supporters, to protect workers in the adult film industry. 

"The measure rests on a premise that is difficult to assess: that adult film performers are infecting one another and endangering the public by incubating and passing on sexually transmitted diseases.

"In fact, according to the industry representatives and performers I spoke with last week, regular testing of performers has virtually shut down HIV infections in the business. That's hard to verify because some actors have contracted HIV in recent years, though not necessarily on a set."

Newton, in the piece, noted a number of porn stars who have been active over the rally against Measure B. He called the Los Angeles-area porn business a $1 billion industry.

"Kayden Kross is bright, attractive, articulate. She's also the winner of 2011's 'Wildest Sex Scene' award, among others. She's offended that the government would order her to have sex in an approved fashion, even as part of a production," he said in the piece.

"Kross argues that industry testing standards are rigorous — actors are not welcome on a set unless they've received a clean bill of health within 30 days, and many test every two weeks. Kross said she would refuse to work with any actor who didn't arrive on the set with a recent test result in hand.

"Kross and another actress, Tasha Reign, said they would leave Los Angeles and film elsewhere rather than comply with the new law, if it is approved," he said.

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