L.A. Times: Porn and Condoms Don’t Mix
LOS ANGELES — With a state Senate panel weighing in on the porn-condom debate tomorrow, the Los Angeles Times has come out with an editorial saying that “AIDS isn't a crisis of porn” and that legislators are preparing to “double down” on Measure B, described as a "misadventure,” that will spread the mandate to all of California.
The Times editorial comes on the eve of an important vote over AB 1576 in the state Senate's Appropriations committee, which is charged with weighing costs of such legislation. The bill already has cleared the Assembly.
“At first blush, the requirement seems sensible. Who could oppose safe sex? But the effort to require condom use in adult films is misdirected — the porn business isn't the hub of AIDS or sexually transmitted diseases,” said the Times in an editorial slated for Monday’s papers.
“Moreover, asking people to wear condoms is one thing; having the government order it and enforce it is another. And, most important, it doesn't work. Measure B is taking a fairly safe business and pushing it underground, outside Los Angeles and quite possibly into places that don't honor protocols put into place to protect adult film actors, which require that every performer be tested every two weeks for sexually transmitted diseases and cleared for work only if the test is negative.”
The editorial, by Times staffer Jim Newton and called “Why Porn and Condoms Don’t Mix,” said that the adult entertainment biz has being driven out of Porn Valley since Measure B was approved by Los Angeles County voters and that most studios are shooting under the radar of city and county officials.
“It's time to accept that Measure B's impact hasn't been to encourage condom use; it's been to encourage evasion and flight,” the Times editorial said. “Other than the 40 or so films [in the past year, according to Film LA, which administrates shoots in the city proper] that received permits, no performers were covered by the ordinance, and since some porn productions were already using condoms, it seems likely that the ordinance has protected precisely no one.
“There are plenty of people who would be happy to say goodbye to the porn business in California, but that wouldn't do anything to stop the spread of AIDS, because AIDS isn't a crisis of porn,” the Times said. “Experts are far more concerned about its growth in minority communities, particularly among African Americans, and continue to grapple with staggering numbers of people exposed to the virus. Nearly 200,000 Californians, roughly 146,000 of whom are gay or bisexual men, have contracted the virus in the years since researchers began tracking its spread.
“In the porn business, meanwhile, the industry reports — without contradiction from the state's legislative analysis or even some die-hard supporters of this bill — that the total number of confirmed cases of on-set HIV transmission over the last decade is zero.”
XBIZ will report tomorrow morning on the state Senate’s Appropriation’s committee vote on AB 1576.