Weinstein Says He’ll Drop Ballot Initiative If Industry Agrees to Condom Law

Nov 5, 2015 2:07 PM PST

LOS ANGELES — AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein, the proponent of the California ballot initiative that would require mandatory condoms for performers and strictly regulate adult filmmaking in the state, told XBIZ today that he’d scrap his statewide proposal completely if the porn industry and his group could agree on a new law.

“The AHF is willing to work with the industry and the Legislature to craft a bill that would make the initiative unnecessary,” Weinstein said. “However, condoms for vaginal and anal sex is not negotiable."

Yesterday, California’s secretary of state, Alex Padilla, announced that Weinstein’s initiative, “The California Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act,” is eligible for the Nov. 8, 2016, general election ballot. 

Weinstein’s initiative needed at least 402,468 projected valid signatures to qualify by random sampling, and it exceeded that threshold yesterday. 

Under election law, the initiative will be qualified for the November 2016 ballot on June 30 unless Weinstein withdraws the initiative prior to that date.

Weinstein’s statement that he’d be willing to negotiate with the porn industry didn’t move any stones for the adult industry trade group, the Free Speech Coalition, which has criticized every effort by the AHF president to regulate the biz. Weinstein responded to an XBIZ query over the matter.

After all, Weinstein was able to push through Measure B with voters after years of campaigning for a porn-condom law in Los Angeles. He also was the sponsor for a number of failed porn-condom bills in California’s Legislature.

Mike Stabile, a spokesman for the FSC, told XBIZ today that Weinstein’s mention that he’d be willing to sit down with the adult industry and negotiate a deal appeared “disingenuous.”

“My sense over Weinstein’s statement [to negotiate for state legislation] is that he thinks the ballot measure is a bad proposition and that he’s facing some blowback,” Stabile said. “It’s terribly written and crafted, and he probably did not anticipate the negative publicity building over the fact that performers can be sued under the proposal.”

The California porn-condom initiative requires performers in adult films to use condoms during filming of sexual intercourse. It also requires producers of adult films to pay for performer vaccinations, testing and medical examinations related to sexually transmitted infections and forces them to obtain state health license at beginning of filming and to post condom requirement at film sites.

For violations, the proposal also imposes liability on producers, distributors, performers if they have a financial interest in the violating film, and on talent agents who knowingly refer performers to noncomplying producers.

If passed, the ballot initiative would permit state, performers, or any state resident to enforce violations.

Stabile noted that in the past year, the AHF with Weinstein at the helm has spent about $1.5 million in trying to get the porn-condom initiative approved for ballot, and that the money could have been better spent.

 “We’re an industry that wants safe sex, but he’s taken a stand that he knows better [than those working in the industry],” Stabile said. “I would have loved for him to take the $7 million he’s spent all these years against the porn industry and use it to empower, treat and educate underserved communities."

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