L.A. HIV Commission Votes to Oppose Condom Ballot Measure

Jun 2, 2016 9:37 AM PST

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles County Commission on HIV has voted unanimously to recommend opposition to the so-called “Safer Sex in Adult Film Production Act” ballot measure, according to the Free Speech Coalition. 

The commission, which numbers about 50 advisory members, directed its opposition to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Performers spoke passionately against the initiative at this week’s Board of Supervisors meeting, explaining how the initiative would leave adult performers, including those members of the LGBTQ community, vulnerable to lawsuits, outing, extortion and other forms of harassment. Leading performer group APAC (Adult Performer Advocacy Committee) has already formally opposed the measure.

In testimony recommending opposition, the FSC said Commission on HIV members cited key flaws of the initiative, which could make it dangerous to performers, including:

  • A lawsuit enforcement provision that allows private citizens to harass adult performers;
  • The risk of driving a legal industry underground, where production would become less safe; and,
  • Poor safeguards for performer health and safety.

The ballot initiative has been opposed by leading HIV and AIDS advocacy groups, as well as the FSC, performer group APAC (Adult Performer Advocacy Committee), the San Francisco Democrats, the California Republican Party and the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA), among others.

The “Safer Sex in Adult Film Act” would allow private citizens to file lawsuits against adult performers and other industry workers if a condom is not visible in a finished adult film.

Karen Tynan, an industry attorney and a member of Californians Against Worker Harassment, a committee opposing the ballot measure, said the act, if voters move it forward, would create dangerous working environment for performers.

“This measure would not result safer sets, but instead would push a legal industry underground and out-of-state, and performers into the shadows,” Tynan said. “This initiative is not about protecting adult workers; it’s about one man’s inexplicable crusade to control the content of adult film.”  

Tynan noted that a similar Los Angeles County ballot measure in 2012 resulted in a 95 percent drop in adult film permits. XBIZ reported last month that adult film permits in the county dipped to 26 for all of 2015.

Performers are tested every 14 days for a complete panel of STIs, including HIV. There has not been a single transmission of HIV on a regulated adult film set since 2004, when comprehensive testing protocols were introduced, she said.

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