Civil Rights Group EQCA Votes to Oppose Prop 60

Jul 27, 2016 11:11 AM PST

LOS ANGELES — Equality California (EQCA), which is billed as the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, has voted to oppose Proposition 60.

Proposition 60 is the California ballot initiative that would further regulate adult filmmaking in the state and require performers in adult films to use condoms during production if passed by voters in November during the General Election. It also would require producers to pay for performer vaccinations, testing, and medical examinations related to STIs and require them to obtain state health license and to post condom requirement at film sites.

If passed, Proposition 60 also would impose liability on producers for violations, on certain distributors, on performers if they have a financial interest in the film involved and on talent agents who knowingly refer performers to noncomplying producers.

The initiative, which would cost about $1 million annually to regulate, also permits state, performers or any state resident to enforce violations. 

In a letter to Secretary of State Alex Padilla opposing the initiative, Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California, wrote how the ballot initiative would negatively impact working environments for adult performers.

“Rather than curbing transmission of HIV and protecting performers, Proposition 60’s broad private right of action will drive production underground or out of state, and out of reach of California’s health and worker protection safeguards,” Zbur said. “By driving production away from regulations that require and encourage safer-sex practices in adult film production, Proposition 60 will exacerbate the very problem it purports to address.”

Eric Paul Leue, campaign manager for Californians Against Worker Harassment and Free Speech Coalition executive director, applauded the decision to oppose.

“This initiative has broad opposition from the LGBTQ communities, in addition to the performers themselves. [AIDS Healthcare Foundation President] Michael Weinstein, the sole proponent of this measure, continues to disregard the very real dangers this poorly written initiative creates for adult industry workers, including public harassment, outing and profiteering," Leue said. "We are proud to have Equality California stand beside us against this ugly, offensive and dangerous initiative.”

In addition to Equality California, the initiative has been opposed by a diverse and bipartisan coalition, including California Democratic Party, the California Republican Party, the California Libertarian Party, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, AIDS Project Los Angeles, the LA Commission on HIV (recommending that the LA County Board of Supervisors oppose the initiative as part of their legislative slate), the Transgender Law Center, the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC), the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA), the Free Speech Coalition and state Sen. Mark Leno.

The full text of the Equality California’s letter of opposition is available here.

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