Judge: Prop 60 Ballot Pamphlet Statements Need Alterations

Aug 10, 2016 3:55 PM PST

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Sacramento Superior Court judge made a tentative order Wednesday that will force changes on the official ballot pamphlet in regards to Proposition 60.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley agreed with former gay porn star Derrick Burts that several of the “No on Prop 60” statements set to appear on voter pamphlets are misleading, including one that the porn condom initiative "weakens safety standards."

Frawley also ruled on another point made by Burts, an ally of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which is the chief sponsor of Prop 60.

The jurist said that used an old fiscal estimate from the Legislative Analyst regarding Prop 60's impact and that their arguments should be updated to include the latest figure.

"Nothing in the measure weakens safety standards,” Frawley's tentative order said, according to Courthouse News. “The opponents are free to argue that adoption of the measure will weaken workplace safety, but they may not falsely argue that the measure will weaken safety standards.”

Burts filed suit last month at Sacramento Superior Court in an effort to prevent California Secretary of State Alex Padilla from including the current version of the opponents arguments on the voter pamphlet.

The suit named Prop 60 opponents Eric Paul Leue, who leads the Free Speech Coalition as executive director and the anti-Prop 60 group Californians Against Worker Harassment; state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco; and adult stars Chanel Preston and Nina Hartley.

On Wednesday, Frawley allowed testimony from Preston, despite an objection from Burts' attorney, Bradley Hertz, Courthouse News said.

In testimony, Preston said that Prop 60, if passed, could open her and others up to liability lawsuits particularly because the line between "producer" and "actor" in the porn biz is a murky one.

Preston said that 75 percent of APAC members produce their own content through webcam shows or by marketing films they've performed in.

Frawley's tentative order agrees with the contention that Prop 60 could create a "lawsuit bonanza."

"Whether the measure will allow a 'special interest group' to profit from the proposition is a matter of opinion, as is the question of whether the measure will give rise to an 'unprecedented' lawsuit bonanza. These are not objectively false or misleading statements," Frawley’s tentative ruling said.

Frawley, according to Courthouse News, suggested editing or removing six of the opposing arguments as well as corrections to the titles of those who signed the arguments.

Courthouse News said Frawley's final ruling is expected before the end of the week.

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