Hundreds March Against Prop 60 in Rousing L.A. Rally

Oct 17, 2016 5:28 PM PST

LOS ANGELES — More than 200 adult industry performers, producers, advocates and supporters journeyed to the Los Angeles LGBT Center this afternoon for a historic protest against Prop 60, which seeks to enforce condom-only shoots with draconian severity. Critics believe it would invite bounty hunting lawsuits and widespread performer harassment, which is why a wide swath of major newspapers and organizations fervently opposes it.

Led by a vanguard of the Free Speech Coalition and its executive director Eric Leue, protesters from all walks of life marched through Hollywood, lifting high their "No on Prop 60" banners and chanting phrases like “Our Bodies! Our Choice!” and “Protect Performers! Stop Prop 60!”

Once they reached the towering AIDS Healthcare Foundation offices, the FSC director of policy and industry relations Siouxsie Q called out aspiring porn czar and AHF president Michael Weinstein on a megaphone. A chorus of other adult industry speakers joined in, with Vanessa Veracruz at one point translating an entire speech into Spanish. Not once did Weinstein descend to engage the very people he claims to be helping, even as rally attendees called out "Shame! Shame! Shame!"

XBIZ marched alongside the "No on Prop 60" protesters, interviewing scores of impassioned veterans and newcomers alike. These are the words they shared:

“I think it’s incredible how the industry comes together, everybody’s looking out for one another. It’s really the performers who want to be heard and that’s really the main focus today. Not only the performers but over 100 political organizations, advocacy organizations, health organizations and newspapers have come together against Prop 60 and it’s shameful that Michael Weinstein is not talking to us. I think it was fantastic, seeing this energy of unity and everybody kept their energy all the way throughout. I think people are really passionate about it. Nobody realizes how well aware and in control workers in our industry really are. And the stigma that they face daily, that Michael Weinstein perpetuates with all of his money is so shameful and we saw that today. The man sat in his tower and refused to talk to us. From here on out, the industry is even more unified than ever before.”

—Eric Leue, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition

“This is an amazing turnout. I think it really shows how passionate performers are. These are performers that took the day off from work, who cancelled shoots, who gave up quite a bit of money to be here. These aren’t people who are voting with their feet.”

—Mike Stabile, communications director of the Free Speech Coalition

“Demonstrations like this are very important because it not only informs the public about the evils of Prop 60, but it gives the opportunity for the people most affected by it to have a voice and participate in the process.”

—Jeffrey Douglas, board chair of the Free Speech Coalition

“This has been amazing. I’ve always loved this industry and it has proven us proud today. We want people to know the truth about Prop 60. I think that we’re making a stand. At no time in history have adult performers come together and spoken out about a single issue quite like this, so this is exciting, it’s exhilarating and it’s powerful. And I just hope the voters see past the ballot summary and read what is really in this horrible piece of legislation.”

—Julia Ann, performer

“I’m so proud and so invigorated and so inspired by how many people are here making their voices heard, it’s amazing. Michael Weinstein thinks that we can’t speak for ourselves, he thinks he needs to protect us from producers. Do these people look like they need someone to speak for them? This law is so dangerous. It’s going to have such a dangerous impact on everybody in our industry. Every performer, every producer, everybody, and so I’m really happy to see everyone turn out like this.”

—Ela Darling, performer and president of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee

“Prop 60 is a steaming pile of horse manure. Michael Weinstein is a serial harasser, trafficking in ignorance, hatred, prejudice and fear. He is a despicable character who is trying to give himself a job at the taxpayer’s expense. Please vote no on Prop 60 on November 8th!”

—Nina Hartley, performer

“It’s nice to see a major turnout here by the industry, building our momentum as we approach the vote. I think we’re getting there. It’s a big day for us.”

—Mark Schechter, owner of ATMLA

“Turnout is great, except we’re missing one person: Michael Weinstein.”

—Mark Spiegler, owner of Spiegler Girls

“I think this is an amazing example of the industry coming together. I’m so proud of all the performers and producers and talent agents who are here and we need to ride this momentum to November 8th!”

—Karen Tynan, industry attorney

“I am so honored to be here with this group of amazing people, performers and advocates for a good cause, voting no on Prop 60, educating the community and also rallying in front of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation building.”

—Venus Lux, performer and treasurer of the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee

“Very excited to be here today, it’s amazing how the industry has come together. Don’t think I’ve seen this many porn stars together except for an awards show. It’s not so much about the condoms, because we at Wicked are a condom-only company but it’s about the Prop itself, which is of course an overreach and not so much about helping the business, as it is about Weinstein helping himself.”

—Brad Armstrong, director and performer

“I think one of the main arguments against Prop 60 is its impact on taxpayer’s money, because it’s a big waste to police an industry that has shown no major problems ever since I’ve been in it. I think the general public responds to that — tax dollars wasted. I talked to Julia Ann and she mentioned that the goal today was to appeal to women, by having women understand that it’s an invasion of their businesses and their bodies, which I totally understand.”

—Will Ryder, director

“It’s a very good turnout. I’m just here as an individual representing myself personally and my partner Sara Luvv.”

—Bree Mills, head of Gamma Films

“I’m really glad that everybody showed up today to protest Prop 60. It’s important that we get bad legislation out of the way and off the table, to make way for good legislation. Porn performers and adult industry workers have asked repeatedly to be part of the way legislation is formed, and we’ve been denied that so far. So I’m really hoping that after this bad law is out of the way, we can have a good law put in its place.”

—Aiden Starr, director and performer

“I’m really proud that our whole community came out and we’re all so organized. And I’ve never been part of a protest so it’s really cool because I think it’s amazing that it’s so united right now for something that we all care about so tremendously. And, I hope that tons of people come out and see how passionate we are as an industry and how much we care about our bodies and our choice and all the reasons we want to protect our rights as performers.”

—Tasha Reign, performer

“My thoughts on this are it’s a law that’s aimed to harass performers and it’s done by someone that is telling us how to live, ‘guiding’ us with their moral compass. It’s not safe for performers. I think the turnout is amazing, I’m really proud of everyone that has gotten involved. This goes way beyond a condom law, these are our civil rights.”

—Vanessa Veracruz, performer

“This guy spent millions of dollars that was donated to him to help fight AIDS and help people that have AIDS. Instead, all of that money and those resources are being spent on an industry that’s more regulated than doctors.”

—Evan Stone, performer

“I am so glad so many people turned out and realized that this affects every single one of us nationwide, and I think that this has brought together the adult community like never before and we can win this if we can just keep it up!”

—Dee Severe, director

“Well, I’m here to have fun mainly. No, but honestly, I feel it’s good to support this protest because this is a crazy proposition and I’m pretty confident it’s not going to pass. And even if it does, there are going to be appeals and lawsuits and everything, but we must do our best to fight it.”

—Maestro Claudio, performer and director

“I love when the whole industry comes together like this, it’s amazing to see this. Obviously, vote no on Prop 60. I think it’s ridiculous and it’s harassment, so vote no!”

—AJ Applegate, performer

“I think it’s very great that we all got together here and that we all support each other, and that’s what matters the most, that we are all together like this.”

—Luna Star, performer

“I’m happy that I can come out here and support the industry.”

—Sara Luvv, performer

“I really hope that we can just beat Prop 60 together as an adult industry. We really believe that it’s bad for us and we just really don’t need it. And I do really hate it! Please vote no on Prop 60.”

—Abella Danger, performer

“Oh my god! What an amazing turnout. It just shows how important this is, that it does not pass and also that we care about ourselves and we also care about the future of this industry and we care about everybody else, because it’s not just an adult performer problem. It can turn into everybody’s problem, they will police us all.”

—Buck Angel, performer

“We came here to Hollywood to show support for the No Prop 60 movement, support our peers and everybody in the industry.”

— Marc Mojo, Darcie Dolce, performers

“I think it really warms my heart that we have such a great turnout here of people in the industry, not just veteran performers like myself but the new performers, producers, directors, studio owners, agents, managers… everybody is down here. And I think that we need to let the public know, because this is a very misleading proposition, and I think that we’re going to win.”

—James Bartholet, performer 

“The whole thing that really bothers me about Prop 60 is that they’re just expecting us to be able to get up and move, when in fact, people have made homes, lives, children, families and they’re being forced out of their own homes. That’s what worries me the most. Only in times of war would you otherwise see that. The turnout is great, I honestly didn’t expect this many people, that not only are performers but many that aren’t, who showed up to support our cause because they truly believe we deserve respect, which we do.”

—Brad Knight, performer

“This protest is wonderful for our industry, it shows solidarity. It shows what a joke this whole proposition is, I hope the general public actually reads the proposition because if they did, they would not vote in support of it.”

—Rick Garcia, photographer

“I’m a professor of film and media studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. For nearly 23 years I have been teaching a course on pornography and on the adult industry at UCSB… so many of the people here have been guest speakers in my class. I and my students have the chance to learn from the people in the industry in a way no on else has, except in rallies like this today. So I and my students were so happy to be here today to support everyone in the industry.”

—Constance Penley, professor

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