Adult industry players and civil rights activists across the world are uniting to oppose Proposition 60, a new proposal that would make the use of condoms mandatory in all adult films shot in California.
Proposition 60 goes to the vote on November 8, 2016. And while its sponsors claim the bill is intended as a protective measure, its many critics believe it could have serious repercussions for the safety and freedom of adult performers.
Citizens as ‘condom cops’
One of the most unusual and disturbing aspects of Prop 60 is that it allows any Californian resident to file a for-profit lawsuit if a condom is not visible in a single frame of a video – and without having to provide evidence that they suffered any harm in doing so.
Not only does this open the door to frivolous lawsuits; but it allows private citizens access to the personal information of adult performers simply by opening up a lawsuit, whether it is legitimate or not, making them easy prey for stalkers.
And Prop 60 makes anyone with a financial interest in an adult movie, such as a producer or distributor, liable for prosecution. Industry insiders fear this irregular and highly alarming provision could even extend liability to hotels and cable companies, giving it far-reaching consequences.
The adult industry already safeguards its own health
Those behind the Proposition say it’s a protective measure, and argue that it would send out a safer-sex message to viewers. There is already a law in place in California that requires condom use in adult movies, but lead sponsor of Proposition 60, Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, says the state isn’t doing enough to enforce it.
This heavy-handed approach fails to acknowledge that industry performers undergo testing for HIV and STD infection every two weeks as standard. In fact there has not been an HIV transmission case linked to the industry in 12 years.
Adult performers say that in some cases condoms can actually increase risk by causing friction and tearing, and they want the freedom to make their own choices. Proposition 60 is a violation of their civil rights.
Driving the industry underground
Earlier legislation – the notorious Measure B – drove a lot of the adult industry out of LA, resulting in economic losses to the state. It also forced elements of the adult film industry underground, increasing the vulnerability of performers by exposing them to more dangerous work.
A YES vote for Proposition 60 has the potential to intensify this situation.
Strong opposition from all sides
Prop 60 is being opposed not just by Californian adult performers and producers, but also by major newspapers and political organizations in the state, and public interest groups such as the Free Speech Coalition.
The Los Angeles County Commission on HIV, Equality California and AIDS Project Los Angeles are all opposing Prop 60, putting the lie to the implication that it is primarily intended to protect health. Members of both the state Democratic and Republican parties are also on record as opposing Proposition 60.
The MetArt Network has joined the protest against Prop 60 to safeguard the privacy and freedom of choice of all those involved in creating and enjoying adult entertainment. We hope you’ll join us in voting NO on Prop 60.