Prop 60 to regulate porn industry

In Local News, News, State News

Proposition 60 is on the ballot this coming November, and if passed, it will require members of the adult film industry to use condoms while filming sexual intercourse in the state of California and require producers to pay for vaccinations, testing and medical examinations for sexually transmitted infections.

In 2012, the Measure B law was passed, which required condoms to be used in the adult film industry in Los Angeles County and with this new proposition, it could spread across the state.

Tasha Reign, a current sex-worker and writer in the porn industry, stands in opposition to Proposition 60 with other porn stars.

“This man (Michael Weinstein) from outside our business is coming in and saying, ‘I have the right to tell you (a woman) what you are going to do during sex. You are going to wear a rubber because I decided to mandate that,’” Reign said.

Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), has helped the organization grow since 1986 to be the largest global AIDS organization. The AHF is a strong supporter of Proposition 60.

A “Yes” on Proposition 60 will stop the adult film industry from exposing the performers to life-threatening diseases by using taxpayer’s dollars. Voting “No” on Proposition 60 would prevent any Californian from suing adult film performers that violate their privacy, weaken workplace safety or distribute and produce adult content, according to the Voter Information Guide.

William Marelich, Ph.D., a psychology professor at CSUF, stated why people would vote “Yes” and “No” on the proposition. Marelich has studied health and social psychology and HIV/AIDS for many years.

“Based on my read, a civil suit could be filed by any resident of California and they could try to seek damages against the pornography producers,” Marelich said.

If a resident does file a suit, they could request Cal/OSHA to address some alleged adult industry workplace health and safety violations. If Cal/OSHA does not take immediate action, the resident could file a civil action against the adult film producer/performer. If the individual wins, he or she would receive their legal costs and 25 percent of any penalties paid by the defendant in such a lawsuit, with the rest being paid by the state, according to the California Voter’s guide.

Marelich’s 20 years of HIV/AIDs research gives him an understanding of why AHF wants to pass Proposition 60. Condoms are the best option to ensure people do not only get HIV/AIDs, but also other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), Marelich said.

According to Ryan Driller, another sex worker, on average, the footage takes about one hour to shoot and the average experience time for condoms is 7.3 minutes, Driller said via email.

Reign and Driller both agree that due to the length and intensity of their acts, the condom would break. The entire industry is already enforced to get tested every 10 to 14 days to ensure they do not have STIs.

“In our business, we are allowed to choose to use a condom if that is what we want to do,” Reign said. “When it comes to your body, that should be a decision that we as workers make.”

Professor Anthony DeStefano teaches a class on HIV in the Department of Health Science at CSUF. From the health perspective, there is a strong argument for disease prevention in favor of this proposition, DeStefano said via email.

DeStanfo said, in comparison to the general public, adult film performers are 10 times more likely to have a sexually transmitted infection like chlamydia or gonorrhea.

“If Prop. 60 passes, it is worth considering whether the law would need to be amended at some point in the future to include other HIV prevention strategies,” DeStefano said via email.

Reign said that it is a women’s rights issue about personal choice.

“I’m working with my body. I’m doing something very specific… something that I’ve consented to, and I want it done on my terms. I don’t want some man (Michael Weinstein), from the outside, coming in and trying to tell me that he is going to mandate my body.”

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