Sex and money. What more could catch your attention when sorting through the many candidates and measures on this November’s huge ballot? How about also worker safety and the control of sexually-transmitted diseases? All of that is at stake with Proposition 60, an initiative that would require actors in adult and pornographic movies to use condoms.
Federal and state worker safety laws already require actors to wear condoms when engaged in certain sex acts while making movies. But there are loopholes in the laws and lax enforcement.
During a recent California hearing before the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, numerous actors and porn industry representatives opposed being forced to use condoms and other devices that protect against blood-borne pathogens. They contended the laws are not clear and remain open to interpretation.
Modeled after a Los Angeles County ordinance regulating the adult film and pornography industry that was passed by voters in 2012, Proposition 60 will clarify the laws and close the loopholes.
Proposition 60 will require: actors to use condoms during the filming of sexual intercourse; film producers to pay for actors’ testing, medical examinations and vaccinations; and film producers to obtain state health licenses and assume liability for violations.
The biggest bone of contention seems to be over Proposition 60 allowing the state, performers or any state resident to enforce violations. Proposition opponents contend this will open the floodgates of lawsuits against producers and maybe even talent agents who refer actors to non-complying film companies.
Opponents also contend Proposition 60 will cost California taxpayers millions of dollars. But it is unclear what they are counting as costs. The legislative analyst notes that Proposition 60 may reduce the number of adult and pornographic films produced in California, and therefore reduce the tax revenues accruing from the industry. But while there may be an increase cost for enforcement, that cost may be offset by permit fees and fines for noncompliance.
The financial impacts of Proposition 60 are hard to calculate and go beyond enforcement costs and loss of tax revenues from a potential decrease in film production. Financial impacts must include the costs to taxpayers for treating actors for sexually-transmitted diseases, including AIDS. These costs can climb into the millions and likely will be decreased by Proposition 60’s safety measures.
The assumption that film producers will just pick up and leave California for a more regulatory-friendly state is bogus. California reportedly is the major producer of adult and pornographic films for one big reason: Most other states have laws restricting the industry.
Proposition 60 proponents include adult film performer groups, public health officials, medical societies and AIDS activists. Opponents claim to have support from performers, medical experts and politicians, including state Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco, who signed the ballot argument.
Responding to actors’ and producers’ who objected to existing condom laws during the recent OSHA hearing, board chairman David Thomas said, “You have to get over it. It’s already the law.”
Proposition 60 clarifies the laws requiring adult or pornographic film actors must wear condoms or other safety devices. It is no different than requiring oilfield workers to wear hard hats, healthcare workers to wear latex gloves, or machinery operators to wear goggles. It’s workplace safety. Get over it.
Vote YES on Proposition 60.