Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.

 

Porn industry rallies to oppose mandatory condom use

Published time: May 23, 2014 00:08
Edited time: May 23, 2014 01:09
AFP Photo / Pornchai Kittiwongsak

AFP Photo / Pornchai Kittiwongsak

The debate over mandatory condom use in adult films has heated up again, with a delegation of porn stars traveling to Sacramento, California this week to rally against a proposed law that is slowly making its way through the state capitol.

Members of the Free Speech Coalition, which lobbies on behalf of hundreds of adult performers, delivered a petition with an estimated 500 signatures to Sacramento lawmakers asking them to vote against the bill, known as AB 1576.

The overwhelming majority of pornographic movies filmed in the US are done so in California, a state that performers have threatened to leave if undue restrictions are levied on their industry.

Despite the scarcity of customers who would admit to consuming pornographic media, a conservative evaluation of the sex industry’s worth sits at approximately $8 billion as of 2012, according to the Internet accountability and filtering organization Covenant Eyes. That rough estimate would put porn – including video sales and rentals, internet, cable, pay-per-view, hotel viewings, mobile, phone sex, exotic dance clubs, and magazines – on par with the bottled water industry.

Now, though, California lawmakers hope to intervene with AB 1576. Sponsored by Assemblymember Isadore Hall III (D-Los Angeles), the measure would require porn actors to wear condoms at all film shoots, mandate testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and force porn studios to keep a “log” of all porn stars’ “sexual activities” performed on-set, according to Los Angeles Weekly.

The bill is an expansion of the Los Angeles mandate that was approved by voters in 2012 forcing performers to use condoms. However California health department officials said that unprotected sex is still common in the industry because investigations into the matter are based only on complaints. If an adult film maker is caught not using condom they are issued citations.

Inspiration for the bill came after a number of syphilis outbreaks forced the production studios, many of which are located in the San Fernando Valley, to shut down for weeks at a time.

The veteran performer known as Mr. Marcus admitted responsibility for one of the outbreaks and, while it is unknown where he contracted the disease, he did confess to altering his medical test in order to perform at least two scenes while infected. Nearly a dozen performers would ultimately contract syphilis before Mr. Marcus admitted what he’d done, which would ultimately cost him 30 days in jail.

The Free Speech Coalition argues that forcing actors to use condoms is a violation of their free speech by dictating the type of entertainment they are ultimately allowed to produce. That line of reasoning has proved unsuccessful in the past, although the past difficulty has done nothing to dampen the industry’s anger.

This is an insulting and paternalistic bill,” said porn star Lorelei Lee, as quoted by LA Weekly. “This shows a total disregard for performers’ autonomy and threatens a vital safety infrastructure that we have spent ten years building. AB1576 squanders resources addressing a problem that doesn’t exist. If the bill becomes law, it will, in fact, harm the people it claims it will protect.”

Others assert that the regulations will only force now-legitimate porn productions underground. They also say the current twice-a-month STD tests are effective, with Mr. Marcus only able to spread syphilis by lying on his exam.

Actress Kayden Kross said that, because of the amount of sex performers have, condom use could actually itself become hazardous, either by creating skin irritiation or contributing to other problems.

Condoms are made for home environments, normal sex and normal time frames,” she testified to a state legislature in April.

We are a small community, and not always political, but outrage has come from all areas of the industry – gay, straight, trans, fetish, studio and independent – to fight against a bill that criminalizes sex between consenting adults,” said Diane Duke, the leader of the Free Speech Coalition.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has led the charge, arguing that a federal law designed to protect employees from being exposed to pathogens demands that protection is used. Foundation spokesperson Ged Kenslea told the San Francisco Bay Guardian that the porn industry has sought to prevent losing viewers who do not like watching porn with condoms by demonizing the legislation.

He said the industry falsely claims that angry performers are saying that “there will be goggles and space suits.”

This is middle ground, but this is poking the bear,” Kenslea said. “In fact that won’t be what AB 1576 would require.”

AB 1576 passed through the Assembly Committee on Appropriations with 9 votes in favor and 3 opposed Wednesday. The proposal is now scheduled to go to the full assembly, possibly as soon as next week, where it would only need 41 out of 80 votes to pass.

Comments (4)

 

Joshua 23.05.2014 14:46

Alex 23.05.2014 10:37

Legal

  


Go d will strike down all man with truth and love. Imagine that, the worst weapon that does the most damage is the best gift any man could possibly have.

 

Suzanne Fritsch 23.05.2014 12:58

Did the lawmakers have to watch the films-over and over- to arrive at this conclusion? Must we really regulate
everyth ing?

 

Ivan Yglesia 23.05.2014 11:10

The US is crippling itself by forcing laws that useless and dumb. Soon they will tax your weight of poo in the bathroom.

View all comments (4)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or

Name

Password

Show password

Register

or Register

Request a new password

Send

or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:

OK

or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile

X

Name

New password

Retype new password

Current password

Save

Cancel

Follow us

Follow us