The California Assembly will today hear AB1576, a bill that mandates condom use in all porn productions statewide. A similar law was approved by Los Angeles County in 2012. The bill is sponsored by Assembly member Isadora Hall, who is a Baptist minister. Its chief proponent outside the legislature is the combative Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which has made headlines recently for its opposition to Truvada as an HIV preventive.
AB1576 is being opposed by the porn industry and sex workers, the latter of whom have private concerns. From the libertarian Reason:
The bill also mandates that porn production companies keep confidential employee health records indefinitely, use “plastic and other disposable materials” to clean sets, and provide all employees with a safety training program. It does not “require condoms, barriers, or other personal protective equipment to be visible in the final product of an adult film.” In other words, there’s little way for California officials to monitor or enforce adherence to the condom rule aside from sporadic checks on porn production studios. The bill also seems packed with enough random regulatory requirements to allow health officials to selectively make life miserable for any adult film company they feel like harassing.
The Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club has issued a statement against AB1576:
“We are disappointed that proponents of this bill have worked to actively silence the viewpoints of sex workers from this process. If this legislation were truly aimed at creating a safer work environment workers would have been brought to the table to discuss their safety needs and make suggestions about how to best address them. Proponents of AB 1576 have attempted to silence, shame and bully sex workers and in doing so have shown that their agenda clearly isn’t about the health of these workers, it’s about a moral campaign against their industry.”
The Transgender Law Center expresses similar sentiment:
“Transgender communities remain some of the most impacted by HIV and face remarkably high rates of discrimination in education and employment. While Transgender Law Center appreciates the intentions behind AB 1576, we are concerned that harsh penalties will drive big production studios out of California and small studios underground. This would result in lost economic opportunities for many in the adult film industry, both in front of and behind the cameras, inadvertently causing more harms to performers that this bill intended to protect.”
Female porn performers have posted the below clip.