Coachella Valley Region
Proposition 60 is the state initiative that would require adult film actors to wear condoms during production of pornographic films.
This is not the first time this debate has been before California voters. Measure B, which requires adult film actors to use condoms in Los Angeles based productions passed in 2012. But porn production companies have used regular S.T.I. testing and have relocated production sites outside of Los Angeles county to continue making adult films in California. If proposition 60 passes, the porn industry in California is in for a big change.
Adult films have sold fantasy for over a hundred years, an HIV outbreak within the porn industry in the 1980’s led to the deaths of 27 adult film actors.
Since then, adult film producers and the California state government have been in a tug of wore as to how to best protect film actors from the spread of sexually transmitted infections. Regular testing of performers became the industry standard.
Performers in LA county are required to wear condoms but production companies avoid the regulations through loopholes and by filming outside of the county.
Proposition 60 would put an end to that by requiring performers statewide to wear condoms while filming.
"The porn industry is an industry that routinely and illegally exposes its workers, the young men and women in their business, the on screen performers, to sexually transmitted diseases including HIV. The reason this happens is that the industry believes that condoms in porn don’t work, don’t sell. It’s all about profits for them. It’s not about protecting the workers and their safety," said John Schwada, communications director for the Yes on 60 campaign.
Those opposed to prop sixty, a majority of them adult film performers, say the push for condom regulations simply isn’t needed.
"As far as health and safety, we test every fourteen days. In those fifteen years that I’ve been in the industry, i have never had a positive test. I’ve never caught anything because we police ourselves. Because if someone goes outside the industry and get an S.T.I. it gets caught immediately," said adult film performer, Katie Morgan.
"My concern about safety is more concern about flying in an aircraft then my actual job. We’re tested better than doctors. More frequently than doctors for every sexual transmitted disease known to mankind," said adult film performer Evan Stone.
Supporters of prop 60 believe testing is not enough to ensure that adult film performers are safe in the workplace.
"Recently we had a situation where an HIV positive porn performer, he tested negative, had sex in 22 days with 17 different partners, two of whom became infected. The system of testing is not always reliable. What is reliable is the use of condoms," said Schwada.
Critics of prop 60 also say that a yes vote will result in "condom policing" and motivate opportunists to sue production companies for financial reasons.
"One of the scariest things about this proposition is that it does make it so anybody can file the lawsuits and beyond that it incentivizes the lawsuits where people can claim twenty-five percent of any profits from it," said Morgan.
"38 million lawsuits can be filed in one day. Lawsuits that are just frivolous lawsuits and your odds of getting a 15 percent residual on this lawsuit are pretty good. So 38 million people in California can make a lawsuit happen if this initiative passes," said Stone.
Prop 60 supporters disagree.
"Not so. I mean first of all, the private parties who sue are not going to be getting rich. 75 percent of that money would go to the state of California. So they are not going to be making a lot of money and anybody who has filed a lawsuit knows that this is no picnic to file a lawsuit. There’s a lot of headaches involved in that and a lot of uncertainty," said Schwada.