A state initiative that called for enforcing condom use during all adult film production sites across California failed to win voters over, according to results released on Wednesday.
But adult film performers opposed the initiative because they say it would turn viewers into critics, resulting in lawsuits and harassment. Some actors fear that under the law, stalkers would be able seek them out and do harm if their real names were listed in public documents such as lawsuits filed over possible violations of the measure.
“This was a tremendous victory, not only for adult performers, but for science over stigma, and facts over fear.” said Mike Stabile, spokesman for the Free Speech Coalition, a Canoga Park-based trade organization that represents the adult entertainment industry.
Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said the initiative he and his agency support will keep performers safe from sexually transmitted diseases and improve workplace safety.
Supporters said the proposition targets producers, not performers. But performers say some of them produce their own films.
In California, sexually explicit movies are protected under the Freeman decision of 1988, which made the making of pornographic films legal in California. New Hampshire has a similar law.
Although condoms have been required on sets since 1992, the regulations are enforced on a complaint basis to Cal-OSHA. Some production companies do use them, but the still-largely San Fernando Valley-based industry relies on testing performers for sexually transmitted diseases every 15 days as its standard health protocol. Industry workers say there has been no transmission of HIV for eight years. Performers also have said condoms are impractical because of the nature of the work.
Proposition 60 contains traces of Measure B, an ordinance passed by Los Angeles County voters in 2012. Measure B mandated the use of condoms on adult film sets countywide. Health permit fees paid for by producers were intended to finance enforcement. But the measure became mired in a legal battle and wasn’t enforceable.