The People’s Court: Gay Porn Star Edition

Under the guise of stopping the spread of HIV, any resident of California could be empowered to sue adult film performers who don’t use condoms. Even a married couple producing content from their own home. This is not a drill.

Long before the GOP had Donald Trump, we had our own version: Michael Weinstein and the Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF). Like the Donald, Weinstein is also a self-professed savior from the evil ways of the world. Depending on how things go on November 8th this year, we could find mad men in both the White House, and our bedrooms.

vote no on prop 60 californiaOnce again, Eric Paul Leue, Executive Director of the Free Speech Coalition is leading the fight against The Condoms in Pornographic Films Initiative (#15-0004) – aka Prop 60 that comes to a vote in California on election day. The always articulate Eric Paul Leue has penned a provocative article in The Advocate not just stating “Suing Porn Stars Will Not Lead to Less HIV,” but clearly explaining just how harmful this measure really is.

The full article is an excellent addition to your reading list. Here are some highlights.

Most voters are unfamiliar with the industry and its workers, so the initiative appears to be an easy victory for progressivism — a one-two punch wherein the porn industry becomes a conduit for safer-sex messaging, while allegedly increasing workplace protection for the performers. But Prop. 60 is anything but progressive. It jeopardizes personal privacy and weakens workplace safety for adult film workers by empowering any resident of California to sue adult film performers — even a married couple producing content from their own home.

Prop. 60 is the latest gambit by Michael Weinstein, the controversial founder of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

vote no on prop 60 california
Michael Weinstein: the Anti-PrEP Douchebag
Weinstein says he’s targeting “greedy pornographers,” but when it comes to Prop. 60, his most vocal opponents have been the performers themselves. That’s because, under Prop. 60, anyone who produces, sells, or profits from adult films — a group that now includes the majority of performers — will be subject to lawsuits and fines if a condom isn’t visible.

You see, in today’s adult film industry, the majority of performers are also producers. In addition to shooting for studios, most porn stars regularly create their own content — either for their own websites, on webcams, or in partnership with studios. Performers also regularly promote their own scenes — on Twitter or Tumblr, for instance — in exchange for a share of the sales. Under Prop. 60, anyone in California who doesn’t see condoms in an adult film can sue a performer personally and receive a portion of any fine imposed.

This is one of the reasons why the list of those opposing Prop. 60 includes LGBTQ stalwarts like Equality California, AIDS Project Los Angeles, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the Transgender Law Center, and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. Not to mention both the California Democratic and Republican parties.

vote no on prop 60 californiaThe most effective way of preventing transmission is to empower those who may be at risk to choose solutions that fit their needs, and that includes all options in the prevention toolbox as well as greater control over the end product being shot. Taking away reproductive and sexual rights will only force this already marginalized population into the shadows where work is more dangerous.

The proponents of Prop. 60 like to frame this as a battle between performers and producers, despite the fact that this is one battle where the two are firmly aligned against Weinstein. The Adult Performer Advocacy Committee, the leading performer rights organization, was one of the first to oppose the measure. The committee repeatedly demanded to meet with Weinstein, only to be met with silence.

Prop. 60 does not do any of those things, and I hope that come November, California voters will join me in defeating this noxious, dangerous measure. Vote no on Proposition 60.

First, go here and read Eric’s full commentary

Second, empower yourself

Legislative Analysis of the Adult Film State Ballot Initiative in California
Initiative Breakdown by BallotPedia
Donate to and visit the Free Speech Coalition Website

Then take action:

3 thoughts on “The People’s Court: Gay Porn Star Edition”

  1. Weinstein should be removed as head of the AHF because he is incompetent, spending money on his anti porn vendetta rather than on finding a vaccine or cure for HIV. This Prop. is bad and the voters of CA should vote no.

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