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Prop 60: Condom Use in Adult Films

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Sheppard Mullin

Sponsored by Sheppard Mullin, a full service, global law firm with 750 attorneys.  The firm handles corporate and technology matters, high stakes litigation and complex financial transactions.  Visit www.sheppardmullin.com

Updated 2:00 PM on Nov. 9, 2016

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Prop 60 has failed. There will be no change in state policy on the adult film industry.

What would Prop 60 do?

  • Prop 60 would require that producers of pornography make sure their actors wear condoms and to post the condom requirements.
  • It would require the producers to get a health license from the state, and to pay for medical exams, vaccines and other health services for their performers.
  • It requires adult film companies to keep all the performers’ health records private.
  • It also requires that talent agents refer their clients to licensed adult film productions only.
  • Performers could sue producers who don’t comply with the law. They could also sue investors or anyone who has a financial interest in the film.
  • It would allow private citizens and whistleblowers to “pursue violators” when the State doesn’t.
  • If passed the law would be enforced by Cal-Osha, the state agency that oversees worker health and workplace safety.
  • Under certain circumstances California residents can also bring lawsuits against filmmakers.

What are the arguments for Prop 60?

  • Supporters say there has been “widespread transmission of sexually transmitted infections” in the adult film business, and all workers in the biz deserve protection through safe sex practices.
  • Prop 60  would protect adult film actors from getting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections – which has happened
  • That many porn producers put profits above the safety of workers.
  • That the workers must unfairly bear the cost of testing, vaccinations and other medical costs.

What are the arguments against it?

  • Opponents say they already follow health regulations and actors are tested regularly.
  • LA County – where most of California’s porn industry is located – already has a condom law similar to Prop 60. So Prop 60 is really unnecessary.
  • Individual performers should have the right to decide whether they want to use a condom or not. Prop 60 would hurt California’s economy by driving a multi-billion business out of state along with the millions in tax revenues they pay.
  • It would give people who are anti-porn a way to legally harass adult film workers

Who would enforce it?

If it passes who would enforce it? Cal OSHA -- that’s the agency that regulates work place safety -- would be in charge of administering and enforcing the law. 

A resident who suspects a violation of the law can also notify Cal-Osha. If Cal-Osha takes no action, a resident can file a civil lawsuit against the suspected adult filmmakers.

Is there any fiscal impact?

It could mean a loss of millions or tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue from the porn industry if they move out of state. It would also cost a few million to administer and enforce the law.

What’s the background to the proposition?

It started in 2012 when voters in LA County approved Measure B which is basically like Prop 60.  As a result some porn producers did leave LA and move to Las Vegas where there is no condom law and film permits are less expensive, although there is a still a big porn industry here.

Measure B was quickly challenged in court by a major pornography company called Vivid Entertainment. In 2013 it filed a suit to have Measure B stopped saying it violated the performers’ rights to free speech and expression. The judge had a mixed ruling saying the condom requirement did not violate anyone’s rights, but enforcing it might. That’s because inspectors could come to private homes where porn films are being made and that would be unconstitutional. So the condom clause was upheld, but enforcement remains difficult. 

While all this was going on, in 2013 and 2014 some California Assembly members introduced a condom law similar to Measure B. It failed both times.

Now Prop 60 is attempting to get the voters to pass a state-wide law requiring condom use in the adult film biz.

Who’s supporting it and where is the money coming from?

There is really just one organization and person driving this proposition – the Aids Healthcare Foundation run by a guy named Michael Weinstein. The Foundation has put in more than $2 million to get it passed.

Other supporters include the American Sexual Health Association and the California Academy of Preventative Medicine.

Who’s fighting it and where is the money coming from?

Some major porn production companies are opposing the measure. Also against the proposition are the California Democratic and Republican parties, and the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee, an organization of adult film performers.

What does a “yes” vote mean?

A vote FOR Prop 60 means “yes” the state should regulate and license the porn industry and be sure condoms are used.

What does a “no” vote mean?

A NO vote means there would be no change to current adult film regulations.

Click here for a cheat sheet on all the California ballot propositions.

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