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Crosscurrents

ELECTION BRIEFS: Prop 60 - Condoms in Porn

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"Day 36/366.....I Voted," by Flickr user Denise Cross Photography. Used under CC BY 2.0. Cropped and overlaid with text.

This measure is about porn, condoms, freedom of speech, and worker safety. In the Adult Entertainment Industry — the pornography business — performers are currently not required to use condoms. Proposition 60 would make condom use mandatory on porn sets in California.

The proposition was written and funded by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and its president Michael Weinstein. They say this is about worker safety: when performers don't use condoms, they are vulnerable to sexually transmitted illnesses including HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and herpes. They say requiring condoms would protect workers.

Producers and performers in the porn industry are largely against this proposition. They say that Prop 60 is a violation of freedom of speech and expression in their films.  The industry also says that performers are protected through mandatory testing every two weeks.

 

There is another portion of this proposition that has some people raising eyebrows. Prop 60 allows individual citizens to sue producers who do not comply with the mandate. Proponents says this is good because the public could enforce the law in cases where state officials don’t, but performers and producers say this could open up a lawsuit frenzy. Performers also worry that if Prop 60 passes, the industry would go underground — something they argue would ultimately make them less safe.

To be clear, a "Yes" vote on Prop 60 would make condoms mandatory on porn film sets in California. A "No" vote would leave the industry as it is, with no mandatory condom policy.