Industry News

Condom Bill Deflated

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A pending bill that would have forced condoms and other barrier protection onto and into the assorted body parts of porn stars in California died in committee Friday morning.

The expiration of AB640 represented the second time California Assemblyman Isadore Hall III [D-Compton] failed to move a mandatory-condoms measure through the state legislature this session.

Originally a tobacco bill, AB640 was gutted and amended by Hall after his original mandatory condoms bill, AB332, failed to clear the Assembly Appropriations Committee in May. The bills were virtually identical.

Despite Hall’s reported maneuvering to force a vote before the state’s legislative session closed at midnight Friday morning, AB640 remained lodged, ironically, in the California Senate’s Rules Committee.

The chief executive for adult industry trade association Free Speech Coalition expressed relief about the outcome.

“Thankfully, science won over scare tactics,” FSC CEO Diane Duke said. “Three performers did test positive for HIV in the past month, but none of them contracted [the disease] on an adult set. Politicians tried to use concern about HIV to push through a mandate opposed by both performers and producers.

“We need to make sure performers are safe,” Duke continued. “We have not had an on-set transmission of HIV in the adult industry in nine years, and we should always be vigilant. But this was a bad bill that would have made things worse.”

Studios and performers in Los Angeles County still face mandatory barrier protection and other issues as the result of a ballot initiative approved by voters last November. A federal judge recently struck down portions of the county’s Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act — colloquially known as Measure B — but the adult industry plaintiffs in the lawsuit are appealing the decision in attempt to have the entire ordinance thrown out on constitutional grounds. An appellate court’s ruling could have a significant impact on whether a bill similar to AB640 will arise during California’s next legislative session.

In the meantime, Duke praised the adult industry and its allies for uniting to effect AB640s demise.

“A number of people put forth a great deal of effort to make sure this bill would not see the light of day,” Duke said. “From our coalition partners to the performers and countless industry members who showed up in Sacramento to protest, we owe you all a debt of gratitude. This was truly a team effort. Thank you.”

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