California Condom Bill Dies in Committee
Published on May 26th, 2013 08:19 AM
Assembly Bill 332, a controversial measure to mandate condom usage in porn films, was among 144 bills the California Assembly Appropriations Committee shelved on Friday, citing a desire to spare the state the potential expense of administration, enforcement and legal defense.SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Assembly Bill 332, a controversial measure to mandate condom usage on porn sets statewide, was among 144 bills the California Assembly Appropriations Committee shelved on Friday, citing a desire to spare the state the potential expense of administration, enforcement and legal defense.
“Passing a bill of questionable First Amendment validity, that would certainly subject the state to expensive lawsuits, would simply cost too much for California right now,” Chairman Mike Gatto [D-Los Angeles] said of AB 332. He voiced concern none of the shelved bills represented a good use of funds under “our state’s continuing fiscal constraints.”
AB 332’s sole sponsor, Assemblyman Isadore Hall III [D-Compton], saw the situation in another light.
“It’s a matter of Gatto putting porn profits above worker safety,” Hall said.
For its part, California’s adult film industry breathed a collective sigh of relief.
“Overwhelmingly, performers in the adult film industry do not support AB 332,” said Lydia Lee, spokeswoman for Adult Performers Coalition for Choice, a group formed following the passage of Measure B, Los Angeles County’s notorious local ordinance upon which AB 332 was based. “Effectively removing a choice does not protect performers. This ill-conceived bill was constructed without the input of the adult industry.
“It’s a relief to know California won’t be burdened by a law that will make the adult industry less safe, not more safe,” Lee continued. “We [performers] know how to protect ourselves, and our current [voluntary health-testing] protocols are more effective than this oversimplified bill. Testing works and is the best primary protocol for preventing the spread of [sexually transmitted diseases].”
Although the state’s legislature could take up AB 332 or a similar measure in the future, Diane Duke, chief executive officer for adult industry trade association Free Speech Coalition, said she doesn’t think that’s likely.
“We are grateful that lawmakers have chosen the best interest of California’s taxpayers and the adult industry over AB 332’s misguided legislation,” Duke said. “The adult industry creates a tremendous amount of revenue and jobs for California. We have effective, successful standards in place to protect performers. This ridiculous bill was a solution without a problem.”
The bill died in committee despite mainstream nonprofit AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s years-long pro-condom-mandates campaign. The industry, AHF and Los Angeles County remain embroiled in a bitter lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Measure B.
“We support choice for performers as well as the successful testing system that has been in place since 1998, which has resulted in no on-set transmissions of HIV in nine years, nationwide,” Duke said. “It is encouraging to see that legislators recognize the hard work the adult industry has done to safeguard performers and that our hard work will not be lost to an unnecessary bureaucracy created from unnecessary legislation.”
FSC spearheaded opposition to AB 332 and Measure B as part of the association’s continuing effort to ensure the well-being of adult-industry businesses and professionals. FSC also assists in defining and tracking industry-appropriate self-regulation that includes regular, frequent testing of performers for sexually transmitted infections.