LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the primary backer of Ballot Measure B, the so-called condoms in porn measure formally known as the County of Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act, which passed with overwhelming voter support (56% to 44%) in Tuesday’s election in Los Angeles County, is now kicking off a statewide California legislative campaign seeking a legislator in Sacramento to carry a bill that would expand the power of Cal OSHA and local public health departments statewide to enforce condom use on adult film sets.
The move comes on the heels of the adult film industry’s announcement yesterday of a planned lawsuit to block implementation of ‘Measure B,’ which requires producers of adult films to obtain a public health permit from the County, follow all health and safety laws, including condom use, and pay a permit fee sufficient to cover all enforcement costs.
“An overwhelming majority of voters in Los Angeles spoke out in support of safer sex practices in the adult film industry through their votes for Measure B on Tuesday. Unlike some politicians or editorial writers, it seems the voters were not squeamish about this issue, seeing this as a means to protect the health and safety of performers working in the industry,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and one of the five named proponents of Measure B. “Voter sentiment favoring safer sex in adult films is pretty clear: As such, and in light of the fact that the industry is now trying to block implementation of Measure B with a lawsuit, we are kicking off a statewide legislative campaign seeking a legislator in Sacramento to carry a bill to broaden Cal OSHA’s enforcement powers and empower local public health departments to step up and enhance enforcement of safety laws on condom use on adult film sets. It’s only fair that these performers be afforded the same safeguards as other Californians in their workplaces.”
Ballot Measure B was spearheaded by AIDS Healthcare Foundation and members of FAIR (‘For Adult Industry Responsibility’) after as many as 22 HIV infections believed to be tied to the adult film industry were reported in two outbreaks in Los Angeles since 2004, and amidst thousands of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) occurring annually among adult performers. AHF officials previously (and unsuccessfully) tried to find a California assembly member or state senator during three different legislative cycles as far back as 2006 to author and carry legislation that would expand and enhance Cal OSHA’s enforcement powers regarding blood borne pathogens statutes. AHF officials stepped up local legislative efforts in Los Angeles regarding adult film worker safety after Derrick Burts, an adult film performer, became HIV-infected in 2010 while working in the industry. Burts went on to become a vocal supporter of Measure B.
Since passage of Measure B on Tuesday, some local Los Angeles politicians who have previously been silent on the issue have spoken out. Yesterday, a Los Angeles Times news article reported:
Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who had remained silent on the law, declared his support for it Wednesday. “It’s a matter of public health when you have the spreading of disease,” Antonovich said.
The Times’ article also noted:
Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who has been critical of the measure, said it would be difficult for the county to enforce the law because many porn shoots occur in private homes and are never registered with authorities. But he added that the county was obligated to enforce the law, which passed with 55.9% of the vote. “People voted for it and they’re entitled to have it on the books,” Yaroslavsky said. “It’s a challenge we’re going to have to confront.”
“With the passage of Measure B, we thinks it’s time to take our campaign back to Sacramento to ensure enforcement of OSHA health statutes are uniform statewide,” added AHF’s Weinstein.
Regarding Tuesday’s passage of Measure B and the industry’s continuing opposition to complying with condom use in their films—which is already the law under existing California state and federal OSHA statutes—Whitney Engeran-Cordova, Senior Director, Public Health Division for AHF and another Measure B proponent, noted, “I hope the producers, directors and performers realize that it was not only voters who passed common sense protection of performers, it was also their customers. The industry needs to re-examine its position on this issue and embrace change.”
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 183,000 individuals in 27 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.