Enthusiasm For California's Condoms In Porn Bill Goes Limp
A bill that would have required condoms for any porn shot in the entire state of California is dead.The bill, AB 1576, was tabled last week and then shelved permanently today by the State Senate's Appropriations Committee. If it had passed, it would have made it mandatory for adult performers to wear condoms during all vaginal and anal sex filmed in the state. It was basically a larger scale version of Measure B, which passed in Los Angeles two years ago.
In response to the shelving, the Free Speech Coalition (an adult industry trade association) released a statement from their CEO, Diane Duke:
"We’re grateful to the members of the Senate who saw this bill for what it was — a bald-faced attempt to exploit performers for political gain. But the assault had an unintended consequences—it unified performers and producers in ways that we haven’t seen in decades. Out of this grows a stronger industry, one not intimidated by harassment campaigns like AB1576. But the battle is not actually over, for we must always work to make sure our productions are safe and legal, that our performers have a strong voice in their own sexual health, and to keep a thriving industry in California.”
In L.A. itself, the industry may not be so thriving. L.A. voters approved Measure B because it was supposed to make porn performers safer by protecting them from disease, but many adult stars were against it, saying their own self-regulated testing schedules worked out just fine. Veteran performer Nina Hartley blogged about how it would just push porn underground, which would make porn truly unsafe for performers.
It's hard to say whether Measure B made anyone safer, because the number of permits issued to shoot porn has dropped 90 percent in L.A. County, with many studios moving elsewhere. Both Vivid and Chatsworth's Penthouse have said they're not shooting in L.A. anymore. It's also possible that porn is being shot without permits, which is exactly the kind of 'underground' behavior Hartley feared.
In anticipation of AB 1576 passing, Fetish studio Kink in San Francisco opened up shop in Vegas, and other studios had already started shooting there instead. It looks like for now, porn can have a home in California; however, Measure B is still hindering L.A.'s ability to remain America's porn capital.