Porn Stars Form Free Speech Coalition to Fight Condom Sex Bill in California
On Tuesday, a delegation of porn stars known as The Free Speech Coalition traveled to Sacramento to protest purported first amendment violations inherent in a newly proposed California bill.
According to the LA Weekly, AB 1576 could prescribe criminal penalties for not using condoms by actors on sets and force producers to keep logs of all performers’ sexual activities.
The Weekly reports that the measure would also deny the performers the right to federally mandated medical privacy. The coalition argues that AB 1576 violates the filmmakers' right to free speech by demanding that they produce films, videos, and magazines to look a certain way (male actors with condoms). The Weekly contends that specific argument has already been tested in court unsuccessfully.
Porn actress Lorelei Lee claims that the bill is “insulting” and “paternalistic.” Moreover, she asserts that it “shows a total disregard for performers’ autonomy and threatens a vital safety infrastructure that we have spent ten years building. AB1576 squanders resources addressing a problem that doesn’t exist. If the bill becomes law, it will, in fact, harm the people it claims it will protect.”
Essentially, Lee is arguing that condom porn doesn’t sell and as a result will force productions to go underground into a totally unregulated environment, which would increase danger for the performers. Moreover, porn leaders contend that the current twice-a-month testing of porn performers has been effective and that the new law will simply drive the porn business out of the state. The Weekly contends there is not strong evidence for this in Los Angeles County, which has already mandated condoms for all porn productions.
Nevertheless, Diane Duke, who is the leader of the Free Speech Coalition, explained that "We are a small community, and not always political, but outrage has come from all areas of the industry--gay, straight, trans, fetish, studio and independent--to fight against a bill that criminalizes sex between consenting adults.”