California Assembly Passes Bill Mandating Condoms for Porn Stars
On Tuesday, the California Assembly passed AB 1576 requiring adult entertainment industry performers to use condoms during sexual activity in porn movies.
According to the Sacramento Bee, protecting porn performers from sexually transmitted diseases has been a cause célèbre for California lawmakers, in particular Isadore Hall (D-Compton) who sponsored the bill. Hall tried unsuccessfully last year to pass two similar bills and argues that unprotected sex in the porn industry is a public health hazard. "This industry has been largely self-regulated and has done an inadequate job of protecting its employees," he asserted.
Moreover, Hall contends that employee rights need to be treated with the same gravity as in all other industries. "We need to begin to treat the adult film industry just like any other legitimate, legal business in California… Legitimate businesses are required to protect employees from injury in the workplace."
Last week, Breitbart News reported that the adult entertainment industry views the bill as intrusive and possibly an infringement on their First Amendment rights. One actress referred to AB 1576 as “insulting” and “paternalistic.” A group of adult film entertainers known as The Free Speech Coalition traveled to Sacramento last week to lobby for the industry. According to the Bee, new regulations for condom use could seriously affect the bottom line of an industry which generates $9 to $13 billion a year.
Also germane to the First Amendment argument are industry protestations that the testing regimen and documentation compliances are burdensome and perhaps unworkable. California gubernatorial hopeful Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) weighed in on the issue: "This is a mandate that I'm afraid these businesses are going to have trouble meeting."