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Advocates Look to 2016 for Mandatory Condom Initiative for Porn Industry

Advocates Look to 2016 for Mandatory Condom Initiative for Porn Industry

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After two unsuccessful attempts by California lawmakers to pass a mandatory condom law for adult film entertainers, advocacy groups are making an end run, using the state initiative process to reach their objective.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation President, Michael Weinstein, contends that the initiative would do even better than a similar measure did in Los Angeles in 2012. Measure B, which mandated condom use for porn performers in Los Angeles County, overwhelmingly passed by voters 57-43%.

At that time Weinstein said, “The people have spoken, and now it’s up to the county government… to follow the will of the people.” Assuredly, Weinstein is hoping that the entire state will march in lockstep with Los Angeles voters.

It appears, however, that Weinstein’s previous efforts to persuade lawmakers to pass legislation wore him out. He asserted that the Foundation will work for the initiative, but he doesn’t want to be “held hostage to that process.” He explained, “We’ve gone through the process and we’ve been thwarted.”

Nevertheless, Weinstein believes that Californians have a right to vote on it. Diane Duke, president of the Free Speech Coalition, said Weinstein is “resorting to the ballot initiative process because he can’t get it done any other way.” 

Duke stated that Weinstein’s campaign “has failed multiple times in the Legislature, it has been opposed by HIV outreach and LGBT groups, it’s been opposed by civil rights groups, it’s been opposed by newspaper editorial boards and, most importantly, it’s been opposed by performers.” 

She said that a law mandating condom faces opposition because it “not only takes away performers’ control over their own bodies; it pushes the industry out of California and underground, making performers ultimately less safe.”


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