Monday, August 4, California Senate Appropriations Committee placed ‘mandatory condoms in porn’ bill AB 1576 in the “suspense file” after 30 minutes of testimony and consideration. For now the bill is shelved… Next week, after the state budget has been prepared, the committee will decide — with a simple up or down vote — whether the bill is approved or dumped.
The following is TRPWL’s play-by-play of the hearing —
The California state Senate Appropriations Committee opened its hearing shortly after 10 a.m. PST Monday, in the John L. Burton Hearing Room.
A host of adult business performers and staff are in attendance as the Committee weighs AB 1576 — a paternalistic bill requiring mandatory condoms and other “barriers” which would essentially criminalize adult film production statewide — including Lorelei Lee, Aiden Starr, Jiz Lee, Veruca James, Lea Lexis, Ariel X, Mick Blue, Maitresse Madeline, Anikka Albrite, Fivestar and Owen Gray.
These and other members of the adult community have already made several trips to Sacramento to answer questions from legislators and staff, and dispell the misinformation – and disinformation – spread by Assemblymember Isadore Hall and AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
Assemblymember Hall (D-AHF) never approached performers to find out what they wanted — he gave them what he and AHF dictator Michael Weinstein wanted. That’s why the Harvey Milk Democratic Club, the Transgender Law Center, the Erotic Service Providers Union, the Center for Sex and Culture, St. James Infirmary, the Adult Performers Advocacy Committee , The Center for HIV Law and Policy, HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, Positive Women’s Network-USA, and others stand in opposition to a bill that strips performers of vital protections.
The implementation of AB 1576 has been estimated to cost the state between $125K to $150K. The calculated amount does not incorporate any costs related to lost tax revenue or jobs, nor any lawsuits related to the bill.
The Committee went into recess at 12:15 p.m. PST, before it could get to AB 1576, so that members could attend floor sessions.
Assemblymember Hall, the bill’s sponsor, did not check in at the morning session — he was reportedly making the rounds with ex-adult performer turned AHF spokeswoman Cameron Bay.
The Committee will take up AB 1576, along with the remainder of the bills on its agenda, later this afternoon. The hearing is slated to end at 3:30 p.m. PST.
Legislators, staff and witnesses now (1:42 p.m.) making their way back to the hearing room…
The hearing re-convenes at 2:00 p.m. PST…
The bill needs four aye votes to move forward to a vote by the full senate.
In attendance on the AHF side is Mr. False Positive a.k.a. “The Man Who Wasn’t There”: the laughable Patrick Stone…
At 2:46 p.m., Isadore Hall saunters in..,
Cameron Bay, Rod Daily and AHF’s Adam Cohen ready to testify in support of AB 1576…
At 2:50, Hall begins presenting on AB 1576, which the chair notes is a candidate for the suspense file.
Hall claims that OSHA regs already require condoms — which contradicts the position put forward by AHF’s Cohen before a Cal/OSHA panel last month.
AHF lobbyist Rand Martin claims this bill aligns with Cal/OSHA regs, which is a patent lie.
HIV-positive ex-performer Cameron Bay, none of whose scene partners are HIV-positive, testifies that she was “taken advantage of” and that she was “denied” condoms. She adds, “AB 1576 ensures that women like me are protected from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.”
Rod Daily credits condoms for his not contracting anything on set. Daily is HIV-positive and was in an on-again / off-again relationship with Cameron Bay…
Lorelei Lee leads the anti-AB 1576 testimony, holding before her the stack of petitions signed by over 650 adult performers in opposition to the bill.
“I want to make clear that the author of this bill does not speak for performers,” Lee says. “The sponsors of this bill do not speak for performers. They have not worked with us, they have not reached out to us, and no one cares more than we do about our health and safety.”
Attorney Karen Tynan states, “Let me be clear: AB 1576 is costly to the state, far beyond the suspense threshold.” In reference to the ongoing Cal/OSHA Standards Board process (to promulgate new, industry-appropriate regulations for adult film sets), Tynan notes that AB 1576 “undermines efforts to implement a complete and effective worker safety plan.”
Also testifying in opposition is Aaron Fox of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, who opposes the bill for the reasons cited here.
Isadore Hall’s desperate closing remarks are absolutely revolting.
In full Captain Save-A-Ho mode, he speaks of “protecting those without a voice” and “those who can’t help themselves” immediately after adult performers and others lined up to use their voices to declare his bill a monstrosity. Shame on you, Isadore Hall!
Diane Duke comments: “Assemblymember Hall said today that he’s speaking for people without a voice… That he could say that with a straight face after dozens of performers spoke out against him is incredible. It’s not that they don’t have a voice, it’s that he’s not listening.”
Hall also puts forth that the bill does not mandate STI testing — only “documentation” that STI testing was performed. Ummm….
With no questions or commentaries from any members of the senate panel regarding this awful bill, at 3:19 p.m., the chair placed AB 1576 on suspense.
As of now, AB 1576, though not dead, is shelved.
Last summer, Hall’s previous attempt at a mandatory condoms bill, AB 640, was tossed into the “suspense” file and dumped.
Next week the state senate dumps all the bills in the suspense file that could not be resurrected in private talks — where the loud political grandstanding of guys like Isadore Hall have little or no weight.
The bill will be discussed further by the Appropriations Committee after the state budget is completed.
The committee is set to meet Thursday, Aug. 14, to decide — with a simple up or down vote — whether the piece of legislation is approved or nixed. No testimony is presented, either by the bill’s author or any witness for or against, at the Suspense File hearing.