At Thursday’s Senate Appropriations Committee hearing in Sacramento, AB 1576 was not called, meaning the bill will remain in the committee’s suspense file. AB 1576 will not be presented to the full Senate. It’s dead.
Dead dead dead. As dead as Dillinger. As dead as the Papal penis. AB 1576 is dead.
The controversial bill which sought to mandate condoms in all adult film shoots throughout California was the brainchild of ciondom-obsessed AIDS Healthcare Foundation dictator Michael Weinstein, and Baptist minister/Compton Assemblymember Isadore Hall III (D-AHF).
AB 1576 would have added section 6401.9 to the California Labor Code, ostensibly to “protect” employees of the adult film industry from exposure to, and infection by, sexually transmitted infections. However, the example of Measure B, the disastrous law which mandated condoms in Los Angeles County porn shoots, demonstrates that the law would have driven away legal production and jobs, without proven public-health benefits. (Vivid Entertainment and two adult performer plaintiffs are still fighting Measure B in federal court.)
Even worse, it would have driven production underground. As the Los Angeles Times noted last week, as production “becomes fragmented around the globe, the industry’s testing protocols will be weakened and performers will be at greater risk of getting sick.”
But AB 1576 went even farther than that.
In addition to establishing criminal penalties for not using a condom, or “other barriers”, in an adult film, it sought to enact testing protocols that were less stringent than those currently employed in adult production; required producers to keep a log of a performer’s sexual activities; and forced performers to waive their right to medical privacy. The bill would also have infringed on privacy and individual rights by requiring state-mandated HIV testing.
Assembly member Isadore Hall first introduced AB 1576 in January 2014. This bill follows his and Weinstein’s earlier attempts: AB 640, which died in appropriations, and AB 332, which was declared unconstitutional.
The more legislators heard about the AB 1576, the more they didn’t like it. AB 1576 would have had major financial cost for the the state of California, while doing nothing to improve the safety of performers.
AB 1576 was drafter without input from adult performers, and over 650 of them signed petitions against AB 1576.
It wasn’t only performers and producers who opposed the bill. Free Speech Coalition spokesman Mike Stabile remarked: “The fact that it did not advance suggests that it did not have support either within the Appropriations Committee or on the Senate floor. It’s also worth noting that some of the strongest voices against this bill were from anti-HIV organizations, LGBT groups and sex worker rights organizations. We had great support from outside the industry from many groups and individuals who knew what a bad bill this was.”
Groups in opposition to the bill included the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, AIDS Project Los Angeles, Project Inform, the Center for HIV Law and Policy, the Positive Women’s Network, the HIV Prevention Justice Alliance, 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 the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA).
Free Speech Coalition CEO Diane Duke commented on the Appropriation Committee’s action:
“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 unintimidated 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.”
The killing of AB 1576 has provoked an outpouring of joy and relief from adult performers, business stakeholders, and allies:
There’ll be some car door slamming in the streets of Chatsworth tonight!