AB 1576 Moves Forward to Arts & Entertainment Committee

Apr 2, 2014
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AB 1576 Moves Forward to Arts & Entertainment Committee

This afternoon, April 2nd, the California Assembly’s Committee on labor and Employment took up AB1576, a bill from Assemblymember Isadore Hall (D-AHF) which would require condoms and other protective barriers in all adult production within the state, as well as 14-day testing, medical record keeping and more.

AHF-sponsored witnesses in support of AB1576 included Cameron Bay and Rod Daily (both of whom carefully sidestepped the fact that they were not infected on an adult film set ), Hayden Winters, AHF employee Darren James, and Jessie Rogers.

Rod Daily and Cameron Bay

Rod Daily and Cameron Bay

Bay brought up the infamous bloody penis again, implying (falsely) that she may have been infected on a set for Kink.com. Her scene partner is HIV-negative, making that impossible.

She also lied to the committee, saying she had been “a performer for all of three months ” when she contracted HIV. In truth, she had been performing in adult content since 2008.

Former gay porn performer Daily told the committee that he never contracted STDs in gay porn because he used condoms in addition to getting tested — but never mentioned that the only reason he tested (infrequently at that) was so that he could work for a company owned by Manwin (now Mindgeek) which requires performers to subscribe to the PASS testing protocols from “straight” porn production. Daily did not elaborate on how he contacted HIV.

Oddly, Daily spent much of his time talking about the “straight” side of the adult business, asserting that most performers want condoms: “I’m sure they would all like to use condoms, but no one says anything because they’re scared.”

Winters claimed she contracted HPV and herpes, and mentioned her old buddy Derrick Burts, who contracted HIV in 2010. However, Winters failed to mention that Burts too did not contract HIV on a California porn set. Nor did she mention that Burts claimed to have contracted it on a set where condoms were used.

Assemblymember Hall made a series of outrageous claims, including that the adult industry “largely ignored” the production moratoria in 2013. Anyone with access to social media would know that’s a lie — as evidenced here.

And Rand Martin, a representative from AHF, disputed whether adult production is leaving California, stated that adult production in only legal in California and New Hampshire, and that in addition to being illegal to shoot in Las Vegas/Clark County, Nevada, adult production would also be governed by the laws regarding sex work which mandate condom use.


Witnesses in opposition to the bill included adult performer and RN Nina Hartley, Free Speech Coalition‘s Jeffrey Douglas and Diane Duke, and Kink.com’s Mike Stabile.

Douglas obliterated the AHF argument that adult production would be illegal in Nevada, pointing out that such production takes place across the county every day, and further that there has been no criminal prosecution of adult production in ANY state since the 1988 Freeman case which legalized such production in California. Given more time, he likely would have also mentioned that government agencies in Nevada has given licenses to studios whose very business is to shoot adult content.

Moreover, Douglas made it clear that Nevada’s laws regarding condoms in prostitution (in legal brothels) only related to sex workers interacting with members of the public (not with each other on film or video), and furthermore that prostitution is illegal in Clark County, so there are no condom laws there to be (mis)applied to adult production in the first place.

He also argued that until the 9th Circuit’s decision in the Measure B case is rendered, no similar legislation should be made on a state level because a ruling that mandatory condoms and other barriers are an unconstitutional prior restraint on speech would also invalidate AB1576.

In the end, the Committee voted to send AB 1576 to the Assembly’s Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media Committee.

“Once again, they chose moral posturing and emotion over facts, science and logic,” Hartley told TRPWL.

For now, the bill moves forward.


Mika Tan on AB 1576 hearing


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  • Well, from what I heard it wasn’t a great day up there. I’m pretty sure the bill will make it out of that committee but will then go on to near certain death in the Arts and Entertainment committee, which is pretty much an extension of the entertainment business overall, which doesn’t like porn but likes governmental meddling in the production process even less. I’ve said before and will say again that no bill of this kind will ever go to a floor vote. The Leslie Bill didn’t and Hall’s scrambled nonsense has even less of a chance. It’s just another opportunity for AHF to show what its true nature, which couldn’t be much uglier. I used to think Weinstein was smart, but his handling of this whole thing has raised doubts about that. It would appear that ego overrides intelligence with that guy.

    But I can’t say I’m thrilled with the performance of the F.S.C. at the hearing either. When, oh when are they going to stop using economically based arguments against things like this bill and Measure B and whatever AHF cooks up when those things fail?

    It does not matter to voters if the porn business moves to Las Vegas. It does not matter to voters if the state loses some tax revenues. It does not matter to the public at all if the porn business disappears from the face of the earth as a business.

    When the industry’s representatives base their positions on bullshit like that they play right into AHF’s hands – presenting themselves as greedy exploiters taking advantage of naive young people and putting them at risk to make a buck. In fact, it angers the public to be thought of as caring more about California’s economy than the lives of young people.

    The arguments that work are as follows:
    Performers are consenting adults with the right to make their own decisions.

    There is no evidence of a significant health threat to the performers themselves or the public at large from porn production due to one of the most effective HIV hazard mitigation programs in the world that has proven itself for 15 years, as opposed to some program made by committees consisting of people with no direct experience of adult production and no existing precedent to go by.

    It is an unacceptable infringement on freedom of speech to compel producers to make what AHF decrees to be products that constitute “proper modeling” for the private behavior of the viewers. If AHF wants to make those movies, it can use it’s own resources to do so without attempting to silence every other kind of explicit sexual speech.

    There is no evidence at all, since no such law is in place anywhere in the world, that what is being advocated would work at all, would actually protect anyone and could be guaranteed to “above all else do no harm,” the most basic tenet of medical ethics. The potential for harm from such measures is unknown but cannot be easily dismissed in the manner it has been.

    Measure B should never have gotten on the ballot, but no effective challenge was mounted to its certification. It should never have passed but no effective campaign was mounted against it. It should never have made it as far up the appellate ladder as it already has but no effective litigation strategy has arrested its progress.

    Thankfully, at the state level other interests will quietly line up as they did last time to make the threat of this imbecilic grandstanding bill go away, but that will be no thanks to the kind of stumbling, fumbling effort this industry has made to defend itself from what should never have been an existential threat to begin with.

    Ernest Greene April 2, 2014 5:49 pm 5:49 PM Reply
  • Here’s a good example of the strategic blowback from the porno-bucks for California argument against mandatory condoms:

    “Before voting, Chairman Hernández also weighed in, stating that while he had declined to vote on Hall’s condom bill last year, he would be voting in support of it this year, and encouraged the others to do the same, saying, “I’m not comfortable with the argument that we need to protect an industry’s profits on the back of a worker. So I am proud to support this bill today.”

    Every time some producer makes an economics-based argument they provide that kind of ammunition to the enemy and make themselves look as despicable as a public programmed to view porn producers as pimps imagine them to be.

    How long will so-called industry leaders cling to a position that clearly has no traction with voters or legislators? I have no idea but if they keep at it they might yet snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

    Ernest Greene April 2, 2014 7:05 pm 7:05 PM Reply
    • I agree with you, Mr. Greene.

      When the issues include rights and liberties, you need INDIVIDUALS to testify: adult performers, directors, small business owners. “Industries” can’t assert individual rights and liberties

      Deep Throat April 3, 2014 11:55 am 11:55 AM Reply
  • Am in total agreement with Ernest here, and I’ve been arguing the same point for quite a while that you just don’t use only conservative/libertarian arguments on an electorate or a body of government that is far more liberal/progressive. This was as much the case for Measure B as it was for this current bill, and could very well lead to ultimate disaster. The focus should have been on the essential threat to free speech and expression, as well as the use of performers as unwilling guniea pigs for social engineering efforts, as well as educating the public on how the testing and screening system really works.

    Also, as awesome as Nina has been in fighting the good fight, how about including other talent that may play to counter the efforts of Derrick Burts and Darren James and the Daily/Bay propaganda directed at younger people of color?? How about having someone like Mika Tan or Ava Devine or Vanessa Blue or Misty Stone there as well, speaking out in favor of the current system, rather than merely relying on the old school talent?

    I’m not saying that FSC is doing a horrible job, but they could do better…and if they aren’t careful, they could lose it all.

    Anthony Kennerson April 3, 2014 8:18 am 8:18 AM Reply
    • Jessica Drake has spoken against the government mandating condoms in porn and the company she works for, Wicked Pictures, has mandatory condom use. Drake prefers to be a condom only performer but in a Slate interview, Drake did say condoms are “very uncomfortable for long periods of time.” Defenders of Measure B dismiss people such as Nina Hartley saying that condoms being used for hours can cause irritation to women and yet Drake, who regularly uses condoms in sex scenes, is backing up what Hartley has been saying. Wicked Pictures has mandatory condom use for intercourse and yet Wicked Pictures founder Steve Orenstein is against the govenment mandating condoms. Orenstein can obviously see the nanny state/Big Brother implications of what is going on. People are getting fines of thousands of dollars for things not even related to condoms. When porn sets are inspected, there is big nit picking going on to try to fine porn companies over petty things.

      Jamie Gardner April 3, 2014 9:37 am 9:37 AM Reply

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