Hot off the heels of the passage of Measure B in Los Angeles, known as the County of Los Angeles Safer Sex In the Adult Film Industry Act, comes bill AB 1576 which would extend mandatory use of protective barriers in adult films made in the state of California. Measure B passing and AB 1576 proposal have been lauded by their proponents as major victories for safer sex and workers’ rights.
Your initial reaction to this might be a lot like mine. I am 100% about giving more visibility to safer sex practices, creating media that makes condom use sexy and accessible, and showing by example. I want performers to be safe, respected, and encouraged to use safer sex — especially when it’s their decision.
I hate to burst this beautiful utopia, where government officials stare deeply into our eyes and say “I love what you’re doing and want to make sure your rights and health are completely supported.” Because the reality is, if government officials actually cared about the public’s sexual health and safety, they would provide accurate sex education and free safer sex materials to the general public — without morally driven agendas. The AIDS Health Foundation spent $1,654,681 USD on campaign funding for Measure B. Compare that to the $325,000 grant that the California Department of Education receives from the Center for Disease Control to provide limited statewide leadership for HIV/STD and teen pregnancy prevention. If $325,000 can’t even get you a one-bedroom in San Francisco then how the hell is it suppose to prevent STDs and teen pregnancy in all of California?
POP! There goes our utopia, and as we dig a little deeper into these policies, reality sets in…
Let’s take a closed look at the AB 1576 Bill Analysis according to the Official California Legislative Information, particularly section of Compliance, Enforcement, and Operations:
Measure B also imposes civil fines on individuals who violate the act and makes it misdemeanor for willfully non-compliance of its provisions. In regards to civil penalties, Measure B gives the Department discretion to impose fines up to five-hundred dollars per violation on individuals who violates its provisions. For a criminal offence to be found, an individual or entity is guilty of a misdemeanor if he or she violates any of Measure B’s provisions, produces or films adult films for commercial purposes without a valid permit, or willfully refuses or neglects to conform to a county health officer’s lawful order AB 1576 Page K or directive attempting to enforce Measure B. An offence is either punishable by a fine up to $1,000, imprisonment not exceeding six months, or a combination of the two. A civil action to enjoin a person or entity from filming in violation of Measure B may also be brought by the county’s counsel, the district attorney, or any person directly related to the failure of the person or entity from conforming to Measure B’s provisions.