Breaking: AHF To Seek Statewide Condoms in Porn Measure on 2016 California Ballot

Breaking: AHF To Seek Statewide Condoms in Porn Measure on 2016 California Ballot

L.A. Press Conference: Friday. Nov. 7, 10:00am

Safer sex advocates—including five former adult performers who became HIV-positive while working in the adult film industry over the past decade—will announce plans for a statewide California voter ballot initiative to require condom use in all adult films shot anywhere in the state.

Group will also kickoff FAIR (For Adult Industry Responsibility), the formal campaign committee to shepherd the signature gathering for the ballot initiative process, with the aim to have the measure qualified to appear on the November 2016 Presidential election California ballot.

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LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AIDS Healthcare Foundation:

“This is a worker health and safety issue. The industry has a responsibility to protect their employees. As a worker in the adult film industry, I was not protected. And I don’t want more people to end up infected like me.”

WHAT: PRESS CONFERENCE & TELECONFERENCE (10:00am PT)

HIV+ former adult film performers and safer sex advocates to launch a California

STATEWIDE ballot initiative to require adult film producers to use condoms in productions

shot anywhere in California,
WHEN:

FRIDAY, November 7, 2014—-10:00 AM Pacific

WHERE:

AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Public Health Division

1710 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046 (N of Hollywood Blvd)
WHO:

• Michael Weinstein, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, President & Citizen Proponent

• Bradley Hertz, Attorney, The Sutton Law Firm, speaking on the formation of the FAIR Committee

• 2013—Cameron Adams (Stage name: Cameron Bay), who became HIV-positive while working in the adult film industry in August, 2013

• 2013—Joshua Rodgers (Stage name: Rod Daily), who became HIV-positive while working in the adult film industry in August, 2013

• 2013—(stage name Sofia Delgado), who became HIV-positive while working in the adult film industry in August, 2013

• 2010—Derrick Burts (Stage names: Cameron Reid, Derek Chambers), who became HIV-positive while working in the adult film industry in 2010

• 2004—Darren Edwards (Stage name: Darren James), who became HIV-positive while working in the adult film industry in 2004

TELECONFERENCE10am—Dial in information +1.877.411.9748 participant code #7134323

As part of its ongoing campaign to improve and strengthen state law on the use of condoms in adult films produced in California in an effort to reduce the spread of STDs, including HIV, safer sex advocates from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)—as well as five former adult performers who became HIV-positive while working in the adult film industry over the past decade—will host a press conference Friday, November 7 at 10:00 am PT to announce plans to launch a statewide California voter ballot initiative to require condom use in all adult films shot anywhere in the state. Initial polling of 1,158 California voters that the group conducted on the statewide measure in mid-September 2014 showed overwhelming support for the proposed law—71% answered ‘yes’—when asked how they would vote on such a measure were the election held today.

At the press event, the group will also announce the formation and kickoff of FAIR (For Adult Industry Responsibility), the formal campaign committee that will shepherd the signature gathering for the ballot initiative process. The advocates aim to have the condoms in porn measure qualified to appear on the November 2016 Presidential election California ballot.

“The adult film industry exposed me to blood on set because they just wanted to finish a scene. I did everything the adult film industry told me to do, and now I am HIV-positive,” said Cameron Adams (Stage name: Cameron Bay), who became HIV-positive while working in the adult film industry in August 2013. “Pornographers are only interested in their bottom line, because they know that they can take advantage of women like me. Today, I am proud to support and participate in this California-wide ballot initiative to require the use of condoms in all adult films. Being exposed to bloodborne pathogens and other potentially infectious material shouldn’t be considered part of the job. It’s time for California voters to support fairness.”

“I contracted HIV in 2004, and I can tell you, even a decade later, the adult film industry hasn’t changed. Every month we hear about a new exposure or infection in the industry,” said Darren Edwards (Stage name: Darren James), who became HIV-positive while working in the adult film industry in 2004. “The adult film industry has a responsibility to protect their employees. And condoms are the best way to prevent infections on set. They will continue to put performers at risk until the people of California take a stand. It’s time to make sure we stop letting the adult film industry go back to business as usual. This industry should be treated like any other legal industry in California.”

“The adult film industry doesn’t want performers using condoms. They make up ridiculous excuses. They say things like ‘testing is more effective than a latex barrier.’ But testing isn’t prevention. Condoms are prevention,” said Joshua Rodgers (Stage name: Rod Daily), who became HIV-positive while working in the adult film industry in August 2013. “When it comes to protecting workers in a legal California industry, condoms are the best option. The adult film industry needs to stop making up excuses and start following the law. This is about fairness.”

“The adult industry put me in a situation where I contracted HIV just three months into my career as a performer. And the industry then did nothing to help me. They just want to protect their bottom line, so they kicked me out the door,” said Derrick Burts (Stage names: Cameron Reid, Derek Chambers), who became HIV-positive while working in the adult film industry in 2010. “This is a worker health and safety issue. The industry has a responsibility to protect their employees. As a worker in the adult film industry, I was not protected. And I don’t want more people to end up infected like me.”

Catalysts for a California Statewide Law

Momentum for this statewide Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry voter ballot initiative came after California Assembly Bill 1576, (Isadore Hall, III, D-Los Angeles), a landmark bill that would have clarified and strengthened state worker safety laws requiring condoms in all adult films made statewide in California, failed to get out of the state Senate Appropriations Committee in August of this year, effectively killing the bill.

David Cope a.k.a. Patrick Stone, as he appeared at an August 4, 2014 Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing on AB 1576, an ill-fated bill promoted by his employer, AIDS Healthcare Foundation
David Cope a.k.a. Patrick Stone, as he appeared at an August 4, 2014 Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing on AB 1576, an ill-fated bill promoted by his employer, AIDS Healthcare Foundation

In addition, advocates are frustrated at Cal/OSHA’s (California’s Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health), the state’s health and safety regulatory and watchdog organization, repeated bureaucratic delays and inaction over the past five years on a petition seeking to update the state’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standards to better protect adult film workers and strengthen and clarify regulations regarding condom use in porn productions filmed anywhere in California. On December 17, 2009, a petition filed with Cal/OSHA to amend California Code of Regulations Title 8 § 5193 was accepted unanimously by the Standards Board. Since then, however, OSHA has delayed most hearings and/or any meaningful action on the petition—most recently, with a delay until March 2015. Following are two letters:

  • The original petition to OSHA dated December 17, 2009, which has NOT been acted on, and
  • A letter from Nov. 3, 2014 to OSHA demanding accountability and action on the matter.

Lastly, advocates are also frustrated with the delayed implementation of Los Angeles County’s ‘Measure B’ (the County of Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act), a similar local voter ballot measure requiring condom use in all adult films shot in Los Angeles County, which passed with overwhelming voter support—56% to 44%—in the November 2012 election in Los Angeles County (margin of victory: 1,617,866 votes in favor [56.94%] vs.1,222,681 votes against [43.04%]). However, two-years later, the County of Los Angeles has yet to fully implement Measure B, and a group of adult film producers has sued the County to stop implementation of the measure.