No surprise here. As expected, AHF and Hall greased enough asses to get it through.
As reported earlier, AB 1576 went ‘on call’ — essentially, on temporary hold — at the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee after a no vote from Sen. Mark Leno and two abstentions — from Sens. Mark Wyland (Republican) and Alex Padilla (Democrat).
After a private session, Sen. Padilla (D – 20th District) changed his vote to an ‘aye’.
The bill will be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee in August.
Our hearing coverage…
Party and play escort Cameron Bay, as well as international escort and dog lover Jessie Rogers were in attendance on behalf of AHF.
Room was standing room only and most of the AHF crew was forced to wait outside.
Speakers in support of the bill included UCLA’s vile Dr. Paula Tavrow, forever to be known as “Mylanta” Tavrow because of her idiotic recommendation that the antacid should be substituted for pop shots in adult productions. That gem of a suggestion once prompted adult star Julia Ann to quip, “Time for the pop shot — would you like mint or cherry flavored?”
Lorelei Lee addressed the medical privacy concerns over AB 1576 shared by adult performers: “In addition to jeopardizing our safety, this bill would force us to consent to the sharing of our medical information with the state. Mr. Hall has amended the bill so we no longer share that information with our employers, we share it with the state. This is a dangerous precedent to set, and I do not believe they would ask this of workers in any other industry.”
Free Speech Coalition’s Diane Duke spoke next, and closed her remarks by warning the panel that AB 1576 is “an unneccessary bill in search of a problem that could have very dangerous consequences.”
Sen. Mark Leno, asked AHF lobbyist Martin to comment on the constitutional issues raised by the Vivid lawsuit against Measure B, but — in one of the worst legal arguments ever heard — Martin downplayed the possible effects of a ruling in that case.
“The issue of First Amendment protections under Measure B is now before the Ninth Circuit, and we have no idea when it will be decided,” Martin said. “So we acknowledge that this is not done in terms of the court’s ruling. However we don’t believe that the issue of First Amendment is ultimately going to prevail. We appreciate the trial court’s decision in that regard and [it] echoed our concerns. I would also point out that ultimately, again, this bill is about documentation and not about the underlying condom requirement, so I suppose in one scenario, that in the future, the court could throw out the condom requirement, that could ultimately have an impact on the regulation of it, which is what this bill is, is about the regulation of that requirement. Obviously, it would not be enforced at that point. However, we don’t want to hold off on moving forward with this important documentation requirement on the off-chance that a court, a higher court will ultimately decide that there are certain First Amendment protections that are not being afforded under Measure B, and Measure B, of course, is what’s being enforced.”
In other words — let’s just go ahead with this no matter what the cost to the state.
If there was a silver lining to today’s hearing, it’s that AHF’s Michael Weinstein was sent a crystal clear message that members of the San Francisco gay community, and his own peers in AIDS prevention, do NOT support his fanatical campaign against the adult business.
Sen. Mark Leno voted against the bill, explaining that as a gay man, who experienced first-hand the rise of the HIV epidemic, and who even lost a life partner to the disease, that he is well-connected to HIV treatment and outreach groups in the Bay Area — and that they reject the legislation.
Isadore Hall made the mistake of interrupting Leno with a platitude about how HIV has affected everyone.
“Leno was great,” one observer in the hearing room noted. “When Hall interrupted him you could have heard a pin drop.”
Leno picked up where he had left off, and dropped the hammer on Hall and Weinstein.
“Those that I’ve worked with in the [HIV treatment, prevention] community for the past three decades, the organizations that started at the time … are not in support of this bill. They’ve remained publicly silent though I’ve had some conversations with a number of them from organizations [that deal with] treatment, prevention, advocacy for treatment groups, and they have reservations about this.”
After stating several times during today’s hearing that the committee’s focus should be on labor issues and not public health, Sen. Holly Mitchell’s bizarre closing remarks focused on the “new face of AIDS,” which, she claimed, disproportionately affects African American women.
Though Mitchell, a Democrat, stated that she did not know the demographic breakdown of the adult entertainment industry, she said “we need to broaden the conversation.” And then she voted in favor of AB 1576, a bill which has nothing to do with any of that.