California voters reject Prop. 60

With 96% of the vote counted, the proposition was defeated by a 53.9% to 46.1% margin.

LOS ANGELES – The adult film industry scored a big victory in California as voters Tuesday rejected a ballot proposition that would have required porn film actors to wear condoms in all their sex scenes.

Proposition 60 was portrayed as a workplace health and safety measure — albeit an unusual one — that critics said would have chased the vast adult-film industry out of state.

With 96% of the vote counted, the proposition was defeated by a 53.9% to 46.1% margin.

Proponents argued Proposition 60 was needed to the lower venereal disease risk to performers, especially in light of revelations in recent years that some actors had been diagnosed as carrying the AIDS virus.

It would have required licensing of adult film producers, made distributors and agents liable for violations and would have allowed lawsuits to go forward against for producers.

Opponents countered that the measure went too far by going after adult film industry workers if a condom is not visible in sex scenes. The solution for the industry would be simple, they contended. They would just pack up and leave the state.

The measure was of special interest in Southern California, where the adult film industry is centered. Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, a section of city northwest of downtown, has sometimes been called “porn valley” because so many adult film production companies have set up shop there.

The state’s workplace safety enforcement agency, Cal-OSHA, is already charged with making sure actors wear condoms in adult films for their own protection. Plus, Los Angeles voters approved a measure in 2012 requiring condom use.

Proposition 60 backers said enforcement of that law isn’t vigorous enough because the agency only acts on complaints. Only four citations were issued in 2014 and 2015, the state’s legislative analyst says.

One in four performers in the porn industry have sexually transmitted diseases, including chlamydia and gonorrhoea, in far greater proportions than the general population, said the organization backing the measure, the For Adult Industry Responsibility (FAIR) Committee.

As such, those who don’t wear protection pose a wider threat than just to fellow actors.

“The diseases contracted in the porn studios don’t always stay in the studios or in the porn industry. In one widely publicized case last year, a porn actor had sex with 17 people outside the industry (and with five others inside the industry) in 22 days before it was discovered he had HIV,” the committee contends.

Critics, including the adult film industry’s association, the Free Speech Coalition, pointed to a Los Angeles County Department of Public Health analysis which states “passage of Proposition 60 may result in some adult film productions going underground or relocating outside the state.” Opponents also included both the California Republican and Democratic parties.

California rejects condom measure

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