By Dorany Pineda
Opposing Proposition 60, a November ballot initiative known as the California Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act, would protect workers in the pornography industry from being sued and harassed by anti-porn communities.
Voting “yes” would increase regulations in the industry, including mandated condom use when shooting a scene involving anal or vaginal intercourse and would require producers to pay certain health costs and checkups for their performers.
All of this sounds great, as it normalizes condom usage, protects performers from sexually transmitted infections and viruses, and makes porn companies cover their performers’ work-related health costs.
But there is one caveat: it is not the safety measure it pretends to be.
The language in Section 6720.6 of the proposition states that any person who violates any aspect of this law can be sued by an individual residing in the state of California.
This section of the act suggests that any person who lives in California can sue any on-set worker if they see that condoms are not being used in an adult film, threatening their individual privacy and safety.
This includes producers, distributors, agents, on-set crew, cable and satellite television companies, even couples producing content from their own home.
While the proposition states that performers cannot be sued, many of them are also considered producers, uploading their content on their websites or social media.
If a fine is imposed, the person who filed the lawsuit can receive a portion of the penalty fees.
This “right to private action” could easily be exploited, leaving thousands of people who work within the porn business vulnerable to harassment and at risk of lawsuits by anti-porn communities.
The Coalition Against Worker Harassment is leading the campaign in opposition to Prop. 60, and they are supported by the California Democratic, Republican and Libertarian Parties.
It is the only proposition on the November ballot that is opposed by both the left and right wing parties.
Public health and civil rights organizations such as the AIDS Project of Los Angeles, Equality California, the Free Speech Coalition, the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee and the Transgender Law Center are also in opposition of the proposal.
Though Prop. 60 is well-intended its potential to incite frivolous lawsuits by anti-porn Californians on the porn industry is just not worth it.
If this law passes, it will take away the government’s responsibility to enforce these public safety laws and put it in the hands of self-interest groups and individuals.
Besides, a law requiring the use of condoms in porn is already in place, and is regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Prop. 60 could potentially destabilize an industry that brings in large sums of money to California’s economy, pushing production out of the state or underground.
If improving the health safety of adult performers is truly the aim of Prop. 60, it won’t do that. Rather, it’ll leave performers naked to the morally strict and religious, who will, by law, be allowed to harass and scrutinize them.
If health is really the goal, Prop.60 would include the concerns of the performers themselves.