AB 332 Stalls After Appropriations Committee Meeting

May 8, 2013
(l to r) Attorney Karen Tynan and Kink.com director Princess Donna

(l to r) Attorney Karen Tynan and Kink.com director Princess Donna at the state capitol

This morning in Sacramento, proposed “condom” legislation Assembly Bill 332 was presented to members of the House Appropriations Committee. Sponsor of the bill Assembly Member Isadore Hall III (D-Compton) waived his opportunity to speak on the legislation and AB 332 was sent to suspense file by the committee. Free Speech Coalition is pleased that AB 332 legislation has not moved forward today out of committee.

Representing adult industry opposition to AB 332, labor attorney Karen Tynan stood ready to deliver a statement to the legislators, focusing on the financial pitfalls of the regulatory scheme. Tynan also hoped to speak to the process already started with state regulatory agency Cal/OSHA, to establish industry-appropriate regulations for adult film productions.

“My testimony was meant to explain and emphasize the incredible waste of taxpayer money that will result if AB332 is enacted,” Tynan said. “Cal/OSHA has a process where they have stakeholder meetings and attempt to create feasible regulations. We are still in that process with the draft regulations pending revisions. AB332 demands that the state legislature throw out all that work and start over with the AHF plan.”

Testimony would have also outlined the potentially enormous costs to taxpayers if AB 332 is passed, not only administrative costs, but also in a significant loss of jobs and revenue for counties in California as adult producers are pushed to other areas for production locations.

“Committee members with adult entertainment businesses in their districts should be reminded that these businesses create jobs, pay taxes, and should have a voice in this process,” Tynan added.

Kink.com founder and FSC Board Member Peter Acworth also attended this morning’s meeting with a contingent of performers and industry professionals. Acworth also had prepared a statement, but left the meeting without delivering testimony.

“We got here at 5:30am and spent most of the day,” Acworth said. “But we’re happy the bill has been put in suspension. I hope this is the end of the bill. I remain a strong advocate for performer testing and the APHSS.org database system.”

Representatives from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and other AB 332 supporters were apparently not in attendance at this morning’s meeting.

 


Call to Action: Please FAX House Appropriations Committee to Oppose AB 332

May 6, 2013

LoudspeakerFree Speech Coalition is issuing a call-to-action to all its members and opponents of Assembly Bill 332, the proposed bill to mandate barrier protection in adult film productions in California. AB 332 is scheduled to go before the State Assembly Appropriations Committee on May 8.

Below you will find a letter that can be copied and pasted into a document and then FAXED to the Appropriations Committee representatives listed below. Please, reach out to these legislators by FAX to tell them that you oppose AB 332. We have been advised that FAX is the most effective platform for communication.

Please, send your message before May 8 and help us fight the good fight. Now is the time to come together and voice your opposition to AB 332 – before the industry is driven out of California, or another dime of taxpayer money is wasted on this poorly written law.

For more information on AB 332, or on how YOU can help oppose condom laws, contact info@freespeechcoalition.com or call (818) 348-9373. Thank you for your help!

 

Dear [decisionmaker],

Assembly Bill 332 is being brought before State Assembly Appropriations Committee, authored by Assembly Member Isadore Hall III, (Democrat, 64th District – Compton) and co-authored by Assembly Member Richard Bloom, (Democrat, 50th District – Santa Monica).

This proposed legislation is overbroad and was written without the input of those most affected by it – the producers and performers of the adult film industry. If allowed by California lawmakers, AB 332 will effectively drive the adult industry out of California to areas where responsible, appropriate regulation will be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.

Mandating barrier protection use will effectively drive adult producers out of California, taking thousands of jobs and billions in revenue with them. A recently reported dramatic drop in requests for adult film permits in Los Angeles County clearly indicates that the adult film production industry does not support the local Measure B “condom” ordinance, and that it absolutely opposes AB 332.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has been the only sponsor of this legislation that is an offshoot of the Measure B legislation passed in Los Angeles in November. Presently, adult producer Vivid Entertainment and two other plaintiffs are suing the County of Los Angeles because of Measure B; at the very least, any decision on state legislation should wait until a decision is delivered in the local case.

While AHF would have constituents believe that AB 332 (and Measure B) are based on protocols for workplace health & safety, in fact this legislation threatens to destroy adult film industry self-regulation and a rigorous STD testing program that has proved effective at protecting the health and safety of performers since it was instituted in 1998. AHF has used significant funding (to the tune of more than $5 million by some estimates) and misleading information to sway legislators and the public.

In fact, the adult film industry is a legal and responsible industry. The STD testing program (APHSS.org) was developed to effectively manage risk and has been successful at nearly eliminating “outbreaks” of STDs. There has not been an on-set incidence of HIV infection since 2004. Both producers and performers are voluntarily compliant with the industry-appropriate standards that are currently observed, but that would not be the case if condom (and other barrier protection) use were mandated.

In any case, matters related to workplace safety fall under the jurisdiction of state agency Cal-OSHA; to shift responsibility for enforcement of any workplace safety-related legislation to local municipalities and counties is an unnecessary burden to taxpayers in those locations, who would be charged with providing significant resources and infrastructure in order to provide enforcement of such legislation.

Please, do not support AB 332 – this legislation is poorly written, unnecessarily overbroad and addresses a problem that doesn’t exist. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

 

FAX to House Appropriations Committee Members:

Assembly Member Mike Gatto

300 East Magnolia Boulevard
Suite 504
Burbank, CA 91502
Tel: (818) 558-3043
Fax: (818) 558-3042

assemblymember.gatto@assembly.ca.gov

Assembly Member Diane L. Harkey

29122 Rancho Viejo Road, Suite #111
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Tel: (949) 347-7301
Fax: (949) 347-7302

assemblymember.harkey@assembly.ca.gov


FSC Call-for-Action on AB 332 – Write, Call, Email or FAX Legislators

April 16, 2013

unclesamwithabugleFree Speech Coalition is issuing a call-of-action to all its members and opponents of Assembly Bill 332, the proposed bill to mandate barrier protection in adult film productions in California. AB 332 is scheduled to go before the State Assembly Labor Committee on April 24.

Below you will find a letter that can be copied and pasted into an email or another document format and then sent to the Labor Committee representatives listed below. Please, reach out to these legislators by email, written letter, FAX or phone and tell them that you oppose AB 332.

Please, send your message before April 24 and help us fight the good fight. Now is the time to come together and voice your opposition to AB 332 – before the industry is driven out of California, or another dime of taxpayer money is wasted on this poorly written law.

For more information on AB 332, or on how YOU can help oppose condom laws, contact info@freespeechcoalition.com or call (818) 348-9373. Thank you for your help!

SUBJECT LINE (if emailed): I do NOT support AB 332 – please, stop this waste of taxpayer dollars

Dear [decisionmaker],

Assembly bill 332 is being brought before State Assembly Labor Committee, authored by Assemblymember Isadore Hall III, (Democrat, 64th District – Compton) and co-authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom, (Democrat, 50th District – Santa Monica).

This proposed legislation is overbroad and was written without the input of those most affected by it – the producers and performers of the adult film industry. If allowed by California lawmakers, AB 332 will effectively drive the adult industry out of California to areas where responsible, appropriate regulation will be difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has been the only sponsor of this legislation that is an offshoot of the Measure B legislation passed in Los Angeles in November. Presently, adult producer Vivid Entertainment and two other plaintiffs are suing the County of Los Angeles because of Measure B; at the very least, any decision on state legislation should wait until a decision is delivered in the local case.

While AHF would have constituents believe that AB 332 (and Measure B) are based on protocols for workplace health & safety, in fact this legislation threatens to destroy adult film industry self-regulation and a rigorous STD testing program that has proved effective at protecting the health and safety of performers since it was instituted in 1998. AHF has used significant funding (to the tune of more than $5 million by some estimates) and misleading information to sway legislators and the public.

In fact, the adult film industry is a legal and responsible industry. The STD testing program (APHSS.org) was developed to effectively manage risk and has been successful at nearly eliminating “outbreaks” of STDs. There has not been an on-set incidence of HIV infection since 2004. Both producers and performers are voluntarily compliant with the industry-appropriate standards that are currently observed, but that would not be the case if condom (and other barrier protection) use were mandated.

In any case, matters related to workplace safety fall under the jurisdiction of state agency Cal-OSHA; to shift responsibility for enforcement of any workplace safety-related legislation to local municipalities and counties is an unnecessary burden to taxpayers in those locations, who would be charged with providing significant resources and infrastructure in order to provide enforcement of such legislation.

Please, do not support AB 332 – this legislation is poorly written, unnecessarily overbroad and addresses a problem that doesn’t exist. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

State Assembly Labor Committee Contact Info

Assemblymember Roger Hernandez (D)

100 North Barranca Street
Suite 895
West Covina, CA 91791

Tel: (626) 960-4457
Fax: (626) 960-1310

assemblymember.hernandez@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblymember Jeff Gorel (R)

2659 Townsgate Rd Suite 236
Westlake Village, CA 91361

Tel: 805-230-9167
Fax: 805-230-9183

assemblymember.gorel@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblymember Mike Morrell

10604 Trademark Parkway North, Suite #308
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

Tel: (909) 466-9096
F: (909) 466-9892

assemblymember.morrell@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblymember Luis Alejo

Salinas Office:
100 West Alisal Street
Suite 134
Salinas, CA 93901

Tel: (831) 759-8676
Fax: (831) 759-2961

Hollister Office:
Briggs Building
365A 4th Street
Hollister, CA 95023
Tuesdays
10am-5pm
Tel: (831) 638-3228

Watsonville Office:
275 Main Street
Suite 104
Watsonville, CA 95076
Every Wednesday
9am-5pm
Phone: (831) 761-7428

assemblymember.alejo@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblymember Ed Chau

205 South Chapel Avenue, Suite B
Alhambra, CA 91801

Tel: (626) 382-0049
Fax: (626) 382-0048

assemblymember.chau@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez

1910 West Sunset Boulevard
Suite 810
Los Angeles, CA 90026-3350

Tel: (213) 483-5151
Fax: (213) 483-5166

assemblymember.gomez@assembly.ca.gov

Assemblymember Chris Holden

600 N. Rosemead Blvd, Suite 117
Pasadena, CA 91107

Tel: (626) 351-1917

assemblymember.holden@assembly.ca.gov


FSC Responds to Complaint Filed by AHF Against Immoral Productions

March 19, 2013

800px-Condom,_glow_in_the_dark

Free Speech Coalition (FSC) denounces actions taken by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) as another misguided attempt to monopolize public health policy by demonizing adult industry businesses

At a press conference today, AHF announced that it has filed a complaint against adult production company Immoral Productions. In response to the latest developments involving AHF’s relentless attacks on the adult industry, FSC CEO Diane Duke has issued the following statement:

“There hasn’t been an on set transmission of HIV since 2004 – nationwide. Adult film industry protocols are highly effective, which is why it is so preposterous that AHF has spent millions on a problem that doesn’t exist. Moreover, AHF has yet to bring forth performers who are not on their payroll and now, an ‘anonymous’ letter? Countless adult film performers have come out against AHF’s crusade as detrimental to their health and their livelihood,” Duke said.

“The bottom line is that AHF’s efforts will only diminish performer safety, drive jobs out of LA and California and spend valuable tax dollars on a non-issue,” Duke added.

As the adult industry trade association, FSC has opposed AHF’s special interest campaign for barrier protection use in adult productions since 2007.

In 2010, after a lawsuit brought by AHF delivered a crippling financial blow to the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare (AIM) clinic, which had been the primary source of healthcare services for industry performers. At that time, FSC stepped in to uphold industry-appropriate standards and protocols for production safety and developed the APHSS.org database program, to oversee performer STD testing.

In 2012, after an estimated $6 million dollars in campaign expenditures by AHF, county voters passed the Los Angeles ‘Safer Sex’ Ordinance for Adult Productions (aka Measure B) by a margin of 57% to 43%. Language on the ballot scarcely stated to voters the proposed barrier protection use, which includes condoms, dental dams, goggles and gloves. Soon after the election, Vivid Entertainment and two performer co-plaintiffs filed suit against the County of Los Angeles, in an effort to strike down the regulation. The case is ongoing.

AHF’s anti-adult industry attempts continue with Assembly Bill 332, which was to be introduced in committee today in Sacramento. The bill has been tabled by the Arts & Entertainment committee, but was handed over to the Labor Committee for further consideration.

FSC will continue to oppose AB 332 and the Los Angeles ordinance as unconstitutional and a burden on both adult industry and California taxpayers. If you would like to find out more about the Los Angeles ordinance, AB 332, or how YOU can help fight AHF’s big money, special interest campaign, contact info@freespeechcoalition.com and follow us @FSCArmy.


AHF Comments on Steamray Studios CalOSHA Fines are Predictably Inflammatory

January 25, 2013

bigstock-Condom-packages-18422987Recent comments by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) on a Cal-OSHA case involving adult producer Steamray Studios are predictably inflammatory, said Free Speech Coalition today.

“Yet another attempt by Weinstein to cloud the issue and cause concern for adult producers and performers, in order to garner more media attention for his organization and its anti-adult campaign to drive adult film businesses out of Los Angeles County,” said FSC CEO Diane Duke.

Any complaint filed with state workplace safety agency Cal-OSHA should not be confused with enforcement of the Los Angeles “Safer Sex” in Adult Productions ordinance, the recently passed law that was funded solely by AHF.

Two weeks ago, adult production company Vivid Entertainment, performers Kayden Kross and Logan Pierce filed suit challenging the L.A. County “Safer Sex” Ordinance in federal court.

Interestingly the Cal-OSHA complaint supports the adult industry’s stance that the State has jurisdiction over such issues—not the County.

FSC advises concerned adult producers to consult with their legal counsel on issues related to health & safety compliance. FSC members can obtain a copy of the FSC Bloodbourne Pathogen Plan for Adult Producers by contacting Joanne@freespeechcoalition.com


No on Government Waste Committee Takes Next Steps in Wake of Measure B Passage

November 7, 2012

Measure B Approval by Voters Ushers in Start of Lengthy Litigation and Implementation Process

In the wake of Measure B’s passage by Los Angeles County voters, the No on Government Waste Committee, a broad coalition of business, entertainment, healthcare, minority and community organizations, announced an effort to stop its implementation through the courts, as well as urged the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to delay implementation pending litigation resolution.

“After being heavily outspent by a well-financed AIDS Healthcare Foundation which poured millions of dollars into passing Measure B, the adult film industry will not just stand by and let it destroy our business,” said Diane Duke, CEO for the Free Speech Coalition, the trade group representing the adult products and entertainment industry. “While the misinformation and outright distortions made by AHF during this campaign may have deceived voters, we believe in the calm, serious deliberations of the legal system we will find that Measure B is in fact unconstitutional.”

In a letter sent to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the adult film industry outlined its move to challenge Measure B in court, as well as asked for a seat at the table as the county considers how to implement provisions of Measure B.

The industry also announced its intent to begin exploring the entreaties made by neighboring states in facilitating the move of production jobs out of Los Angeles County as quickly as possible.

“While the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has tried to portray any move of jobs outside of LA County as unrealistic, the hard truth of the matter is that is exactly what this industry plans on doing now,” said James Lee, communications director for the No on Government Waste Committee. “The inevitable consequences of Measure B’s passage and AHF’s short-sightedness will be a significant loss of jobs and tax dollars flowing to local governments to fund police, fire protection and public health services.”

According to the No on Government Waste Committee, the campaign was outspent heavily by the Yes on B side, with all of the support coming from a single entity — the AIDS Healthcare Foundation — which waged a relentless two-year campaign attacking the adult film industry to impose a costly and unenforceable government inspection, permitting and enforcement system.

No on Government Waste Committee

The Committee is comprised of entertainment companies, local business organizations, community activists, adult entertainment performers and healthcare advocates who oppose Measure B’s plan for creating an underfunded government inspection program diverting badly needed resources from local community clinics and underserved minority communities. For more information, please visit the campaign website.


No On Government Waste Committee Condems Last Minute Negative Robocalls By Yes On B As ‘Futile Last Gasp’

November 5, 2012

Barrage of Attack Calls to Voters Indicative of Voter Sentiment Swinging Against Measure B

In a decidedly negative and nasty turn in the campaign being waged on behalf of Measure B, the so-called “Safer Sex” initiative on the Los Angeles County ballot, the No on Government Waste Committee condemned a slew of robocall attack ads being unleashed by the Yes on B campaign this past weekend in response to an effective new television and radio campaign launched by the No on Measure B campaign that has swayed voters against the job-killing and tax-dollar hungry measure.

“Our recently launched television and radio ads are having a significant impact in informing voters of what a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars Measure B is and the devastating impact it will have in chasing away 10,000 entertainment industry production jobs out of the county,” said James Lee, communications director for the No on Government Waste Committee. “In response the Yes on B campaign and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation have launched a terribly cynical round of robocalls designed to scare voters into believing they and their families are all at risk from some sort of Larry Flynt boogeyman.”

The robocalls warn voters that adult film companies don’t care about voter health and implies broad-based support from state health organizations when in fact only two such organizations have endorsed Measure B in comparison to virtually every newspaper in the county, almost every chamber of commerce and business organization, ethnic and minority community groups, healthcare service providers and major political parties who have all urged a no vote against Measure B, according to the No on Government Waste Committee.

“The irony of AHF and Yes on B warning voters about who cares about their interests would humorous if it wasn’t so serious when you consider that AHF has already been cited by L.A. County auditors for overbilling taxpayers $1.7 million and is now foisting Measure B on taxpayers which is going to stick them with the bill to hire government inspectors to watch porn sets all day,” Lee said. “Voters are going to see through this charade and recognize the enormous cost to them at a time when L.A. County is threatened by budget cuts because of the recession and state budget crisis.”

The No on Government Waste Committee launched its ad campaign with a new television ad describing the increased costs to taxpayers and potential for deep cuts in county services such as fire and police protection and public health services should Measure B pass. It also released companion radio ads aimed at refuting the Yes on B’s misinformation about the lack of infections in the adult film community.

News media wishing to obtain a copy of the ad for use in coverage, can obtain downloads at Vimeo.

Measure B, funded and placed on the ballot by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, would require the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to license and permit adult movie productions in the county and require performers to wear condoms and create an unworkable system of on-set inspections and enforcement by county personnel. The county estimates initial start-up costs for the program to be in excess of $300,000, but acknowledges that regardless of the level of compliance by the adult film industry, there would be significant cost to the Department of Public Health.

According to the California Dept. of Public Health, from June 30, 2008 to June 30, 2011, there were 6,447 new cases of HIV reported in Los Angeles County, but only two were adult performers who did not contract the disease on-set. Since 2004, there have been no documented cases of HIV transmission on an adult entertainment set.  In fact, with the industry’s strict testing protocols – requiring testing at least every 14 and 28 days for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis – adult performers are the most tested workforce in the nation.

No on Government Waste Committee

The Committee is comprised of entertainment companies, local business organizations, community activists, adult entertainment performers and healthcare advocates who oppose Measure B’s plan for creating an underfunded government inspection program diverting badly needed resources from local community clinics and underserved minority communities. For more information, please visit the campaign website.


No On Government Waste Committee Denounces Last Minute STD Study By Yes On B Campaign As ‘Desperation Tactics’

November 1, 2012

Poor Data Analysis Does Not Accurately Reflect Lack of STDs in Adult Film Industry

In another sign of how desperate the proponents of Measure B, the so-called “Safer Sex” initiative, have become, a purportedly “new” study of sexually transmitted disease data was released today which was quickly denounced by the No on Government Waste Committee as a rehash of old 2010 data previously released and discredited in a desperate attempt to win back voters already committed to voting no against the ill-conceived ballot initiative.

“This study uses old data gathered in 2010 whose previous work was discredited by noted epidemiologist Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer who noted how poorly the data used by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation was collected and analyzed,” said James Lee, communications director for the No on Government Waste Committee. “It’s a cynical attempt at a last-ditch effort to influence voters who have already decided to vote against Measure B due in large part to the overwhelming endorsements of newspapers, political parties, business groups, healthcare organizations and community advocates.”

The study in question which ran in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases, purports to have reviewed the disease status of 168 “performers” from a Los Angeles-clinic treating them in 2010. Although the name of the clinic was not disclosed, Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, which was closed after a flurry of frivolous lawsuits by AHF, was the industry supported clinic treating performers at the time, according to the No on Government Waste Committee.

The Committee noted that AIM treated not only performers, but any citizen who wished to be tested for STDs. It is these additional patient loads of non-performers, or people wishing to perform in the industry, but were not allowed to after testing positive, that were previously included in research work conducted by Dr. Peter R. Kerndt, who also participated in this study, demonstrating the erroneous nature of data analysis.

“AHF knows for a fact that its original argument for Measure B, to prevent HIV infection, has fallen flat on its face after we have demonstrated that no performer has contracted HIV on-set since 2004 so now it has shifted the attack to focus on STDs by using faulty data analysis to try and make Measure B more palatable to voters,” Lee said. “It won’t work because voters are now well acquainted with the desperate campaign tactics of Michael Weinstein and vitriolic hyperbole of AHF.”

The STD Journal study is not a scientifically valid survey sample since there is no representative control baseline sample, nor any differentiation on how the sample was culled, or the prevalence of STD rates for all patients seeking treatment at the clinic in question as a whole, Lee said.

“This study is akin to someone standing outside of a coffee house and asking people coming out with coffee if they like coffee and then ascribing that small survey sample to the entire population of a city,” Lee added. “It’s noteworthy that in a previous study by Dr. Kerndt that was analyzed in 2011 by Dr. Mayer, it was found to be not only ‘inaccurate, but also misleading and inflammatory toward the risk of contracting an STD in the adult film industry.’”

Measure B, funded and placed on the ballot by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, would require the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to license and permit adult movie productions in the county and require performers to wear condoms and create an unworkable system of on-set inspections and enforcement by county personnel. The county estimates initial start-up costs for the program to be in excess of $300,000, but acknowledges that regardless of the level of compliance by the adult film industry, there would be significant cost to the Department of Public Health.

According to the California Dept. of Public Health, from June 30, 2008 to June 30, 2011, there were 6,447 new cases of HIV reported in Los Angeles County, but only two were adult performers who did not contract the disease on-set. Since 2004, there have been no documented cases of HIV transmission on an adult entertainment set.  In fact, with the industry’s strict testing protocols – requiring testing at least every 14 and 28 days for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis – adult performers are the most tested workforce in the nation.

No on Government Waste Committee

The Committee is comprised of entertainment companies, local business organizations, community activists, adult entertainment performers and healthcare advocates who oppose Measure B’s plan for creating an underfunded government inspection program diverting badly needed resources from local community clinics and underserved minority communities. For more information, please visit the campaign website.


Infographic: The FACTS about L.A. County Ballot Measure B

October 26, 2012

Here’s an infographic we would love for you to share with friends and anyone that you know will be voting in L.A. County on Nov 6. Simply put, these are the facts about Measure B, L.A.’s Condom Ballot Measure.

An L.A. County budget adviser this week just recommended 200 more layoffs for the County, mostly personnel from the City Attorney’s Office and LAPD.

Clearly, AHF does not care about Los Angeles taxpayers if they think putting condoms on adult performers is an most important “threat” to public safety in Los Angeles. The No to Measure B Committee asks you to put police, victims of crime and the citizens of Los Angeles first – ahead of Measure B, which will only waste desperately needed funding and resources.

For more information on the opposition to Measure B, please visit the website, where you can view videos voluntarily created by adult industry performers who are directly threatened by Measure B’s potential repercussions. And, if you feel strongly against government overreach, unnecessary regulations, wasting tax dollars and misguided legislation, please DONATE – even $5 can help – Please, help us in our effort and VOTE NO on Measure B!


St. James Infirmary Latest Community-Based Healthcare Group To Oppose Measure B Says No On Government Waste Committee

October 26, 2012

Medical and Social Service Provider Opposes Effort to Take Away Performer Choice

The overwhelming outpouring of opposition to Measure B, the so-called “Safer Sex” initiative on the Nov. 6th ballot, continued with the announcement by St. James Infirmary, a San Francisco-based community medical and social services provider, to oppose the initiative, joining every major newspaper, political parties, gay, lesbian and women’s groups, 44 chambers of commerce and business groups in Los Angeles County, said the No on Government Waste Committee.

“There is virtually no part of Los Angeles County’s political, business and healthcare life that has not come forward to oppose Measure B,” said James Lee, communications director for the No on Government Waste Committee. “We are deeply gratified to have the support and endorsement of St. James Infirmary, a terrific institution that has been dedicated to providing healthcare and social services to sex workers and fighting the scourge of HIV.”

St. James Infirmary annually provides 8,000 clinic and venue based services to more than 2,000 sex workers and their families. These services include medical and holistic care, testing services, peer counseling, needle distribution and recovery, outreach and group harm reduction workshops, hot meals to eat and food to take home, clothes, internships and capacity and leadership development.

“The motivations behind pushing for compulsory use of condoms in porn may be well intended, but the regulation of sex workers sexual health practices by outside agencies ultimately may result in unintended negative outcomes,” said Stephny Ashley, programs director for St. James Infirmary. “The self-regulating testing practices of the L.A. porn industry have been effective in keeping HIV prevalence at rates comparable to that of the general population since 2006.”

“We at St James Infirmary believe first and foremost in an individual’s right to make their own reproductive and sexual health choices, without having those choices regulated by politicians, police, religious or non-profit organizations. Sex workers are the most qualified to make decisions about how to best institute safer working conditions within their job environments, and only with their expertise should regulations be made,” Ashley added.

Along with the recent endorsements against Measure B by the Los Angeles County Federation of Republican Women, Log Cabin Republicans of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Republican and Libertarian Parties, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, six other local newspapers, 44 other local area chambers of commerce and the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, the largest business group in the San Fernando Valley, those standing in opposition to Measure B dwarfs the limited support proponents have been able to muster.

“Condoms are a vital part of reducing sexual health risk, and it should be every individual’s right to use them.  Unfortunately, Measure B does not address this issue,” Ashley said. “If Measure B passes, how soon before politicians, lawmakers and those who have no business in our bedrooms, barge in with further laws regulating our sexuality and personal freedoms?”

Measure B, funded and placed on the ballot by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, would require the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to license and permit adult movie productions in the county and require performers to wear condoms and create an unworkable system of on-set inspections and enforcement by county personnel. The county estimates initial start-up costs for the program to be in excess of $300,000, but acknowledges that regardless of the level of compliance by the adult film industry, there would be significant cost to the Department of Public Health.

According to the California Dept. of Public Health, from June 30, 2008 to June 30, 2011, there were 6,447 new cases of HIV reported in Los Angeles County, but only two were adult performers who did not contract the disease on-set. Since 2004, there have been no documented cases of HIV transmission on an adult entertainment set.  In fact, with the industry’s strict testing protocols – requiring testing at least every 28 days for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis – adult performers are the most tested workforce in the nation.

No on Government Waste Committee

The Committee is comprised of entertainment companies, local business organizations, community activists, adult entertainment performers and healthcare advocates who oppose Measure B’s plan for creating an underfunded government inspection program diverting badly needed resources from local community clinics and underserved minority communities. For more information, please visit: www.noongovernmentwaste.com.


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