Michael Weinstein has proposed a dangerous ballot measure based in bias, fear and outdated morality. Rather than supporting adult performers, or promoting safer sex on sets in California, the new initiative will actually limit sexual health choices for performers on-set, and will augur the destruction of the testing and safety standards that have kept California adult film sets among the safest in the world.
With this measure, Michael Weinstein plans to divert millions of dollars that would otherwise go to HIV care and prevention to fund his personal obsession with the adult film industry. According to the official financial summary, the initiative will cost taxpayers “tens of millions of dollars,” if not more, and push “thousands of jobs” out of California. Weinstein’s relentless campaign against the adult industry in California has already resulted in an exodus of adult businesses to other states, and the loss of countless jobs and tax revenue. It has not resulted in safer sets, nor have any of his efforts been supported by the performers themselves.
The initiative is not about forcing the adult entertainment industry to use condoms; it’s about Michael Weinstein gaining control over it. If passed, Weinstein would be in charge of monitoring adult film, and would be able to personally file an unlimited number of lawsuits directly against adult film performers, producers and agents even if there was no apparent any harm or injury.
The initiative grants Weinstein the power of the California Attorney General; paid for by taxpayers and subject to impeachment only by a vote of the entire California Legislature. We should all work to constantly improve set safety, but an unimpeachable, state-subsidized porn czar is that last thing California needs. We expect this measure, like his previous failed attempts, to face widespread opposition by performers, public health officials, free speech advocates and HIV outreach organizations.