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California Voters To Decide Whether Or Not Actors Should Wear Condoms In Porn Films

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A measure in California that would require adult film actors to wear condoms while shooting explicit sex scenes has qualified on Wednesday for a ballot initiative scheduled for November 2016.

Based on a similar initiative adopted by Long Angeles County in 2012, the proposal was made by Michael Weinstein, president of healthcare and HIV/AIDS advocacy group AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

"It's another milestone -- the qualification of this initiative," Weinstein said.

"We've taken polls that show, statewide, 71 percent support. We're very confident that we will be successful on election day."

Weinstein added that the proposal would remove the threat of porn industry productions leaving Los Angeles County and relocating to other parts of California. He said adult film actors should be given the same health safety measures that workers in other industries receive.

California state officials have said that safety regulations already exist to protect employees from exposure to blood-borne diseases. The ambiguity of the guidelines, however, has caused some workers from the adult film industry to claim that they are excluded from coverage.

Supporters of the initiative believe it is essential to clarify the issue for people in the industry, turn the safety guidelines into law and aggressively enforce the rules.

Aside from requiring adult film actors to wear condoms when engaged in sex scenes, the measure would also require producers of such films to cover costs for regular testing and vaccination for sexually transmitted illnesses.

Adult film producers would also have to secure a health license from the state and place written notices on set to better inform their employees of the requirement to wear condoms.

People who would violate the safety guidelines would have to pay fines that could reach up to $70,000.

Diane Duke, head of the trade association known as Free Speech Coalition, said members of the adult film industry plan to campaign against the adoption of the initiative. She said they already have HIV testing programs in place.

Duke pointed out that if the proposal were to be adopted by the state, it would leave adult film actors to be targeted by profiteers and stalkers who would abuse the safety measures to extort and harass the performers.

"This is an unconscionable initiative that would take a legal and safe industry and push its performers into the shadows," Duke said.

Current testing programs in the adult film industry screen performers for HIV every 14 days.

There has not been a case of on-set HIV transmission in the industry since 2004, according to Duke.

Photo: Paul Keller | Flickr 

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