AB 332 Dies in Appropriations Committee
The California Assembly Appropriations Committee today voted to stop Assembly Bill 332 from moving forward, effectively quashing any hopes for statewide mandated barrier protection use in adult film productions in California.
“We are grateful that lawmakers have chosen the best interest of California’s taxpayers and the adult industry over AB 332’s misguided legislation,” Free Speech Coalition (FSC) CEO Diane Duke said. “The adult industry creates a tremendous amount of revenue and jobs for California. We have effective, successful standards in place to protect performers. This ridiculous bill was a solution without a problem.”
The action comes after a years-long campaign waged by AIDS Healthcare Foundation to mandate condom use on adult productions in California. Adult industry companies, performers and professionals stood in strong opposition to AHF’s attempts to move the condom agenda forward. Currently, a local ordinance – the Los Angeles Safer Sex for Adult Productions, known as Measure B – is being challenged in federal court.
“We support choice for performers, as well as the successful testing system that has been in place since 1998, which have resulted in no on-set transmissions of HIV in nine years, nationwide” Duke added. “It is encouraging to see that legislators recognize the hard work that the adult industry has done to safeguard performers and that our hard work will not be lost to an unnecessary bureaucracy created from unnecessary legislation.”
FSC has spearheaded opposition to AB 332, Measure B and continues to oppose legislation that threatens the well-being of adult industry businesses and professionals. FSC also upholds industry-appropriate self-regulation that includes regular, frequent STD testing for performers.
As the adult industry trade association, FSC has published an industry “Code of Ethics,” as well as “The Adult Industry Health & Safety Manual.” For more information about FSC, opposition to mandated condom laws or business resources, contact
AB 332 Stalls After Appropriations Committee Meeting
This week 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.
FSC Provides Information on L.A. County ‘Safer Sex’ Ordinance Permitting Requirement Letter to Adult Producers
CANOGA PARK, Calif. – In response to a letter sent out by L.A. County to some adult producers and directors on December 17th concerning the “Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act,” the Free Speech Coalition wishes to provide information to aid in decisions concerning shooting in L.A. County.
First and foremost, all adult businesses should consult with their attorneys as far as where to shoot, permitting procedures, the interpretation of the law, as well as the civil and criminal risks involved. FSC cannot provide legal advice. Only a lawyer familiar with your company’s circumstances can advise you how to reduce risk of liability. What is good advice for one company could be disastrous for another.
The letter states that the ordinance pertains to the unincorporated cities in L.A. County and cities that have adopted “Title 39.” That is an error by the Department of Public Health; the correct code section is Title 11.39.
For unincorporated areas in L.A. County go to these listings http://ceo.lacounty.gov/forms/Unincorp%20Alpha%20Web.pdf of unincorporated areas http://www.laalmanac.com/geography/ge30c.htm in Los Angeles County. It is up to adult businesses to track cities that have adopted Title 11.39 — there are 88 incorporated cities in L.A. County, listed here http://ceo.lacounty.gov/forms/09-10%20cities%20alpha.pdf. Vernon, Long Beach and Pasadena have their own Public Health Departments and do not contract with the County. It may be that those cities will not be enforcing Measure B. FSC will try to undertake this analysis, but it will take time and staffing which we do not currently have.
Film LA (the entity that grants onsite permits for filming) has been asked to provide L.A. County with information about adult companies that apply for a permit. The County plans to provide Film LA with a list of adult companies on which to report. Therefore, when an adult company applies for an on-site permit from Film LA for filming in L.A. County, the County will be notified about the shoot. L.A. County can inspect shoots at will without giving prior notice. A permit from Film LA will NOT mean compliance to the County’s permit requirements and the County will be notified about the time and place of adult filming for those who obtain a Film LA permit.
The letter sent by L.A. County is the County’s interpretation of the law and it is possible that the law could be interpreted even more strictly by the courts. Also the ordinance allows for private citizens and entities — like AIDS Healthcare Foundation — to file civil complaints concerning ordinance compliance.
A legal challenge to the ordinance by the adult industry is forthcoming and we will keep you notified about the litigation and issues pertinent to adult filming in L.A. County.
APHSS Announces Protocol Revisions and the Opening of Vegas STD Testing Clinics
CANOGA PARK, Calif. – Adult Production Health & Safety Services (APHSS.org) APHSS announced two changes in its program today—the first a change in protocol and the second the addition of a testing center in Las Vegas.
Beginning immediately, APHSS will no longer require two Trep-sure tests for performers new to the industry. Moving forward, the Trep-sure syphilis test will just be part of the regular panel for everyone in the APHSS program.
“The double Trep-sure was required after some performers tested positive for syphilis in August to ensure that syphilis within the industry was contained and to protect performers from contracting syphilis from new performers coming in to the industry, “ said Diane Duke Free Speech Coalition CEO. “After discussing result trends with APHSS physicians, it was determined that two tests for new performers are no longer necessary.” APHSS participants and providers have been notified and the changes in protocol are effective immediately.
Additionally, APHSS announced the opening of new performer testing facilities in Las Vegas, NV—STD Testing Clinics. There are two locations in Las Vegas - The southeast location is at 500 E. Windmill Ln, #115, and the northwest location is at 2051 N. Rainbow Blvd, #100.
“The facilities and physicians at STD Testing Clinics are top notch,” Duke explained. “They are committed to providing quality service to our performers at a competitive price. We want to make sure performers have a broad range of choices for testing, and STD Testing Clinics is an excellent option.” For more information about STD Testing Clinics see their website at http://www.stdtestingclinics.com.
No On Government Waste Committee Denounces Last Minute STD Study By Yes On B Campaign As “Desperation Tactics”
Poor Data Analysis Does Not Accurately Reflect Lack of STDs in Adult Film Industry
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – (Nov. 1, 2012) – 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: www.noongovernmentwaste.com.