This article was published on October 3rd, 2016
While many laws and regulations that are introduced may have good intentions, to often they just aren’t thought through or there are people who have too little or no experience in dealing with the issues creating legislation that can, more often than not, make the situation worse. Sometimes by actively exacerbating an existing situation or simply by making it look like the issue is being dealt with and so taking away resources and efforts that may have otherwise gone to them. When laws are made as emotional reactions by people who don’t fully understand the situation, they can cause more harm than good.
Proposition 60 is the highly controversial ballot initiative that will require the use of condoms in the adult film industry in an effort to reduce the spread of the HIV/Aids virus’. This has been hailed as a huge win by the AIDs Healthcare Foundation, but when HomoCulture caught up with gay rights activist, Stephan Ferris, and he claims the issue isn’t quite that simple.
“The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is pushing for out dated HIV strategies,” said Stephen Ferris. “They are the only HIV prevention organisation that doesn’t support other HIV reduction strategies, such as Truvada as PrEP.” Effective prevention strategies are already used by many models in the adult entertainment industry.
“Individuals taking an interest on the subject could consider new representation for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, as they have proven to be an enemy rather than an ally to the HIV community,” continued Stephan Ferris, suggesting that the organization is championing a proposition that could be less effective than other HIV reduction strategies.
Stephan explained that proposition 60 could also be outright dangerous for adult performers.
“It creates privacy issues for performers,” said Ferris. “If a viewer doesn’t see a condom on screen, technically they could file a claim, forcing a lawsuit through litigation”. According to Ferris, under the proposed legislation, any member of the public could sue a performer and obtain personal information including names or performers. Considering this is an industry, which attracts the attention of anti LGBT activist groups, religious zealots and stalkers, this presents a huge risk for performers.
“The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is regulating harsh foundations to make the production of adult videos impractical,” Ferris said. “In essence, they are regulating the industry out of existence. It may seem trivial to be so concerned about an industry that is looked down upon; however, this proposition is an attack on both the models choice and the expression of society on pre-exposure.”
Basically the new law could go as far as requiring studio’s to have all models be completely protected, including the use of condoms, dental dams, and even goggles.
This would confirm the point initially made that there is an inherent danger in allowing laws to be made through emotion rather than a core understanding of an industry. While this may seem irrelevant to those not involved in the industry this is an issue faced by many groups and individuals working across many industries. It is vitally important that regulations and laws come out of a deeper understanding of issues in order that they be properly dealt with in an effective manner rather than wasting resources and attention on ineffective strategies.
“As a performer, I would recommend reaching out to the Free Speech Coalition to organize your voices and protect your rights,” said Stephan in his final thoughts for those who want to speak up or whom Prop 60 could impact.