SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gay adult star Conner Habib has penned a thoughtful column eschewing AB 1576 entitled, “Why the LGBTQ Community Should Oppose AB 1576,” for Slate.com. The California State Senate will vote on the bill tomorrow.
Habib presents an in-depth and oft-ignored perspective — that is, LGBTQ-specific — on the bill that, if passed, will mandate condom use on all porn shoots in California.
While the author speaks as a living intersection of gay and adult, he also urges the entire LGBTQ community to consider the spirit of the bill as an affront to a self-sufficient minority community facing discrimination not unlike discrimination that the gay, lesbian and other alt-sexual communities have faced in the past.
After giving a contextualized run-down on gay and straight industry testing procedures and condom policies, Habib begins to ponder the true intent of AB 1576 and suggests that it may be a means to particularly police and further stigmatize the sexual expression of those who are HIV-positive.
Habib presents the crux of his argument, “Because of the pre-existing industry protection protocols and industry-related education, AB1576 addresses a nonexistent problem. Despite hundreds of thousands of HIV diagnoses between 2005 and 2014 in the general population, there have been zero demonstrable on-set HIV transmissions in that period. That means the tremendous amount of money and time spent promoting this bill (especially via a big media campaign led by California State Assemblymember Isadore Hall and AIDS Healthcare Foundation president Michael Weinstein) is wildly out of proportion to the non-issue it proposes to address. AB1576 is a bill in search of a problem.
“So if it’s not really about protecting porn performers, what is it for? Since AHF’s and Hall’s motivations aren’t easy to discern without speculation, let’s ask a different question, which has a clear answer: If AB1576 won’t affect HIV transmissions on set (since there are none), what will AB1576 actually accomplish?
“It’s not much of a stretch to read the bill this way: AB1576 will find HIV-positive people, expose their status to others, and ban them completely from any sexual representation or sex work. The bill’s current language utterly ignores people already living with HIV. That means AB1576’s architects assume all performers will and should be HIV negative, essentially discriminating against any HIV+ person being in porn, even when barriers are used.”
AB 1576 will be voted on by a State Senate panel tomorrow. To read Habib’s article in full, click here.